“Mantras are not small things, mantras have power. They are the mind vibration in relationship to the Cosmos. The science of mantra is based on the knowledge that sound is a form of energy having structure, power, and a definite predictable effect on the chakras and the human psyche.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
There is a vibratory frequency that corresponds to everything in the Universe. Happiness or sorrow, joy or regret are vibratory frequencies in the mind. When we chant a mantra we are choosing to invoke the positive power contained in those particular syllables. Whether it’s for prosperity, peace of mind, increasing intuition, or any other possible benefits inherent in mantras, simply by chanting them we are setting vibrations into motion that shall have an effect. It doesn’t actually matter if we understand the meaning of the sounds or not.
Chanting mantra produces specific vibratory frequency within the body. The vibratory frequency of a mantra draws to you whatever you are vibrating. You are like a magnet attracting vibrations to you by what you send out. As a vibration, a mood, a state of being that results from chanting, mantra is compatible with all belief systems.
Chanting is an amazing and powerful part of the practice of Kundalini Yoga. When we sing or repeat mantras, we call the heavens down to the Earth. The heavens begin to manifest in our own hearts. That is why chanting makes people feel so good, even if they do not understand the meaning of the words.
What is so truly amazing about sound, mantra, and chanting is that each one of us holds this power of transformation within us. We don’t have to go to a place or to another person to access this power. Our very own body is the instrument of transformation.
When you chant listen to the sound your voice makes and how it sounds in your body.
-Yogi Bhajan, 2/13/01, Espanola, NM
The first technique is a listening practice that Yogi Bhajan taught me in 1989 and remains a foundation of my personal daily sadhana to this day. This practice develops intuition, stills the monkey mind, and enhances the flow of communication. It is also a fabulous foundation for developing your capacity to chant more deeply. Here it is:
Posture: Sitting quietly, eyes closed and focused gently at the brow point.
Focus: Listen deeply. Isolate and identify each sound that you hear.
If, for example, a car passes outside, mentally identify the sound by stating “a car is passing outside”… “I can hear the hissing of water underneath the tires”. Then move on to the next sound…a fly buzzing, the sound of your breath through your nostrils as you inhale and exhale, the sound of someone clearing their throat. If you feel that you have identified every sound possible, continue isolating every sound that strikes your ears, even if you have already identified it once. Break it down into its subtle parts. Listen to the sounds within the sounds, the sounds within you, the sounds near to you, and the sounds very far away.
Allow every sound. Some sounds may seem unpleasant. Listen to them anyway. You may find that you tend to block certain sounds. Turn your awareness to those sounds, open up your listening ears and listen to them as well.
If you find that your mind starts to wander, simply return to deeply listening.
Time: Continue isolating and identifying every sound for 3 to 11 minutes.