Ecstatic Chant

Ecstatic Yoga, Ecstatic Chant

Ecstatic Chant is a path to spiritual liberation and self-realization through heartfelt devotional chanting that opens us up to deeper and more expansive states of oneness with our true Divine Nature. Ecstatic Chant leads us to a more intimate, loving and devotional personal relationship with the God of our understanding. Ecstatic Chant is experiential rather than intellectual, giving us the opportunity to authentically experience and deeply feel love and devotion for the Divine within, the Divine within all that is, the Divine of our understanding. Ecstatic Chant is a journey immersed with love and devotion experiencing a deep oneness with all that is. Ecstatic Yoga includes Sanskrit chanting, spontaneous chanting and spiritual chants from many spiritual and religious paths around the world. Ecstatic chant is for all beings and invites everyone to create their own heartfelt chant whether it is spontaneous or planned. It can be spoken in any language or no language, sung or created through spontaneous sounds or a personal or favorite poem.

 

Ecstatic Chant is a form of chanting derived from an ancient traditional yogic practice called Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion.  

 

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti means “Devotion” or “Love”; selfless devotion and recognition of the Divine in all things. We chant and sing with our hearts from a place of love and devotion to a personal deity, to the omnipresent Divine Source within all that is, to any endeavor that inspires love. Bhakti Yoga is a yogic path with practices to unite the bhakti yogi student with the Divine Universal Principle. Bhakti Yoga is a direct path unifying mind, body and soul for a deep and direct experience of oneness with the Divine Source within all. The word Bhakti is derived from Sanskrit roots; bhaj translates as “To Serve God” Bhakti Yoga is one of the four main yogic paths to enlightenment.

Four Paths to Enlightenment or Moksha, Spiritual Liberation & Self Realization

Bhakti Yoga; Love & Devotion

Jnana Yoga; Knowledge & Self Study

Karma Yoga; Action

Raja Yoga; Meditation

In Ecstatic Chant we will use ancient mantras from many traditions as well as spontaneous chanting from our hearts. Many of the traditional mantras are from Sanskrit, an ancient language that arose from Hinduism. However, any chant can do as long as it is filled with love and devotion. It is not as important that you know the exact meaning of the words chanted as feeling the devotional meaning of the chant deeply with your heart.

 

Mantra

The word mantra is derived from the Sanskrit language; manas meaning “mind” and tra meaning “tool” or “projection” It can mean to project the mind into Reality, Infinity, Divine Presence. A mantra is a sacred word, sound or phrase spoken, chanted, or sung repeatedly as a tool of concentration for the mind during meditation, whether silent meditation or meditative chanting. A mantra when repeated with concentration and single focus brings our mind to stillness, silent awareness of what we truly are as Divine Beings. Mantra can be used in both meditation or celebration for spiritual awakening and a deeper more intimate connection to Spirit, Divine Principle, the God of our understanding. Mantras have been used by humanity since ancient times for spiritual awakening. Each mantra is a powerful positive affirmation that resonates with a high spiritual vibrational frequency that immerses every molecule within our body with Divine spiritual light, truth and pure love.

 

Chants for listening

Many Christian chants from monks are transformative by listening and receiving the spiritual transmission. However, spiritual chants have arisen from many spiritual paths and religions around the world. They are often repetitive and seduce our minds into the higher spiritual realms through the sacred vibrations that are received and felt deeply within the heart.

Receiving the spiritual vibrations and sacred energy is a passive process and requires an openness of mind, body, and heart. The vibrational frequencies of the sacred chants immerse every molecule of the being transforming any darkness and stuck energy within into openness and light.

Chants for listening can be played as background music in your home, place of worship, school, or yoga studio to raise the vibration, bring peace and spiritual light into the space. These types of chants are also great during silent meditation by raising the energy and creating a sacred environment for the meditator.

 

Call & Response Chanting & Kirtan

Call & Response chanting can be a one on one or as a group practice. Call & Response chanting is often done as a kirtan (Sanskrit Chanting) inviting all parties to participate in call & response repeating together sacred mantras. Kirtan is a simple and powerful form of meditation, as well as the practice of love and devotion… Bhakti Yoga.

There is usually a leader or leaders who chant the mantra first and all others present are invited to repeat the mantra back. This can be done in spoken word or singing and with kirtan there may be several leaders who are musicians facilitating the practice. When a large group of people practice call & response chanting, this from of spiritual practice can be a powerful group activity bringing powerful healing vibrations into the space that benefit all who are present... even those who choose to sit in silent meditation and simply receive the spiritual vibrations. Group call & response is a wonderful, joyous and fun way to bring community together in celebration and devotion with the purpose of bring in Divine energies. The musical frequencies and vibrations do all the work as the participants open to receive and flow with the melodies and rhythms of the sacred chants. Both the leaders of the kirtan and those attending create the energetic experience together as one. Often spontaneous dancing will accompany a kirtan or group chanting experience.

