What is chanting and why would I want to do it?



Chanting is something else (along with meditation as per my previous post) that takes you out of your normal busy mind and into the feeling space, especially of the throat and heart. Chanting is joyful and can be ecstatic. We chant the various names of the Self, the various representations of God here on earth, in a devotional way.
There is nothing that you have to believe as such, just give of yourself, put your heart and soul into it and see what happens.
Chanting is another portal into ecstatic connectedness and love.
I feel especially fortunate to have a teacher who has helped me to get the message of the Yoga Sutras. In the ACCY teacher training we thoroughly explore how the ordinary way of the mind is that we believe what we think, including the idea that we are a ‘me’. This habit of ‘vrrti svarupya’ where we think what the mind tells us is a true reflection of reality, is the ‘veil of illusion’ (refer to my post on Simple and obvious once you know, but truly profound). In addition, the other wonderful aspect of falling into this lineage is our tradition of chanting and mantra. So the combination of some intellectual contemplation and feeling an inner expansion makes for a rich full understanding and experience.
 
Experience and feeling can feel a bit weird and spacey without a good understanding.
And just an intellectual understanding without a rich and full experience of the Self would be limiting as well.
Chanting takes you out of limitation and into spaciousness. Wherever you are at in your personal enquiry and journey, chanting is fun and powerful. If you throw yourself into it, and don’t get too hung up on Sanskrit words, it has an energy, or Shakti, that is truly uplifting.
Join in with gusto next time you have the opportunity!
We chant at our monthly satsangs, and sometimes at other times too. Why not come along and give it a go?
Here’s an article that describes some scientific benefits of chanting, and how it can have a similar affect to intoxication – but without the chemicals!