Primordial Sounds for Healing
Why chanting is so beneficial to your personal spiritual practice
One of the key elements to remember when chanting is that the sound needs to come from your lower abdomen. In Japanese, this area is called the hara or tanden. When the sound comes from the hara, you perform deep breathing (Okinagaho in Shintoism). Deep breathing is important if you want to heal yourself. It helps you to ground yourself, releases tension in your abdomen, creates a strong physical vehicle in which you can embody the universe, and it enables the vibration of the sound to travel through your whole body, not just your throat.
By focusing on a sound the mind stills. Normally, the mind is going all over the place as we think about the past and the future, and what we are doing in the present moment. By focusing on just one sound you stop following your thoughts as they race through time. Instead, you still the mind; letting go of clinging to the past, present, and future. This, in turn, creates a tremendous opening within you for healing to take place.
True Word Power
True Word Power, or Kototama in Japanese, is when you begin to tap deeply into sound itself. When this occurs you begin to realize that it is not just you chanting, but the whole universe that is chanting.
How to Chant
To chant primordial sounds, know that the sound comes from your hara/tanden. Bring your breath in deep as you breathe in and as you breathe out open your vocal chords allowing the chant to flow along the breath. Don't worry about the length of the chant - each person is individual with this. However, you will notice with time that your capacity to chant each sound becomes longer and with more connection will improve.
In the beginning you can copy the chant but over time it will become more organic. Each time you chant the sound it needs to be fresh.
There are 3 very important elements to chanting: placing your mind, body, and speech in the right place. The mind needs to be concentrated on what you are chanting, not thinking about other things while you chant. Your body needs to stand, sit or lay in an open way so that the sound can flow through it like a hollow reed, if the reed is all crooked or bent, the sound will not flow with ease. Your speech needs to be clear and open, without judgment. Chanting is not singing! And you will notice that sometimes your tone or rhythm changes, this is perfectly natural.
Frans Stiene just released his CD Primordial Sounds for Healing.
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