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TO OM OR NOT TO OM by Michelle Thielen, Founder of YogaFaith
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1, KJV
From the beginning, and when I say, “beginning,” I am referencing the very beginning. The first scriptures found in the Bible describe the beauty and power of spoken words. These creative and sacred words hovered over unoccupied atmospheres bringing life out of absolute nothingness. A holy sound, a holy utterance spoke into emptiness forming life, earth, day, night, creatures and man. These spoken words and holy utterances brought forth existence. From dark to light, emptiness to fullness, creation was birthed from a holy sound.
For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command.
Psalm 33:9, NLT
Instead of me writing it for you, I extend an invitation to open your Bible. Not your app, but the real book, the real thing. Feel the weightiness of God’s written word, the power, the width, height, length and depth of His real Words. Now, I invite you to turn your attention to Genesis 1. Read Genesis 1:1-31. Highlight or circle the phrase, “God said” and “God called.” You should find these phrases approximately 15 times. You can also take note of the phrases, “He created” and “He made,” but let’s focus on the ‘speaking’ and ‘calling forth.’
Fifteen times God ‘speaks’ and ‘calls’ Earth into existence! And this is only the first chapter of the entire Bible! Because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in Greek, we will explore the original word and intent from the beginning.
As written in Genesis 1, the Hebrew word for ‘speak, ’spoke’ and ‘called’ are all the same Hebrew word: לַהֲגוֹת. A verb translated: dabar (daw-bar’), meaning; pronounce, articulate, meditate, vocalize, speak, or utter .
As God “dabarred,” as He pronounced, as He spoke, as He uttered, and as He meditated, He created. The question that may come to your mind is, “Which one actually took place? Did He speak? Meditate? Vocalize or utter?” I would answer you with a resounding, “Yes!” The original word is defined as each verb. I believe He used them all to create everything seen and unseen.
His Word spoken, not returning any void.
His Word sent forth, His Holy Spirit moved, breathed and shifted atmospheres.
We are going to revisit the word utter towards the end, but first, let’s talk more about the Creator of all.
THE ‘OM’S’ OF THE BIBLE
Let’s begin at the very root shall we? Our root word is Omni. When you study a dead language, opportunities to use it are few and far between, so I’m excited to revisit my four years of Latin with you. In Latin, the root word “Omni” means; all. What can we add to all? All is all. Like God and His Word, it’s ‘all the all’s’, it’s everything in its totality. We cannot add to it, we cannot deduct from it, it’s finished, it’s whole, complete and includes everything-all of it.
I am the Lord; there is no other God.
God is all things at all times. He says, “I am that I am!” in Exodus 3:13.
The first few “om’s” that we are going to explore are not written in the Bible. They are the words that define the attributes of God.
Throughout scripture we read that we cannot get away or hide from the presence of God. God is everywhere, meaning He is Omnipresent.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
Psalm 139:7-10, NASB
To be everywhere at all times is the Omnipresence of God. Unlike Christ, satan is unable to be everywhere at all times (see Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8).
Further study of God’s Omnipresence: Jeremiah 23:23-24, Proverbs 15:3, 1 Kings 8:27, Acts 17:24, Colossians 1:17, Matthew 18:20, Isaiah 57:15, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 32:8, 113:4-6, 139:3-5 and 7-10, Isaiah 66:1, Acts 17:27, Matthew 6:6, and Job 34:21
God is all-knowing or Omniscience. God’s knowledge is total. You and I cannot surprise God. He knows the beginning from the end, the end from the beginning and everything in between. God knows the minuscule details of your life (Luke 12:7) as well as the grand design (Jer. 29:11). He knows all that there is to know and all that can be known.
Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?
God is all knowing, therefore Omniscience. Unlike Christ, satan is not all knowing (Matthew 4:1-11).
Further study of God’s Omniscience: Isaiah 40:13-14, 46:9-10, Psalm 33:13-15, 1391:1-4, 15-16, 147:4-5, Job 21:22, 37:16, Romans 11:33, Hebrews 4:13, Luke 12:7, 1 John 3:20, and Matthew 10:29-30.
