Tag: chanting

That Which Frees the Mind: The Power of Mantra

Mantra is a word that means “that which frees the mind”, and Japa (or mantra) yoga is the practice of projecting the mind into a repeated word or phrase imbued with spiritual significance. One of the most universally known is the OM, but there are thousands of mantras ranging from one syllable to complete spiritual text recitation, each with very specific uses and purposes.

Japa yoga may not be as popular in the West as asana (or postural yoga), but is in fact, much older and steeped in tradition that many would say is an intergral part of a complete yogic practice. Those who feel meditation is too difficult may find mantra recitation to be their doorway into quiet mind. They work on multiple levels of being, making them incredibly powerful.

Mantras help to focus the mind, aiding memory and concentration. Because they are vibratory, they can elevate our physical being and surroundings as well, reducing stress and even lowering blood pressure. Scientifically speaking, mantras can activate and stimluate the glands in the upper chest, throat and brain, improving the body’s chemical state. Furthermore, mantras create a palpable spiritual force around the practitioner to dissolve negative traits and increase self-empowerment. Besides the practice feels good and it’s fun!

Practices vary from one tradition to the next, so if one style isn’t suitable, another may feel just right. Some mantras are recited silently to one’s self and others are chanted aloud, either with or without accompanying melody or instrumentation. Some are quite easy to learn and others take some time to integrate and may even integrate mudra (or hand gestures).

If you ever feel at wits’ end with stress, 3 to 11 minutes of a well-chosen mantra can alter your state like nothing else and it’s completely safe. Try it and see for yourself. One of my favorite mantras comes from the Kundalini yoga tradition and contains the syllables RA, MA, DA, SA, SAY, SO and HUNG. Known as the Siri Gaitri Mantra, it is simple to learn and considered a sacred healing meditation that calls upon the energies of the sun, moon, earth, and the Infinite Spirit. You can listen to this impeccably beautiful version here by Mirabai Ceiba and see for yourself.

Starting September 28th, I am offering  an hour long chants and mantras practice at my studio here in Brossac. We’ll be learning technique and mantras from Hindu, Tibetan, and Sikh traditions to raise our vibratory frequency and bring healing to body, mind and spirit. No experience necessary. It’ll be “by donation” and open to speakers of all languages and all qualities of voices, from the tone-deaf to the trained. You’ll love the way you feel. Contact me for more information.

Har! Sound of the Universe

Yogi Bhajan, responsible for bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West, taught a very powerful meditation using the syllable of “HAR”. I’d like to share it with you.

  • First put your hands together in front of you, back to back like a reverse “Namaste” or prayer pose. But then let them relax and curl in toward your heart as if pointing to yourself with both hands, thumbs extended upward. They should be at the level of your sternum.
  • You may close your eyes or keep them gently focused on the tip of your nose.
  • Now begin to repeat the sound HAR over and over (it should almost sound like “HUD” as you roll the final R) and feel the sound through the fingertips as the chest moves with the sound.

Resound this sound in the heart cage and reap the benefits as Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Mercury, represented by each of your fingers, come into balance while your thumb–ego–remains out of the picture!

After chanting aloud, you may then chant in a whisper transitioning into toning inwardly, in silence, before returning once more to toning aloud. Try this for three minutes working your up to eleven minutes or more and see how you feel.

  • Toward the end, stretch your arms over head and spread your fingers wide while continuing to resound the sound of HAR. Stretch your arms and spine to equalize and distribute the energy for about 30 seconds.
  • Bring your arms down, and form a double-handed fist at your heart. Inhale, hold the breath, and press your hands into your heart. Hold. Release.
  • Now bring your fist to your navel. Breath in. Press as hard as you can. Hold. Release.
  • Finally, bring your arms close to your body, your fists at armpit level. Breath in. Squeeze your arms into your sides and your fists tightly as you hold. And release.

Yogi Bhajan taught that resounding the sound of HAR in the chest cage in this way is one of 6 sounds that can give one the power of the Universe. It will kill the unwanted self. Enjoy!

Edgar Cayce’s Sounds for Ascension

Yesterday, I facilitated Toning for Peace at the beautiful geodesic dome of the Light Center in Black Mountain, NC. It’s my absolutely favorite place to tone. It’s such a beautiful space supported by so many benevolent energies. And the acoustics! Yowza! And using Edgar Cayce’s Sounds for Ascension created a powerful experience!

There were four of us. Not a big turn out, but as usual, the perfect turn-out to perform the service we were meant to…whether that be service to ourselves, to each other, the Center, or the Earth. Because of the intimate size of the group, two men and two women, I pretty much threw my only somewhat organized original plans out the window…something that seems to be happening more and more in my life. Over and over, life tells me to let go and let God/Spirit/Life. I had my doubts about how it would all come together, but magically, (and of course!) it did.

I still decided to share some of the things I had learned about Edgar Cayce since my last post, when I first learned that he actually recommended a form of toning that he called “chanting”:

Incant [chant] that which carries self deeper, deeper — to the seeing, feeling, experiencing of that image in the creative forces of love. Then, enter into the Holy of Holies [the third eye]. As self feels or experiences the raising of this, see it disseminated through the inner eye (not the carnal eye) to that which will bring the greater understanding in meeting every condition in the experience of the body. Then listen to the music that is made as each center of thine own body responds to that new creative force. Little by little this entering in will enable self to renew all that is necessary, in Him. 281-13

It was really powerful to apply his method of sounding i e o u e i o uhm, first in unison and Edgar Cayce's Sounds for Ascensionthen flying off at our own pace weaving our voices together. We did this in the center of the dome, standing in cross formation with an amethyst I’d recently been gifted on the floor in the center of the cross. It felt so incredible, so powerful, an opening in time and space.

