The Spiritual Power and Beauty of Chanting
Aug 30, 2016 07:12PM
● By David Schmit
Wild Moon Bhaktas
Chanting is an ancient practice used by people around the world to commune with the Spirit, calm the mind and emotions, and foster healing—among other uses. When chanting’s repetition of sacred words is married to music’s melodies and rhythms, a potent vehicle for spiritual awakening is created.
India stands out as the 15th-century birthplace of a lively form of communal call-and-response musical devotional chanting called kirtan. A simple premise guides the practice: Heartfelt singing to the Great Mystery deepens the soul. As a spiritual art, kirtan has become synonymous with Bhakti yoga—the path of liberation through love for the Spirit—and its joy has gone global. There are now kirtan groups performing on five continents.
Here in Minnesota, the Wild Moon Bhaktas chanting and sacred song band has been performing kirtan events for the last seven years. They draw their chants from India, Sufi mystics and American gospel. Regardless of the tradition, it is the depth of feeling that makes the mix of music, soul and Spirit so potent.
The beauty of kirtan chanting is its simplicity. No preparation or training is necessary. Indeed, Wild Moon Bhakta chants are easy to learn. Most are in Sanskrit or English and involve learning only a couple of words. Since music is a universal language, people of many backgrounds can appreciate kirtan chanting. This openness means that people engage it by way of their own personal journeys.
Attend an event, relax, open your heart to the Spirit and chant, sing, meditate or dance if you wish. People find the sounds and the beauty spiritually nourishing. One of the great benefits of kirtan is that it is a communal practice. Simply being in a room with other people who are singing with open hearts can uplift the soul and wash away sorrow.
The experiences people have while chanting vary. First time practitioners might feel waves of harmonious energy. Others experience healing when negative emotions and toxic mental states are cleansed away. Streams of joy may well up. Some experience a tranquility of mind leading to deep states of meditation. Chanting may stir feelings from the innermost recesses of the heart. Or nothing might happen.
Wherever a person is on their journey, music can be an intimate friend and a haven for the soul. When music’s rhythms and melodies fuse with chanting in a sacred way, powerful spiritual energies can be released.
The Wild Moon Bhaktas perform chanting events regularly in the Twin Cities area. For upcoming events, music samples, videos, a blog and more info, visit WildMoonBhaktas.com.