God’s power of manifesting creation is defined as Omnipotence, meaning: all-powerful. Nothing or nobody else holds more power than our God, the Creator of all things. To list just a few wonder-working power stories, realize that numerous scripture references could be listed beside each miracle. I’d love nothing more than for you to explore His Word to read more on God’s omnipotent attributes.
Our all-powerful God parted the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21), caused water to come out of a rock (Ex.17:6), He heals blind eyes (Acts 3:16), cures diseases (Ex.15:26), He speaks and moves mountains (Matt. 17:20), casts out demons (Acts 19:12), multiplies food and provision (Luke 9:16), turns water into wine (John 4:46), and He raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43).
God holds supreme power.
Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”
God is all powerful, He is Omnipotent, satan is not all powerful. You can read about the enemy’s limitations throughout Job and how satan had to ask God’s permission to attack Job. Ephesians 6:10 commands us to armor up in defense of the enemy’s attacks, testifying that we have power over satan to protect ourselves against his fiery arrows! Though his deepest desire is to be all powerful like Christ, he never will be. You and I hold more power than satan through Christ.
For further study on Omnipotence: Genesis 18:14, Deuteronomy 33:27, Daniel 4:35, Job 42:1-2, Jeremiah 32:27, Isaiah 14:27, 26:4-5, Matthew 19:26, Luke 1:3, Acts 26:8, Ephesians 1:19, and Revelation 19:6.
From our Latin word Omni meaning; all, bene-meaning; good and volens meaning; willing, God is always all good. Psalms 138:8 says, “God is perfecting everything that concerns you.”
I often say, “It’s all God and it’s all good!” Whether our circumstances feel good or not, James 1:2 reminds us that in every circumstance, “It’s all good.”
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may
be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
For God so Loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him,
shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, NASB
God is love.
1 John 4:8
God is love. We could (I hope you do) spend a lifetime exploring God’s love. It’s vast, deep, high and wide. We cannot fathom it, it makes zero sense. God’s Omnibenevolence provides us with daily love, protection, mercy and His great grace. Through His Omnibenevolence is the abundant life, the wide-open spaces that He promises us. You can live in the jet stream of His grace each and every day!
For further study on Omnibenevolence: Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 36:7, 86:5, 86:15, 136:26, Jeremiah 31:3, John 15:12-13, Romans 5:5-8, Acts 17:25, 1 John 3:1, 4:18, Zephaniah 3:17, Galatians 2:20, and Ephesians 2:4-5.
In Revelation 22:13, AMP, God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End [the Eternal One]. The Message Version reads: “I’m A to Z, the First and the Final, Beginning and Conclusion.”
The first and the final, don’t you love that? Nothing before and nothing after. With God there is no “pre” or “post.”
He is Alpha and He is Omega, the First and Final.
Omega defined by Strong’s #5598 refers to God’s infinite and limitless characteristics. Ō or Ω, (long ō, originally formed by pronouncing two short o’s/omikrons together, the final (24th) letter of the Greek alphabet; (figuratively) God’s infinity (endlessness), in contrast to alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet which represents the Lord as the unoriginated originator of all life and all that is eternal.
In the New Testament, #5598, Ōmega, is always used to glorify Christ (Rev 1:8, 21;6, 22:13), referring to His absolute limitlessness to meet all the needs of finite (limited) people.
Alpha and Omega means: to include everything.
Shalom is the Hebrew word: שָׁלוֹם defined as; peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. It can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. Hello and goodbye-another beginning and end. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to greet one another with Shalom? It’s a beautiful, all-encompassing word meaning wholeness, or, “May the peace of God be with you,” very similar to “Om Shanti,” which we explore below.