 

Spontaneous Chanting

Spontaneous chanting is unmemorized and unprepared chants that invite and allowing spirit to speak and sing from your heart. It will be different every time you chant and different styles will arise as uniquely as we each are. Sometimes spontaneous chanting is done in the language that is spoken and other times the chants are simply sounds and of an unknown language. A spontaneous prayer or message of unknown meaning, yet always received and felt from the heart.

Spontaneous chanting is a complete letting go of the ego and intellectual mind and allowing of spirit to take over, to chant and sing through you. It takes trust and courage because you have no idea what will come through, whether if it will sound good or not, or if others will like it or not. However, trust and surrender are the keys to spontaneous chanting. Letting go of the need to know and control and open to allow a deeper part of yourself to share and express. Spontaneous chanting also brings a vibrational tune up for the one chanting and anyone receiving the chants because the sounds are coming from a deeper, higher vibrational, more expanded state and space than our normal every day consciousness.

I began spontaneously chanting in 2016 and for many years only chanted in my bathtub and at a handful of our events. It is my intention to sing and chant more often, however it is new to me… I have never taken singing lessons or played an instrument as a child, therefore as I build my courage as an adult and surrender to spirit I will open to whatever the Divine Light calls me to do. Spontaneous chanting is a way to spread love and light to the world in a playful and fun way where you can’t get it wrong, you don’t need to memorize phrases from other languages, you simply open your heart and allow sound to flow through your vocal cords with surrender and faith.

No instrument or many can accompany an Ecstatic Chanting experience… all instruments are welcome to be played during a concert, harmonium, guitar, drum, flutes… you name it. Often musicians enter into “The Zone” finding a higher vibration that plays through them. These can be the most magical and transformative concerts, never to be repeated in energy or form ever again in time and space.

 

Chanting as a Form of Prayer

Many chants have deep spiritual meanings, many are forms of prayer and devotions to the Divine. Many Spiritual, indigenous or religious chants are sacred prayers and messages to Divine Source, the God of their understanding. Singing and chanting prayers to the God of your understanding can powerfully open the heart and break down the ego. This softening of the defenses opens the devotee to more Divine grace and spiritual awakening… an ever-expanding flowering of our consciousness.

Some chants are from spiritual texts, some are ancient songs and chants and meant to be sung as originally created thousands of years past as the exact sequence of the prayer or chant and are said to unlock doors and windows to the soul. Other chants are spontaneous living creations bringing forth new and powerful Divine energies that open up new spiritual dimensions that planet Earth has never before experienced.

 

Creating a Personal Chant

At anytime and for any person you are free to create your own personal prayer to the God of your understanding, to yourself, to a loved one, to land or nature or a past loved one existing in a different dimension. Creating your own personal prayer in the form of a chant is a powerful way to open your own heart because it is your personal devotion arising from the depth of your wisdom heart and soul.

It may come from a poem you created in the past or a song that arises in the now moment, there is no wrong way to create a chant for your heart, your personal practice and your personal journal. You may want to keep your personal chant to yourself or share it with others, that is always your choice.

Your personal chant may be completely spontaneous arising in the now, never to return, similar to my spontaneous chants, or you may want to create the sounds, words and message ahead and make up or use and existing melody that matches the vibration, message and energy of your chant. You may use a favorite song and change the words yet keep the melody. You may create your own melody and use a favorite poem from your favorite author or you may wish to speak your chant without music, simply as an affirmation and spoken empowerment statement.

There are many ways to create a personal chant. Your chant doesn’t need to be in perfect tune or in the perfect key… it will be perfect as it is because it is yours. It doesn’t need to follow any rules of grammar or sentence structure… the only rule is to follow your heart.

I invite you now to create your own personal mantra or chant, a unique message, prayer or devotional to yourself, a loved one or the God of your understanding. It can be in words, it can be a poem, it can be sounds or in another language or no language at all. It can be spoken or sung, it can be long or short. No matter how you create it please apply one principle… love and devotion.

I will sing to you a spontaneous chant now and conclude with a personal chant from four lines from  longer poem my Beloved John wrote to me on the last Mother’s Day we shared together in the physical.  I invite you to take the rest of this hour lesson to create your own chant inspired from your own heart or a poem or message that speaks deeply to your heart.

I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am

(3) I am alive with your smile

(3)You’ve fulfilled our survival

(3)In times of your trials

(3)Your heart has known all the while

I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am

 

 

 

 

I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am

I am alive with your smile

I am, I am, I am

I am alive with your smile

 

I am, I am, I am

I am alive with your smile

I am, I am, I am

You’ve fulfilled our survival

I am I am I am

You’ve fulfilled our survival

I am I am I am

You’ve fulfilled our survival

I am I am I am

In times of your trials

I am I am I am

In times of your trials

I am I am I am

In times of your trials

I am I am I am

Your heart has known all the while

I am I am I am

Your heart has known all the while

I am I am I am

Your heart has known all the while

I am I am I am

I am I am I am, I am I am I am