Posts Tagged ‘Om’

bamboo iPhone 5 case

After spending a good chunk of hard-earned cash on a smartphone or tablet, it is wise to find a way to protect the device from all of the perils of the modern age. Your electronics may be powerful, but they are still susceptible to drops, cracks, scratches, and the occasional teething baby. Portland, Oregon-based company, PRiNK offers a fashionable and sustainable option for those who wish to remain tech-savvy while also keeping the health of the planet in mind. Once we saw that they produce shells for iPhone and iPad in bamboo, we took notice. Upon finding that they helped to fund the planting of 2,000 trees in the Pacific Northwest last year alone from the profits of their merchandise, we simply had to carry their cases. As an added bonus, they have a partnership with Arbor, one of the most enlightened bamboo clothing companies out there. As members of the Forest Stewardship Council and Fair Labor Association, you can be assured of a quality product that respects both humans and the environment.

Bambu Batu plans to be featuring several sizes of their bamboo mobile device cases for iPhones and iPads with the Arbor logo, our famous “Kale” emblem, stylish Om label, and “B Here Now” mantra. Custom etched designs are also available for anyone with a favorite image or artistic streak! Stay tuned for the newest exciting addition to the Bambu Batu family!

 

Om sweet om mural

If you’ve walked or driven up Broad Street near the Mission in the last couple days, you can’t possibly have missed the new mural, now virtually completed, by the visual artist and bamboo aficionado known as Pacha. Thanks to her impeccable handiwork, the entryway to Bambu Batu is now adorned with a mesmerizing depiction of the Sanskrit symbol OM in the center of a spellbinding burst of orange and green rays. We can’t imagine a better way to say “Welcome Om.”

The next logical thing to do is explain the meaning behind this ancient Indian symbol, so often seen, so difficult to thoroughly understand. You could always peruse the original Mandukya Sutra of the Upanishads if you want to engage in some serious scholarship. But for a quick and accessible exposition, check here.

And, if you’re looking for something fun to do this Friday night, just remember, Om is where the Art is. The first Friday of each month, Bambu Batu showcases local wine, jazz and art at the Art & Craft Bazaar After Dark. Remember, there’s no place like Om!

To learn more about the meanings behind this sacred syllable, be sure to read our Om is where the Heart is: Meditations on the One.

Om is where the heart is

Considering the rich foundation of Eastern and esoteric philosophy which underpins both our business model and our way of life, the imagery of Zen, Buddhism and ancient India are virtually inescapable at the House of Bamboo.

Few can overlook the wisdom of our inspirational scrolls imparting the words of timeless teachers like Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the Dalai Lama, as well as Einstein, Mother Teresa and Henry James. But not every Central Coast resident, Central Valley tourist, or Cal Poly engineering student is so intimately familiar with the subtleties of the Tao, the meaning of the Om, or the sound of one hand clapping.

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through those links and make a purchase. 

Welcome Om

One of the most ubiquitous symbols of Eastern mythology, the Om, appears in tapestries, jewelry, clothing and all manner of yoga accessories. These days most people will recognize it, but not everyone can identify it, and even fewer can identify with it. For each person who asks, there’s surely a dozen more who wonder, “What is the meaning of this symbol?”

Volumes have been written about this sacred syllable, in the ancient Hindu texts as well as by more modern sages and comparative scholars like Joseph Campbell. Traditionally, this humming sound, written as either Aum or Om, is chanted as a mantra before and/or after the reading of holy vedic scriptures or a session of yoga.

Essentially, it is meant to represent the singularity of the cosmos, the single unifying sound of the universe and all its resonation. One might read it to mean the name of god, or even the voice of god (god in the very non-Western sense, that is).

Not unlike the New Testament divinity, however, this single Indian syllable is also divisible into three parts: a-u-m. These three phonemes are variously believed to represent the Hindu Trimurti, the Indian trinity of gods, i.e. Brahma (creator), Vishnu (maintainer) and Shiva (destroyer or transformer); or the three stages of life, i.e. birth, life and death. From this point, the range of interpretation is almost unlimited. Many, for example, believe in a vital fourth element: the silence which follows the a-u-m.

If the association with Indian deities is a little too esoteric, I have an even easier way to think about it. As you slowly chant the a-u-m, open with the A and imagine the first soft, green buds of spring. With the U, think of the lush vibrancy of summer, with all the trees and shrubs in full foliage. As you hum the M, picture the leaves turning and falling with autumn. Finally, take a moment to savor the silence, inhaling deeply as you think again of nature’s cycles, the bare branches of winter, the landscape blanketed with pure, white snow.

The way I see it, the four elements of the a-u-m, including the closing silence, correspond perfectly with the four seasons of nature. As I chant softly and focus my mind on the changing of seasons, I find myself drifting into a peaceful state of meditation, at one with nature, and one with all things.

Invoked in conjunction with prayer, yoga or meditation, the sacred Om syllable has a phenomenal capacity to elevate the practitioner’s state of consciousness, to transcend the world of the mundane and material, to open new doors of spiritual awakening, and enter the depths of the universal mind.

So clear a little floor space or find a nice patch of grass and try for yourself. Who says you can’t go Om again?

For more pearls of wisdom from the eastern traditions, be sure check out our articles on the Meaning of the Mandala and Bamboo Symbolism in Myth and Folklore.

Song of the Day: Donovan’s “There is a Mountain”

X