Shalom by itself is a very common abbreviation, and it is used in Modern Israeli Hebrew as a greeting, to which the common reply is, Shalom, Shalom. It is also used as a farewell. Its frame of reference throughout Jewish literature is bound up with the notion of shelemut, perfection. In this way it is similar to the Hawaiian aloha, the English good evening and the Indian namaste. Also, in Israel, “bye” (English) and “yallah bye” (a mixture of Arabic and English) is popular. Shalom is also used by Jewish people around the world, and even by many non-Jewish people .
As a Christian, or Christ-follower, these “Om words” set us far apart from others who serve any other God. Our God is the only God who is still alive! Our God is the only God who is: all-knowing-Omniscience, all-present-Omnipresent, all-loving-Omnibenevolence. He created existence, defining Him as all-powerful! He isn’t subject to physical limitations or atmospheres. Omnipotent means that He has the highest, the most supreme power over all creation. His power is infinite, or limitless as we also observed with Omega; God’s infinite and limitless characteristics. He is love, and He is Shalom.
If you’re having a tough time wrapping your mind around this, don’t worry, you are in the company of every other human being. We are limited by our finite brains. Scripture tells us the Kingdom of God holds numerous mysteries, He reveals some and others we will only understand when we stand in His presence in glory.
Do you think you can explain the mystery of God? Do you think you can diagram God Almighty?
God is far higher than you can imagine, far deeper than you can comprehend,
Stretching farther than earth’s horizons, far wider than the endless ocean. Job 11:7-10, MSG
Let’s revisit the spoken word or dabar and Qal from Genesis: as God ‘spoke’ and ‘called’ things into motion. Both dabar and Qal are defined as utter or utterance. An utterance in scripture means: The expression of a thought (3056 lógos, from 3004 /légō), speaking to a conclusion, preeminently used of Christ (John 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit.
“Speaking to a conclusion” means that it hasn’t happened yet. Scripture tells us speak (utter), pray and/or praise as if it’s already happened (Romans 4:17). Look at the last definition. “Expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit” ( Notes for scripture study on speaking things into existence).
If you have ever been to the Secret Place (Psalm 91:1), you know it’s the most beautiful and sacred place. I believe it is what Patanjali (Author of Yoga Sutras, thought to have lived approximately 2nd century BCE) was attempting to describe in his eighth limb, known as ecstasy. I’m eternally grateful for the gift of YogaFaith as the mission redeems all things that God created for His glory. Ecstasy is one of God’s gifts, created for us to enjoy.
There are no words to describe the oneness you experience when communing with Christ. Attempting to describe it with words, I liken it to sitting on His lap. My head on His chest, listening to His heart while His arms are wrapped around me, we are one. This is the eight limb, this is my ecstasy: one with Christ. It’s the deepest and most profoundly intimate place I have ever visited. When I say there are ‘no words’ to describe it, there are no human words to articulate God’s presence or experiencing Him. We try, but our words fall short. Sometimes we groan, make utterances, speak in tongues, or dance like David did. There isn’t a right or wrong way to respond to God’s majesty. We respond in the matter that God created us to respond, it’s personal and intimate for each and every one of us. This is why nobody can judge one’s expressive response to Christ.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27, Bold mine
Our prayer language, our groans, our speaking in tongues or any other expressive praise comes in all kinds of packages that we may or may not understand. Some speak in tongues and some translate tongues (1 Corinthians 14), who among us can understand God’s mysteries? When God’s Spirit speaks to your spirit, there will, most likely, be no words to describe the experience.
Expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy [sound] gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, ESV (Bold added)
Here we see speak as the verb lalew (Pronounced: lal-eh’-o). It’s Strong’s #G2980 meaning: Utter a voice or emit a sound, to utter articulate sounds. Noisy, or sound here is the verb hcew (Pronounced: ay-kheh’-o), Strong’s #G2278 meaning: To make a loud noise, i.e. reverberate: roar, sound.
After this I looked and there was a door that had been opened in heaven. The first voice that I had heard, which sounded like a trumpet, said to me, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in a Spirit-inspired trance and I saw a throne in heaven, and someone was seated on the throne.. Revelations 4:1-2, CEB
‘Trance’ is not a word I typically relate to as a Christian, but here it is in the Bible.
