Religion & Spirituality:Spirituality
Grammy performer and nominee, Krishna Das, joins us for this profound conversation breaking down the meditative practice of chanting. This is a Universal practice that has the power to deepen the neural pathways in our brains through paying attention again & again while healing our hearts. In this episode discussed is how chanting is a form of meditation using music as medicine for the soul. This practice is not at all about having a good voice, it's about wanting to be free. The ability to start to uncover wounds and heal them is the fruit of chanting and can transform pain into peace. The boon of this practice is the state of your heart and who you become in this world through the power of this practice. Topics include: how to begin a chanting practice, the benefits of one and how this practice can positively impact our lives on every level. Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star” and is a world icon having collaborated with many great musicians including Sting.
“He who feels it, knows it.” - Bob Marley
A modern mystic is someone connected to a deeper reality which changes the way you live in the world. They are connected to that greater love that includes everything. It is about having a heart as wide as the world. It includes others in our own heart and our own being,
This practice is the power of music & words and how we can connect them to the divine within and without. What is chanting? “Nama Sankirtan” is the Sanskrit name for this chanting practice. In India where this practice originates, generally the belief is in one god, but it can be called by many names, mamy forms. This ancient practice is “spiritual” but not necessarily “religious” because it brings you into your own true nature and it doesn’t mean you need to believe in something based on blind faith. Your own experience is what’s important and doing these chants changes the way we sit in our own hearts.
Repetition of names over and over with as much attention as you can muster is the practice. Once you start doing a practice, you notice how much time you aren’t even really present there at all. We add a practice which is a place to come back to, to bring ourselves home again to our true sense of being. When a child is sick, you hide medicine in a sweet syrup and the syrup is the music, the medicine which is the cure is the name. It is VERY hard to be here and this practice helps just that.
When singing, or “chanting” as it is called, you can’t grab onto the sound, only come back to it. Chanting builds the letting go muscle. We aren’t taught to let go, we are taught to hold on. Letting go is releasing and really coming back home.
As you focus in this practice, neural pathways in your brain are deepened through paying attention again and again. Then often the rest of the day after chanting, you get used to not feeling so lost and eventually regardless of what's going on out there, it allows you to be much more functional and to see things less colored by our own stuff.
The Sanskrit names of Gods & Goddesses connect us to the wisest, purest parts of our hearts. These names sung are the ultimate reality, so you are planting the seeds of the ultimate reality within you. This idea of chanting the name is not exclusive to Indian traditions but exists all over the world.
The music allows us to get more present but the repetition of the name will free us from suffering. Only when we see what our minds are doing can we take responsibility for them and make a shift. “He who feels it, knows it.” - Bob Marley
The ideology of Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Sound.
This practice is about love and untying the knots in our heart. Our traumas and knots in our heart, prevent us from being happy. The names of the chant are the names of love, who we are underneath all things we think we are.
It's not about having a good voice at all, it's about wanting to be free. Pay attention to the sound, the names, & as soon as you notice you are gone, come back. This is the practice. It is simple but not easy. Chanting helps us recognize so much more is possible for us in life. We can do it silently or with others. Like a muscle, our capacities to stay present to the name/chant grows and then our ability to be present moment in moment-to-moment life grows as well.
We learn, we don't have to believe our own thoughts & that big emotions pass. Big feelings aren’t who we are and that’s what chanting reminds us,
As you do more practices, you start spending less moments in heavy states of mind and you spend less time giving yourself a hard time.
How to start a chanting practice. At least one to two times a day, push the hold button within your life and let the breath come and go and simply be quiet for a few minutes. You can put a CD or Spotify on with the sound of the name (in a chant) and let the seed get planted exposing yourself to the music for a few minutes a day.
The archetype and energy of Hanuman. Hanuman is a being fully merged with the Universe, God and reality. Even while fully merged, he's dedicated to helping others remove obstacles on their path and find themselves. He's the destroyer of calamities of suffering. He is the flow of Grace that flows from the Divine to our own hearts. One can see this energy is outside of ourselves or inside. When we bow to the energy of this oneness, we release things locking us in the world in a way we don't want to be.
“Do one to others as you would have them do unto you…” Yet the question is: how do we get to the strength to do this? This idea is not programmed in our culture. We can't go on thinking that we are the most important thing in this universe and expect to find any kind of lasting peace, love or happiness.
Come, do the practice, go home and the practice will change your life. The ability to start to uncover wounds and heal them is the fruit of chanting and can transform pain into peace. The boon of this practice is the state of your heart and who you become in this world through the power of your practice. Start a chanting practice now, whether you are in crisis or not because challenging times always come and this practice is a raft that will see you through.
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