Chanting certain vowels, mantras, chants and invocations can have beneficial and uplifting effects on body, mind and spirit.
We are affected by the sights and sounds around us. Sounds, smells, sensations, tastes and images enter into our minds through the senses and condition our mental state. These sense inputs are all various manifestations of vibrations. In fact, all matter, energy, and thought are types of gross and subtle vibrations. All of these vibrations exist in the sea of pure consciousness and appear and disappear like waves on the surface of this sea.
In reality, we are that pure consciousness through which all these waves of vibrations are arising and waning. However, because we identify with the body and the mind, we experience the affect of these vibrations on the body and mind. Vibration is the basis of the entire manifest world. This fact, which is now being discovered by nuclear physicists, has been considered obvious truth by the yogis for thousands of years.
The Holy Sound AUM that through which God manifested himself at the physical world and all beings living in it. This AUM, which could also be interpreted as AMEN, is the sound through which creation takes place. It is the vibration through which spirit projects itself into mind, energy, and physical body. It is the one vibration from which all other vibrations gross and subtle are born. This ONE primeval vibration is the self-creating, causeless sound which flows out of the silence.
The purpose of our lives is to reunite with the ONE from which we have «apparently» split off. It is this reunion which we are all seeking in our search for happiness through possessions, objects, achievements and relationships. By tuning into and aligning up with this basic divine vibration, we bring our own personal vibration into closer harmony with the One vibration that is the basis of all beings. Through concentration on the repetition of various basic vibrations we shake off the unnecessary ego-centered matter which dampens our possibility of vibrating in harmony with ourselves and our environment.
The words we hear and speak will very much affect our mood, mental state, beliefs, physical health and spiritual progress. The same is true of the light, colors and images with which we surround ourselves. We have all felt the inner joy of feeling the light and warmth of the sun after a number of cold, dark, cloudy days. The sun is the source of life on earth. There is no food, no light, no warmth, no health, no joy or happiness without the sun. It is no wonder that many cultures worship the sun.
In our search for reunion with the ONE, we can use the various colors and sounds, images and melodies as channels to work toward the simplicity and perfect completeness of the white light and AUM which contain within them all possible manifestations. On a perfectly white wall you have the possibility of creating absolutely any image you desire. If the wall is colored or already has images on it, then you are limited in what you can do. The true spiritual being is pure undifferentiated white light. The ego personality is a particularly changing pattern of colors and images momentarily projected onto this permanent white background. We can use certain sound and light vibrations to help us tune Divine Vibrations within us.
SOUNDS AND STATES
Let us now concentrate on the possibilities of sound and how it can create various states of mind and body. Sounds can be gross, or subtle, harmonic or non-harmonic, melodious or non-melodious, stimulating, relaxing, balancing, irritating, healing, uplifting, painful, pleasant, or even fatal as in the case of certain sound weapons which have been developed. In its highest use, sound can create ecstasy in which the individual loses his awareness of his separate ego-identity, and becomes the music, or the sound vibration. This is the purpose of sacred music and dance of the Sufis and other groups. This is the path of letting go of the mind and logic, and experiencing God through union with his vibrations. The same may be observed in the mystical-dance approach of the Greek “” of northern Greece who walk on hot burning coals after creating an inner concentration through music and dance.
Perhaps the most available method of tuning into the Divine Vibration is through chanting. Chanting either alone or preferably in groups has many wonderful benefits.
1. It helps to release held-in tensions – especially anxiety, fear, and anger which tend to get locked physically into the chest and solar plexus area. Chanting «throws out» these tensions and negativity.
2. Chanting gets the bio-energy (prana) moving in the body and mind. It breaks down the physical and mental blockages and pumps the energy around the body. There results a corresponding exhilaration.
3 Chanting brings vibrations to the various parts of the body and mind. It is now a scientific proven fact that certain vowel vibrations such as «A,E,U.O,I» and the consonant «M» have healing effects on various organs and parts of the body.
4. Chanting brings about changes in mood toward higher, more joyful, pleasant feelings.
5. When we chant together, we unify our voices in the same harmony, melody and rhythm. This brings us closer together, helping us to overcome mental differences and join our hearts in song. Light represents wisdom, but sound represents love. Sound, words and song are the medium through which love is expressed.