And here we are, you and I, diving deep into God’s Word, chewing on every bit of it so that we can redeem all things for His glory! Revelation 4:1 speaks to our intuition, which doesn’t necessarily use the vocal cords. It speaks directly from the intelligence of God, which is omniscient.
Dancing, meditation, chanting, ecstasy and uttering is just the beginning of scratching the surface with creations that I desire to redeem and restore to their original creation.
Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice (lew) of a great rushing saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place. Ezekiel 3:12, ESV (Bold added)
“His place” is the heavenly region; the great rushing is God’s voice, like the sound of the ocean, the sound of many waters, the voice of the multitude. This is what some call the ‘cosmic energy’ rushing into us from Heaven.
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice (lew) was like a noise (lew)of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
Ezekiel 43:2, KJV (Bold added)
Lew, pronounced: kōle, is Strong’s #H6963. It’s from a root meaning to: call aloud; a voice or sound: aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (cry-out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, proclamation, sing, voice, yell or sound.
Both Ezekiel scriptures reference voice as being a sound, not necessarily words, and lalew as utterances.
Sound, utterances and speaking all carry tonal vibrations. Sound therapy is solely based on tonal vibrations used in healing the body and mind. One receiving sound therapy could listen to music, perhaps to a specific megahertz, meditate or experience singing bowls. If the recipient is deaf, healing can still take place due to the healing vibration and frequencies of what their brain, body, mind and spirit are receiving. Tuning fork therapy uses calibrated metal tuning forks to apply vibrations to a specific body part to aid in healing. It works similarly to acupuncture, using sound frequencies for point stimulation instead of needles. There are numerous variations of sound therapy you can explore.
You can feel the vibration of sound when you speak or hum. Your vocal cords are stretchy-like folds of skin in your throat that vibrate to make a sound. Air must move past our vocal cords in order to speak and cause the vibration. As air is forced out of a very narrow passageway causing the vibration, this generates waves through the air to our ears, translating into the sound we hear. We are able to change the sounds we make by stretching or contracting the muscles attached to our vocal cords. The sounds “OHHHHH” stretch the vocal cords in different way than SEEEEEEK. When our vocal cords are ‘stretched’ we make higher-pitched sounds, when they are ‘loose’ lower sounds are created.
OM | AUM
The syllable OM is an ancient Sanskrit letter first found in the Vedas (A Hindu book of Hymns and poems), originating between 1500 – 1200 BC. These ancient letters and syllables were not written in the beginning but rather vibrated into existence using human speech, or tonal sounds. The first usage of the syllable is found in the late 7th century B.C. If we explore this time period in scripture, we find numerous mysteries and miracles of God that our finite brains cannot explain.
Let me name just a few from one book in the Bible: Daniel. Daniel takes the place of a magician by interpreting dreams for King Nebuchadnezzar through the Holy Spirit (see Daniel 2-5). We also see an unexplainable miracle when an angel of the Lord saves Daniel from a den of lions (Daniel 6), and God giving Daniel many prophecies about events that will occur in the future (Daniel 7-12). Read the incredible miracle in Daniel 3 when music and sounds were played to worship the king instead of God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to anyone but God. Astrologers stepped in, denounced Jews and soon these three young men were thrown in a furnace. Others outside the furnace burned from the heat, but these three men were completely protected! I wonder what the sounds were like on this day in history. The groans of the people watching, the noise from within the furnace as well as the sounds coming from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Throughout ancient scriptures and history of time as we know it, there has always been great mysteries. I pray that we as Christ followers remain in a sense of awe and wonder at our limitless and infinite God!
Om is a mystery in its own right. A form of utterance, chanting or tonal sounds, much like we see in Psalms. The Psalms were written as songs or poems to chant. Chanting is defined as melodic tonal sounds and used since the beginning of time. Numerous religions and organizations use the techniques of chanting. As with any God-given gift, humanity applies these gifts for other purposes other than the originally created purpose, and that is to connect with and glorify the Creator Himself.
