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10 Reasons to Chant: On the Benefits of Mantra Meditation

The Benefit:
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
The Technology:
By combining sound, breath and rhythm, mantra meditation channels the flow of en
ergy through the mind-body circuit, adjusting the chemical composition of our in
ternal states and regulating brain-hemisphere imbalances, contributing to a natu
ral abatement of fear and despair emotions that underlie both of these common affl
ictions. By balancing the nervous system, chanting regulates the chronic stress
and tension that is the norm for many people in today s hyper-stimulated lifestyle
. And by balancing the endocrine system, chanting normalizes hormone production,
which balances our moods and overall sense of well-being.
The Benefit:
Releases Neuroses
The Technology:
Chanting delivers us from the excessive preoccupation with our bodies and with m
aterial concerns. It delivers us from fear of old age and death. We begin to ide
ntify with the timelessness of the soul and consequently begin to shed neurotic
habits that no longer serve and that no longer seem relevant. By returning us to
what is essential, it clears away subconscious habit patterns. Embraced by the
steady rhythm and by the vibration that connects us all, our thoughts combine wh
olly with the sound current. As the captain sets the canvas to the wind, thus pu
lling the boat out of trouble, it is through mantra that we steer ourselves out
of our own stormy seas and into clear waters.
The Benefit:
It is Soothing
The Technology:
The power of mantra is betrayed in the roots of the sanskrit word, man, meaning
mind, and, tra, meaning deliverance, or, projection. Thus, chanting the sacred s
ound of the mantra delivers us from our sense dependency, from our unrelenting h
abit of looking toward the senses for gratification; pleasures that are and that
will always be, fleeting and limited how much can you eat? Or drink? Or buy? Sens
e gratification never really gratifies. We are always left either unfulfilled an
d guilty wishing we had never started, or else, wanting more and lamenting the los
Chanting is a pleasure that transcends the senses, it takes us beyond the bounds
of time and space (which is why we don t have to understand the mantra). Thus it
soothes in a most profound way. It soothes on a cellular level. It merges our fi
nite identity with the infinite, and so dissolves us. It relieves us from the si
ghts and sounds and stimulation of the material world and delivers us into a spi
ritual space, where the sound is God. The material needs are reduced to nothing
but mind chatter, and like smoke pumped into the sky, will be scattered into the
expanse. Through the sweetness of devotional surrender, mantra turns the negati
ve into positive. I once heard it said: as music has charms to soothe a savage be
ast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless mind.
The Benefit:
Engenders Compassion
The Technology:
While the first stages of mantra meditation deliver our restless minds from thei
r self-inflicted distress, eventually, chanting into the all-engulfing wave of v
ibrations arouses our experience of ourselves as spiritual beings. It opens our
perception of ourselves as undifferentiated from God. It awakens the divine ligh
t and love within us. As George Harrison has said of his lifelong Bhakti practic
e, chanting is a direct connection with God. When our spiritual identity is awaken
ed, we experience the unity of all life, which consequently awakens our hearts a
nd opens our capacity for compassion, whereupon we may live out our material liv

These couriers. these rhythms are thrown out of balance. It can only be experien ced through devotion. taking in informa tion from the entire body. as the waves in the sea gradu ally get us wet. are known as the happiness hormones. It is perhaps the single most importan t link in the mind-body connection. which monitor the smaller-scal e energy cycles that occur throughout the day. such as serotonin and dopamine. The hypothalamus is Office i n Charge of many bodily functions we tend to think of as automatic. it won t work if you don t d o it! All that is needed is some time and an open heart. faith and constant repetition of the Mantra. the tongue taps certain points along t he roof of our mouths. layering harmonies. We di e in a sense. which is the essence of yoga. We re not memorizing complex lyrics. which in turn. metabolism and nervous system. behind the curtains a remarkable vibratory process is going on. patterns of sound are inscribed onto t he brain. regul ates the chemical activity streaming into all parts of the brain and body. as well as pituitary secretion. as our ego fades into the infinite. Breath helps to adjust all the rhythms of our body not only the familiar circadian rhythms. the automatic becomes the delib erate. or in a group. Through repetition. in the usual sense. #8 The Benefit: Opens Intuition The Technology: Pronunciation: By enunciating the mantra. As Krishna Das has said. these are simple to include and can be incorpo rated gradually. is that it is the breath that turns th e key to this super-circuit. #5 The Benefit: Boosts Immunity The Technology: It s all about the hypothalamus. we can add e ye-focus and a gentle hand mudra. the mantra washes over us. Rhythm: Through repetition of the mantra. sending signals to the free of animosity. via chemical messe ngers. due to the impact they have on our moods. like tempera ture. The unconscious becomes the conscious. this brain of brains. but the lesser known ultradian rhythms. It dissolves us into unison. It mi ght be likened to tapping the keys of a piano inside the casing. It works whether it s done alone. #6 The Benefit: It is Easy The Technology: You don t have to sing well because it s not about singing. And when breath is set to sound Wowee Zonkers! The positive effects on the parasympathetic nervous system that part of the nervous system that tells us everything is alright are multiplied and the healing respo nse is triggered and it all translates into healing and stronger immunity. Although for enhanced effect. before transmitting outward again. it regulates comm unication between the nervous system and the endocrine system. The repetition is the whole poi nt. Because our nervous systems are o ften overtaxed. as long it is from the heart and with the belly. and we re not certainly not bus ting out powerhouse solos. as it gets unavoidably absorbed . this central hub. It works whether it s done softly or in full voice. as in a powerful kirtan. we begin repairs. What common western manuals won t tell you. a hammer bounces up and strikes the strings which are tuned to produce a specific and foreseeable note. envy and pride. The repetition frees us from our dest ination-fixation from our need to rush to the end. The benefits of chantin g cannot be established through reasoning and intellect. The control tower of the brain. affecting e verything from mood to appetite to sleep. #7 The Benefit: It is Free The Technology: All you have to do is show up. the mindless becomes the heartfelt. But through the technol ogy of sound.

Thus. the more elevated our vibration. #9 The Benefit: Increases Radiance The Technology: Our thoughts reflect and affect our mood. or consciousness. we are able to tune into various levels o f intelligence. Ou r thoughts are silent sounds. Projection: When we chant from the navel point while articulating the mantra. The mor e refined our thoughts. And sounds are electromagnetic vibrations. we not only stimulate the upper palate. life force. the more elevated our v ibration. and in turn. our frequency and resultant all-around rad iance. . which is nothing but vibration. This dual process is said to move us into the realm of anahat the realm without boundary. our attitude and our general tenor. much like changing the channel on the television. chanting mantras is a conscious method o f controlling our moods. or. flows what yogis for millennia have referred to as the s hushmuna (or shushumna by some translations).by the sound. the closer we get to the highest vibration of all our own divine nature. By vibr ating a certain combination of sounds. but we vibrate the central channel by whi ch prana. The entire universe was built on sound.