I was first introduced to the nuances of Om during my yoga teacher training. Beryl Bender Birch was a guest speaker and she gave a great explanation of the mechanics of chanting Om. She explained that it is actually 3 verbal syllables and 1 non-verbal: ah, oh, um and anahata nada (the unmade sound). The first 3 are associated with palpable energetic vibrations. Ah tingles the whole mouth. Oh moves the vibration to the back of the throat. Um lifts the vibration to the roof of the mouth sending energy up through the third eye and crown chakras (2 of 7 energetic centers in your body). The vibrations have the effect of dusting you off. Shaking up your thoughts and feelings to give you a clearer perspective. Anahata nada is the silence that remains after Om ends. It has no beginning and no end. It exists as a representation of the eternal nature of all existence, the universe.
The universe, naturally, includes us. So, when you are chanting Om, you are joining your prana, your life force, with all beings chanting with you and with the whole universe. You are putting energy back into this eternal system. Cool!
If anything symbolizes our interconnectedness, it is Om. When I chant Om, I am reminded that we are all more alike than different. We are all intimately connected through our prana. So, the next time you are inclined to act unkindly toward someone, remember Om. Remember you are part of the same universal energy as that person. Chant Om, feel the connection. Be universally beautiful.