In the Hebrew Bible the title of the Psalms is the word Tehillim, which means; Songs of Praise. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, The Septuagint (a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, made for Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC), the term Psalmoi is used. The verb form of this Greek word originally referred to the plucking of strings with the fingers. Eventually, Psalmoi came to mean: Sacred songs sung to musical accompaniment.
Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, [offering praise by] singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19, AMP (Bold added)
What does it mean to speak to one another with spiritual songs? Strong’s says this:
- Psalms and making melody are the same Hebrew noun: yalmoj (Pronounced: psal-mos’), Strong’s #G5568, meaning: a set piece of music, a sacred ode; collectively, the book of the Psalms. Compare with the verb, Strong’s #G5567, yallw (Pronounced: psal’-lo), meaning; to twitch or twang, to celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes, to make melody, sing psalms and #G5507, a verb meaning: to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang, to touch or strike causing a gently vibration.
- Hymns is Strong’s #G5215, a noun, umnoj (Pronounced: hoom’-nos), meaning: a “hymn” or religious ode, a sacred song, or hymn.
- Songs is Strong’s #G5603, a noun: wdh (Pronounce: o-day’), meaning: a chant or “ode”, a song.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
May our songs always be from the Spirit.
In researching ‘om’ or “aum” you will find no shortage of definitions. I strongly encourage you to use your “Jesus Filter” when researching the topic of om. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and His Truth in all things (we should be asking this always). Some say that om is the sound of the infinite. Some suggest that om and Amen are the same thing, I personally disagree that om and Amen are the same. Some suggest om is the sound of the Universe or the sound of all void. Some suggest om was the beginning and morphed itself into the universe-suggesting that om is the Universe or the sound of the infinite.
Though I have heard the audible voice of God a handful of times in my life, generally speaking, we don’t hear the the sound of the voice of God, however, God indeed speaks to us. Through the years I have thought of om as the Whisper of God, the impressions on my heart, the still small voice that hovers as near as my next breath but also over a million galaxies.
Because of the original Hebrew word for ‘speak’ found in Genesis 1, dabar, I often imagine om as the holy vibration of a Creator’s tonal sound, manifesting all Creation from the power of His life-giving, Spirit-filled Words and utterances. I also realize this same power dwells within me. If you partake in “om” in your yoga practice or other utterances (dabar), meditate on the Truth of God’s Spirit within you, connect to this life force, power, Truth and the Trinity as your guides: Father God, His Son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. Just ask God.
It’s interesting to note the om syllable alongside the omega letters turned counter clockwise. The in omega, is lowercase and is uppercase.
At the end of any day, it’s important that you know your words are spirit and therefore creative. Your words have power. The Creator created you (YES YOU!) in His image and therefore you are creative and can also speak things into existence by your words and utterances. I simply want to remind you to watch your words.
Om shanti is a Sanskrit mantra that is used for prayers and meditation. It comes from the root verb ‘Sham’ meaning: to be at peace. Shanti means: calm, tranquillity, peace, contentment or stillness, almost identical to the Hebrew word Shalom. I love how Satish Daryanani describes om shanti:
The real Om Shanti is experienced when a person goes within and drinks the nectar of deep inner peace.
Another word we can use to pray, sing, chant or utter is Amen. It is defined as; It is so or so be it, and used after a prayer, creed, or other formal statement to express solemn ratification or agreement. Amen is an utterance of the interjection “amen.” It is also a musical setting for such an utterance.
In Catholic ceremonies you will hear “Amen” as well as, “Father, Son and the Holy Spirit” chanted often. It’s such a beautiful sound.
Namaste means, “The light (or source) in me honors the light in you.” I always end my YogaFaith classes with prayer, so my final word in class is always “Amen.” However, I personally do not have an issue with the popular greeting and farewell of Namaste. When I say, “Light or Source” I know Who I am referring to. I would suggest if using Namaste, you have a God-confidence in pointing to Christ by saying, “The light of Christ in me, honors the light of Christ in you.”