6. When the vibrations and words used are oriented towards the Divine, then the sympathetic vibration, divine qualities are awakened within us. This is easy to understand. If we hear military marching music, our feelings of national pride and defensiveness are awakened within us. If we hear love music, we feel romantic. If we hear dance music, we want to move and dance. In the same way, if the music is spiritually oriented, then a spiritual mood is awakened within us. The conditioning of our mind will depend on the type of music we listen to and sing.
7. When we allow our heart to get carried away, and overcome our self-consciousness, we can rise up into an ecstasy of joy, love and gratitude in which we feel great love for God and all beings and creation. We have everything to gain by TALKING LESS AND SINGING MORE.
TRYING THE PRACTICE
All chanting has its best results when done in a straight – backed position either sitting or on the floor or on a chair. When making simple monotone sound vibrations, one should take a deep, complete inhalation, using the lungs to their full capacity (without of course, forcing, exaggerating or doing anything unnatural). Then open the mouth and vocal cords fully and let the sound flow out easily, smoothly, with the fullness of your being. Don’t hold back in hesitation and self-consciousness. Imagine yourself to be a great opera singer (or a potential one) and let go of any worry about what the others think. As long as it is not siesta time and no one is sleeping, you will not harm anyone with your pouring forth of your Self through these vibrations.
When you get used to it, and chant in a relaxed and confident way, you will fill the atmosphere with pacifying and harmonizing vibrations which will completely change the mood of the room and surroundings. Chanting in this way in the same room every day creates power in that room. Any sensitive individual who walks in will automatically relax and more easily find his inner center. He may not be consciously aware of what is happening, but he is being healed by the vibrations which have become part of the molecules of that room.
The vibration flows out full-throatedlyXX? until the lungs are completely emptied, and then one takes another complete inhalation and repeats the sound. In this way the exercise also purifies and develops the lungs and bio-energy. The effect of these vibrations is much greater with the eyes closed and the attention directed inwardly. One can start with five repetitions of each sound and then increase slowly doing 7,9,12 ,15 until one reaches 21 times.
The AUM is broken down into its constituent parts, A,U,M.
1) Start by making the sound AAAAAA in the manner described above 5 times. The AAAAAA vibrations affects the area of the body from the diaphragm to the feet, but it is especially beneficial for the organs of digestion and elimination. Concentrate on feeling the vibration in the abdomen, or even in the specific organ which needs healing energy.
When the problems is with the kidneys or liver, the sound HA, HA, HA, HA, can be made in a forceful and dynamic way so as to stimulate these organs even more effectively. This HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, can easily eventually become laughter, which is perhaps the most healing vibrations of all. We should all make sure that we laugh at least 1/2 hour per day.
2) The sound UUUUUU vibrate in the area from the diaphragm to the neck. One should concentrate on the area needing attention while making the sound and visualize and feel the energy flowing there. This is especially beneficial for the heart , blood pressure, and chest and neck problems.
3) The sound MMMMMM vibrates in the area from the neck to the top of the head. It relaxes the nerves of the neck, head and all the nervous system. If one concentrates inside the head there will be a calming affect on the mind. If the ears are closed up with the thumbs, then the affect will be even more dynamic.
4) The AUM can then be chanted in its whole form as the monosyllable, OM. We can concentrate on God, the unmanifestXX? who lives within us. This is traditionally done 21 times every morning to start the day.
5) The OM can also be silently concentrated on as a continuous vibration within the mind. This then becomes a meditation on the WORD OF GOD which links up with the Divine. This is exactly the sound made in the Greek Orthodox Liturgy by the chanters who create a background sound of OOOOOOO while the others chant the Liturgy.
6) As vibration becomes more differentiated it breaks down into rhythm and melody. One can chant these vowels and vibrations freely allwing the voice to rise and fall in pitch in familiar or self-created melodies and rhythms. This can be a wonderfully energizing and uplifting experience. Just let go of all consciousness and make up your own free flowing melodies according to your mood at the moment.
7) As vibration becomes even more concrete, it manifests as words and mantras which symbolize different qualities, beings and objects in creation. Each word symbolizes what it stands for, and when used brings that which it stands for into one’s mind and into one’s life.
Let us let go of our blockages, our fears, our self-consciousness, our «intellectuality» and reserve, and enter into the joyous worlds of vibrations and chanting. Let us relax our minds and open our hearts with song, so that love may flow up from the heart into the mind resolving all difference and conflicts between us and the world around us. Let us join together with others in song and experience the joy and happiness and Health which we deserve in life.