“Ohm Run” was part of the original set of Eureka Room programs (called “Mindfultainment“) that attempted to use brain science and the results of psychological studies to make people more mindful/happy/relaxed.
Though the Mindfultainment series has been shelved, parts of this program have been salvaged and turned into a program that has yet to be named.
Warning: Spoilers. If you plan on going to the Eureka Room, I suggest you not read this until after your visit.
A group of people chanting or singing together is a unique and often stirring experience. You can’t replicate the live experience in recorded audio or video. You just have to be there. I’ve always found the chanting the most striking part of a yoga class and wanted to introduce that to people who hadn’t experienced it.
And make it more fun.
So the room shows you the Ohm symbol and you say “Ohm”. At first it says it with you along with some pre-recorded voices to help normalize it and possibly even convince you that everyone in the room is doing it. Manufactured social proof. And then it goes quiet. And then you chant ohm again. This repeats maybe for 30 seconds or so.
Then you see a hand-drawn picture of a house. What do you do?
You chant a long “home”: Hoooooooooommmmmmmmmmme.
The narrator says “did you get that one? How about this one?” And you see a picture of a comb.
Between home and comb the light goes on for people. “Aha. I see what you’re doing here.”
For the next minute or so, you continue to level up. More “-ohm” ending images are shown. Some of them (like ohm) repeat. Some are slant rhymes (“-ohn” “-o”)
Then the images start coming faster. Upbeat music starts. It starts to become a little more challenging for people. Some of the images don’t end in anything that sounds even remotely like “-ohm”. You’re not even sure what some of the images are and you don’t have much time to think about it. You just say whatever comes to mind first.
Each time you reach the point of near exhaustion, the narrator comes in and quickly runs through what all the images were. Good job! he says constantly.
He’s very encouraging.
The current version just gets so fast no one could possibly do it. Based on my testing people give up because it’s too hard. (While I want there to be energy, exhaustion to the point of giving up is a big sin in The Eureka Room).
I think in the new version it should still be doable so people don’t feel run over. Then, after the climax we have a denouement and things get calm, we go back to a few slow long ohms and end.
Run time about 10 minutes, max, depending on amount of pomp.
Changing The Symbol
One observation a friend made is that some might use the ohm as a religious symbol and might be offended by the usage in the program. The idea of the program was to show people that chanting can be moving and powerful and energizing. Like all the mindfultainment programs, I wanted to encourage an interest in serious practices through a more accessible and lighthearted approach.
But I agreed that some people might not see it that way or think that was a proper approach. To avoid any offense I’m just going to change it to long vowel sounds. That would actually even give me the options of inviting visitors “warm up” slowly on different sounds EEE OOOO EEEE OOOO and expand variety.