Jaya Misiha (pronounced Jay’ mah see – very much like namaste, näməˌstā) is a Nepalese greeting that many Nepali Christians use in place of namaste. It’s similar to namaste as it’s used as a greeting and farewell.
Jaya means: praise be to, used to praise in victorious movement. Masiha is defined as Messiah.
Jaya Misiha means; Praise to the Messiah. It is also defined as: Victorious in Christ or Jesus the Messiah is Victorious!
Gregorian chants are named after St. Gregory the Great, who was pope from 590 to 604 CE. They began to take shape in the ninth century and remain the earliest form of liturgical music that was written and preserved in historical records. What distinguishes the chant is that the songs are actual prayers and text vital to the liturgy, said Elizabeth Black, assistant music director of St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia. Gregorian chant is sacred music, but not all sacred music is Gregorian chant. These melodic sounds are unique and often called mysterious .
To utter means to chant. Merriam-Webster defines chanting as: 1) To make melodic sounds with the voice
especially to sing a chant and 2) To recite something in a monotonous repetitive tone. 3) As a verb it means to celebrate or praise in song or chant.
There are different types of chanting. Chants can be very simple with one or two notes and/or tones, or made up of various melodies and harmonies that create more complex chants.
Psalms 95:1-2 tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. This can be song, an utterance or considered a chant. As we see throughout our study here, God’s utterance and spoken words created life as we know it. We could recognize the entire book of Psalms as songs, poems, or prayers that we pray with tonal sounds (chanting).
As with any gift that God created, it comes down to our intention of the heart. God has set eternity in each of our hearts and spirit (Ecclesiastes 3:11): our soul will always know the way to Christ. God created music as a form of praise and worship. I think we could all agree that not all music leads to Christ and not all chanting glorifies our Creator. In the vein of redemption, Michael Tyrrell, creator of Whole Tones has redeemed music back to its original intent.
In ancient times, at least 7 frequencies were used to heal and protect God’s people. Through studying the ancient Psalms of King David, in ancient Hebraic forms of music, Michael was able to redeem music heard through frequency in our modern world, back to ancient biblical time. These ancient frequencies are believed to be played by King David himself, to heal and soothe King Saul in his time of depression.
We identify frequencies using a unit of measurement called the Hertz. Hertz (Hz) measures sound as 1 vibrational cycle per second. A frequency is just an everyday happening. Every time you speak your voice box vibrates and creates a frequency. When you form words your tongue vibrates and that’s a frequency too. The ancient Hebraic forms of music were transcribed to A=440 Hz . What Michael has done has re-tuned, or as I like to say, redeemed the frequency back to its original creation of 444 Hz. People across the world are receiving healing for numerous ailments from depression to insomnia based on specific tonal sounds, vibrations and frequencies.
Studies have shown that chanting stabilizes the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, produces beneficial endorphins and boosts our metabolism, which is why it is often practiced with yoga postures for physical, mental and emotional well being.
I want to share the words of Michael Houdmann with you:
Chanting in a church is typically associated with Catholicism, but other liturgical traditions such as Lutheranism also practice chanting. Some chants, such as Asperges, are based on Scripture and are eminently biblical. Other chants, such as Ave Maria and Salve Regina, are prayers to Mary.
Chanting, as a form of expression, is not, in itself, evil. A chant is like a song or a prayer. Its rightness or wrongness depends on the purpose of the chant, the subject of the chant, and the motive of the mind, heart, and voice producing the chant. The prayerful hymn “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee,” found in many evangelical hymnals, was originally written in Latin and is still used as a chant in some churches. Whether the prayer is sung, spoken, or chanted, nothing of substance changes .
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:4-9
NAMES OF GOD
You may also want to consider other names of God for chants or beautiful breath prayers. God says, “I am that I am” (Exod. 3:13). He is everything you need at all times. What is it that you need in this present moment? Who is it that you need today? Meditating on a specific name for your specific need will reach the heart of God and help you truly understand the many facets of His character. I encourage you to study all the names (this is not an exhaustive list, there are over 100 names of God) of the Lord, it’s a wonderful deep dive into your Abba Father.
