Top Seven Reasons to Chant, Even if You Think You Can’t
TOP SEVEN REASONS TO CHANT, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T
Chanting is your birthright. It’s a universal human impulse, and unlike singing is a spiritual practice! Chanting is a social experience that will lift your spirit, produce positive sensations, help you express your voice in the world and heal your 5th Chakra. Intrigued? Learn more below!
1. Chanting is a Universal Human Impulse
Author/musician Robert Gass describes ritual vocalizing (chanting) as a primary and universal human impulse. He writes, “if you look into creation myths from different cultures, in almost every case the world is said to come into being through sound, through chant. It’s in Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Native American religions.” Every culture has, and needs, sacred chant.
2. Chanting Heals Your 5th Chakra
Vocal expression is an “up and out” phenomenon, vocal repression is “down and in.” A significant numbers of new chanters arrive with the goal of healing their 5th (throat) chakra. As an “up and out” practice that encourages expression, Kirtan is truly wonderful for those whose past has led them to be overly contained. Working with mantra – through an “up and out” practice – empowers chanters to share their voice with others and in the world in a new way. On the other end of the spectrum, those working to build containment can create powerful shifts in their ability to contain and build energy through mindful chant practice.
3. Overcome Fear of Expressing Yourself
In my teens and twenties I toured the world as a professional saxophonist. Along the way I was invited, then painfully disinvited, from singing in the band with whom I toured for years. Unfortunately I received no guidance, support or encouragement. This experience set in place a belief that singing was for others, but not for me. Kind of humorous when you look at what I now do! Perhaps you too experienced limiting beliefs around expressing your voice. Our culture typically links singing with performance, comparison, criticism, fame, specialization and competition. Performance is about demonstrating the level of skill you have attained, and easily becomes individualistic and egoic. By contrast chanting is not a performance- chanting is a spiritual practice. That’s different. It’s about making a connection with the Divine. Chanting is your birthright.
4. You Can Chant, No Matter Your Singing Ability
Chanting is vocal expression that starts with intention, moves to breath, comes over your heart, through your vocal cords and into the world. Children chant naturally, so it is only the experience of “socialization” that deprives you of this skill. Once you differentiate chanting from singing and overcome any internal resistance, you will naturally express the mantras and receive their many benefits.
5. Chanting in Community Creates a Safe Space for Vocal Expression
The mantras are magic, and chanting them in a group (rather than solo) brings both ease and gentle transformation.
6. Chanting Lifts Your Spirit
Chanting will open your heart, free your voice and light up your soul. Chanting leaves you feeling happy for no reason, other than the fact that you stepped into the practice. Chanting mantra drops you into gratitude, the most powerful of moods. Moods are infectious- your open heart and mood of gratitude is a gift to yourself and to those around you.
7. Chanting Produces Positive Sensations and Healing Effects
In Kirtan the chanter’s breath pattern slows from the normal 12 to 15 breaths per minute to between 5 and 8 breaths per minute, “considered optimal for mind-body health.”
Ready to start chanting? Here are three things you can do right now:
1. Click HERE to chant along with Om Shanti Om, one of my most accessible and most beloved songs. Om Shanti Om is a call for peace and love that has been streamed almost 250,000 times on the Insight Timer meditation app (as of January 2019). This is #3 all time in the category of chanting and mantras!
2. Email [email protected] so I can help you connect with your local chant community.
3. Click HERE for information on upcoming trainings for brand new Kirtan Leaders who want to launch their home chant practice, and for experienced Kirtan Leaders who want to share Kirtan with others.