Afterwards, I shared some of Cayce’s views on meditation. Cayce believed that meditation is listening to God, while prayer is talking. Of meditation, he has said, “MEDITATION is EMPTYING self of all that hinders the creative forces from rising along the natural channels of the physical man to be disseminated through those centers and sources that create the activities of the physical, the mental, the spiritual man; properly done must make one STRONGER mentally, physically, for has it not been given?…” 281-13

Emptying. Emptying of plans, even of intentions. Allowing creative forces to flow through us and out. Yes! Yes! Yes!

We had a gifted musician present, and since the Light Center is equipped with a grand piano (did I mention I LOVE this place?), he channeled some music while we toned. I swear, the combination of piano and voices along with the poetic reminder from Cayce to allow was creating some kind of lifting element. It was as if the room itself was spinning upward toward the sky.

If meditation is listening to God, while prayer is talking, I believe that Toning is a two-way conversation. Realizing this, and following my experience this past Sunday at the Light Center, it is clear to me that Toning for Peace has been evolving for some time. In some ways, I guess I’ve been waiting for the masses to catch up…to know what toning is, to participate in it, to experience its joys and gifts. But there can be no more waiting. The roll for some of us is to just keep walking forward…even if fewer and fewer people follow.

While there will still be a place, and in fact, a need for Toning for Peace circles as they have been…what we can now call T4P 1st Generation, I leave the 1st Generation to those called to it, those still exploring their voices, those who enjoy techniques and more structured gatherings, those more focused on inner healing, holding space for it as I always have. It is a wonderful thing.

But I am now being called to direct more of my energy toward the next generation…a new generation about creating Sounds for Ascension. It’s about showing up without a plan, immersing ourselves in frequency to raise our own and that of the planet, using sound as a vehicle (literally!) from which to reach greater and greater creative and spiritual heights. And I look forward to collaborating with T4P’s team of circle hosts and guest facilitators who may be inspired to co-create this.

At any level, it is, as it always has been for me anyway, about flying.

In closing, I will once more quote Cayce who divined the following prayer:

Let thy prayer, thy meditation, be as this:

Here am I; use me, O God, as Thou seest I have need of that I may know what Thou would have me do! Let my attitude to my fellow man, mine loved ones, mine friends, mine enemies, be such that my life, my expressions of hope and joy and kindness, may reflect His life to others. Keep my tongue, keep my feet, in those ways, in those paths, that lead to the understandings Thou wouldst have me have – now. (770-1)


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/divinemetime/
❤ Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/tranquilliving
❤ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@DivineMeTime

Edgar Cayce Sound Healer ?

Edgar Cayce Sound Healer ?“Know All Healing Forces Are Within, Not Without”

~Edgar Cayce

Known as the sleeping prophet, Edgar Cayce, was a highly psychic individual in the late 18 and early 1900’s. I have known about Cayce for sometime, though my knowledge is limited. For example, I owe my caster oil pack practice and rose water and glycerine spray to him and his healing visions.

But I just recently learned that Cayce was also aware of the power of sound as a healing tool. He taught that one could harmonize with the creative energy within through chanting i-e-o-u-e-i-o-umh. He taught us that chant was a means of experiencing an inner reality of color, harmony and emotion. He understood that music had the power to renew us from deep within. I was so excited to discover his teachings on sound and hope to find out more.

Cayce said that our bodies are “the temple of the Living God”. Yes! We are indeed resonance chambers that resound with the sounds of our life. Do we pollute our temple and neglect it, or do we honor it as Holy and respect it?

Toning, whether by yourself or in a group, is a superb way to not only acknowledge and connect with your temple, but to commune with the creative energy there, enhancing and raising your own personal vibration.


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/divinemetime/
❤ Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/tranquilliving
❤ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@DivineMeTime

The World of Sound Therapy Part II: Voice

Voice as Sound  Therapy

The voice is by far the most versatile and sensitive of all the sound therapy modalities, and the range of healing offered is as individual as those who facilitate it. There are voice healers who help clients access their own voices either through singing, toning, chanting, speaking, or even movement. One needn’t be a “singer” to take part in this type of experience, but for those who are a little shy about singing solo, there are toning groups or workshops offered by practitioners. The results of such vocal exploration can be greater confidence to express oneself, richer vocal qualities, purer and more effective communications, stress-reduction, and an experience of joy.

A therapist may also use his or her own voice to help others. For example, a therapist may sculpts sounds by sensing subtle energy needs and matching or contrasting various frequencies that help a person move energy in various parts of the body. Still others may sing improvised melodies or lyrics that relate to healing a certain memory or experience in the client’s life.

Voice Analysis is another branch of voice healing with many variations. The premise for voice analysis is that changes in pitch, volume and speed of the expressed voice reveal strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances of the individual. These deficiencies are then brought into balance using frequencies or tones and exercises that can help by restoring the voice to its full power. Whether performed by a computer or a practitioner, voice analysis can bring a new awareness to the potential of one’s voice, our greatest tool for self-expression and creation.

There are other specialized modalities in voicework as well, such as Transformational Voicework.

Next Time:  Tibetan Instruments


About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

❤ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/divinemetime/
❤ Insight Timer: https://insighttimer.com/tranquilliving
❤ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@DivineMeTime

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