- ABBA; Father, Dad
- ADONAI: Lord
- EL, ELOAH; Mighty, Strong and Prominent
- EL ELYON; Most High
- EL-GIBHOR; Mighty God
- EL-OLAM; Everlasting God
- EL ROI; God of Seeing
- EL SHADDAI; God almighty or the mighty One
- ELOHIM; Creator mighty and strong
- YAHWEH-JIREH; God is your provider
- YAHWEH-M’KADDESH; The Lord who sanctifies and makes you holy
- YAHWEH-NISSI; Victory and divine protection, the Lord your banner
- YAHWEH-RAPHA; The Lord your healer
- YAHWEH-ROHI; The Lord your Shepherd
- YAHWEH-SABAOTH; The Lord of Hosts
- YAHWEH-SHAMMAH; The Lord Is There
- YAHWEH-SHALOM; The Lord your peace
- YAHWEH-TSIDKENU; The Lord your righteousness
- YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH; Lord – the only proper name for God
HALLELUJAH | ALLELUIA
Hallelujah stands at the beginning of many Psalms and means: Praise Ye the Lord, Alleluia and Hallelujah are identical in definition.
I would like to conclude with a personal experience I had when attending an Ashtanga Training. The teacher finished our time together with the traditional Ashtanga closing chant. I immediately began to pray and “ask God” (this is my mantra: just ask God) for wisdom. I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to take part so that I may connect to others that don’t believe the same as I do, to which I obeyed. At the time, I didn’t quite know what I was chanting, but kept deep in prayer and focused on the Holy Spirit as my guide.
Om, Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam, Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantih
Written in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, I later researched the English translation is:
May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue, for protecting the welfare of all generations. May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed, may all beings everywhere be happy and free, peace, peace, perfect peace.
I think it’s a lovely chant, but remember at the time, I had no idea what my utterances were. I chanted in Sanskrit the first time, however, the last two times of the chant, the Holy Spirit did something so beautiful.
He led me to Hallelujah. I began to sing Hallelujah in the same tones as their chant. It was one of the most beautiful and sacred moments that I can remember in a yoga class. We were connected in moments of time through song and melody. Our belief systems, religions, size, shape or color didn’t matter. We were one—not the same—but one. Together, in harmony and love. God declares that we must love one another, period. He doesn’t want us judging everything and everyone. He hates division. We don’t have to understand one another to love and respect one another. Our only job on earth is to show others the love of Christ. God also commands us to pursue peace at all times (Heb.12:14). I love the Sanskrit chant, it concludes with, “perfect peace.” God has given us perfect peace, the kind that transcends all understanding (Phil. 4:7).
While I was a bit outnumbered my Hallelujah was heard by the only One that matters.
To ‘om or not to om’ is a very personal decision. Ask God to lead you and His Holy Spirit to guide you in seeking gifts that you may use in connecting to Him intimately. That is my only prayer: that you find something, or embrace nothing at all, that allows a deep and intimate connection to your Abba Father.
In the Holy Hush, in the wordless groans and in the mysterious utterances, He hears your prayers.
Notes and References:
 All references to Strong’s original Hebrew or Greek terms; Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries, James Strong, ISBN 10: 0840749988, Published by Royal Publishers, 1979
 Shalom; The Gale Group from Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought
 Scripture study on speaking your world into existence:
- So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
- Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
- Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.. Phil 4:8
- But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matt 4:4
- And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Matt 21:22
- Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Mark 11:23
- For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 1 Peter 3:10
 Gregorian Chants: American, the Jesuit Review: Catholic News Service by Chaz Muth, March 07, 2018.
 Michael S. Tyrrell, Whole Tones, wholetones.com
 Chanting: S. Michael Houdmann; A graduate of Calvary University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and a 2001 graduate of Calvary Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Christian Theology.