Chant: Find Your Voice in Community!
Chanting, repeating a phrase melodically and rhythmically, is a simple way to engage in music without joining a choir or group.
Chanting is something I did as a child without knowing it was called chanting. I would create and sing these little musical phrases to myself over and over. I still do this today. The difference is that today, I know these little phrases are medicine bundles.
Music and sound are an essential part of my yoga practice and the path of Bhakti-devotion is one that is marked by Mantra Meditation. Mantras are in the language of Yoga, Sanskrit, and can be a profound way of using sound and the natural resonance in our bodies to awaken a deeper level of consciousness.
Music is Medicine
The National Institute of Health has been studying the benefits of mantra meditation for quite some time now.
Many of us don’t need peer reviewed scientific studies to report that it feels amazing to resonate with sound. Notice I haven’t mentioned performance or if the sound needs to be pleasing!
Over Covid, many of us that facilitate group singing/chant/mantra or community song leading found ways to build community online which was amazing, but for sure not the same as singing with people.
There is something profound about being in shared resonant space and playing with sound. I know for me, especially when the gathering is centered on the medicine of the chants, rather than perfecting the sound, there is a shared vulnerability and trust that is built in the experience.
Music in Community
Typically, during the Winter Solstice, I am hosted by Bloom Yoga & Wellness to share chant and mantra. This past December I returned there, the first time since December 2019. It was so tender and lovely to mark the auspicious time of the solstice in community singing.
There are more and more opportunities to do this!
Join Me for Healing at the Halle!
Joining me will be Connie Testa, and we plan on co-creating an experience WITH the participants weaving simple sung repeated phrases supported by shruti box/guitar/piano/flute and ending the experience with crystal sound bowls.
The Grand Halle Is acoustically designed for resonance.
One of the things that fascinates me is that in our bodies, the palate, at the roof of the mouth, is at the uppermost end of the throat chakra (energetically the area of self-expression and speaking truth), and is thought of as an interior map to the subtle body.
In Sanskrit, the palate is called talumandalam. A Mandala is a design made up of thresholds within thresholds.
Yoga of the Subtle Body, by Tias Little speaks of this mandala of the palate as a vaulted interior that inspired the vaulted domes of sacred architecture of cathedrals such as The Grand Halle.
And we get to co-create sound here.
Music as Walking Medicine
AND Keep in Mind.
Everywhere you go, you have your breath, your body and your voice.