Aum Versus Om, Round 2

Little word with a big sound.How can something so simple become so contentious?

A while ago, I published a post about saying the opening sound for a yoga class in different ways.  Some people are very passionate about how they say it.  Great!

Then the other day I visited this fantastic exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  They have a special going on with treasures from Japan, highlighting the shinto aspects of their religion.  Very interesting stuff.

But what touched me most with respect to yoga was what they said about the entry statues to a temple.  In many cases there would be a dog and a lion.  You’ve seen the pair.  Very popular.  People even put them in front of their houses nowadays.

Typically they would be poised with one mouth open, one mouth closed.

Here’s the cool part.  They symbolize infinity.  One represents the beginning.

The other one represents the end.

Both of them are speaking.  They are uttering a single syllable.

The open mouth represents the syllable “ah.”

The closed mouth represents the syllable “um.”

Guess what happens when you put them together?



PS: I’m not making this up, this is from the CMA, a world-famous institution, especially for its Japanese collection.  Many of the items in this current exhibit are from Japan, and are designated as important cultural objects.  That would be like sending the US Constitution out for a world tour.

Oh, and this other excerpt is always worth checking out, from Bill Moyers site 
(go to the bottom of that page)

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