Chanting – An Ancient Practice with Present-Day Benefits

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The Light Head. Strenght of mind concept.

To be like God, we must only chant. It is our divine birthright and our greatest of untapped human powers ~ Gaia.com

 

Chanting can change your mind and your body. The energy and frequency of sound has a resonance that when used in the practice of chanting, affects your brain, as well as your physical body and cellular functions. As colossal as this sounds, science has been providing research that backs up such claims.

 

What is Chanting?

“ Chanting is a sound repeated with intention to transmit a certain frequency.” (Gaia.com). These ancient and sacred, single syllable chants when repeated aloud, are known to activate the body and brain’s ability to cleanse and balance. Additionally, the sounds used in chants represent the basic frequencies of the universe. When repeated, they connect you back to your ancient roots and to your source energy of the Divine. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, chants are also made up of specific words and are known as ‘mantras’ but serve the same purpose.

Because the sounds are not part of a communication that the mind can grasp, chanting’s power lies in its ability to disarm the logic and conscious thought patterns of the brain. As a result, the energy of these chants, whether they be Gregorian or tribal or Indian in origin, are universally able to reach beyond the conscious mind into your subconscious where you can connect to non-physical realities and to divinity.

 

Benefits of Chanting

  • reduces stress, alleviates depression and releases distress before it can become physical illness
  • improves cognition including dementia symptoms
  • encourages neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to grow, change and transform) within the brain as it relaxes and engages the nervous system.
  • lowers heart rate and promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing
  • accesses unity consciousness by reprogramming the subconscious mind to respond to love, peace and bliss rather than react to fear and self-criticism
  • promotes an environment of safety within the mind and body by generating connection and alignment with the breath and the present moment.   

 

 

Mantras have power. They are the mind vibration in relationship to the cosmos.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

 

 

 

 

Experience the vibratory effects of chanting for yourself =>

 

  • Chant “om” (the seed sound of all creation) in this manner:

Begin by taking a deep inhale

On the exhale, sound the ‘o’ part of ‘om’ first and then finish with a longer ‘m’ sound until there is no breath remaining.

Inhale and repeat for as many rounds as you wish. Notice how different you feel.

  • Chant ‘sa ta na ma’ ( beginning, life, death, rebirth – guidance through life) in this manner:

Vocalize ‘Sa’ while touching thumb and forefinger;

Chant ‘ Ta’ while touching thumb to middle finger;

Say ‘Na’ and touch thumb to ring finger;

Speak ‘Ma’ while touching your thumb to your pinky.

Continue in repetitive rounds for a few minutes. Notice how you feel at the end of this chanting.

 

The Relationship between Chanting and Brain Behavior – the Research:

Numerous studies suggest even using brief chants can result in increased vitality and improved health of both the body and mind. Here are a few:

  • As long as 50 years ago, French scientist, Alfred Tomatis, discovered that Benedictine monks who consistently used Gregorian chants had exceptional memory and cognitive capabilities.
  • Clinical studies by leading neuroscientist and researcher, Andrew B. Newberg, MD, suggest that chanting can activate and exercise memory functions of the brain (https://bottomlineinc.com/health/brain-health/meditation-boosts-memory-and-mood ), something that has positive implications in dementia and Alzheimers disease.

 

In today’s world of diminished attention spans, and dementia, as well as rampant anger and unease, it is worth considering how something as simple as chanting could powerfully alter the dire issues of our cognitive decline. That chanting offers a profound connection to our spiritual essence is an added gift that can rekindle lost joy and love.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings From A Leading Neuroscientist by Andrew B. Newberg, MD

 

For more information about Breathwork, feel free to contact John Stamoulos at john@johnstamoulos.com

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