I recently asked Dr. Kathleen Fry to share her experience with healing and spirituality:
“Singing is such a healing activity because it resonates with our being at a deep level. I have been singing in various choirs and groups since I was seven. I currently sing with the Rocky Mountain Chorale but the singing I love most is with the Boulder County Threshold Choir. We sing in small groups of 3 or 4 at bedside for people who are sick or dying. I The melodies and harmonies are simple but powerful.”
In Hindu mythology, the universe began with the sounding of “OM”. The first line of the Old Testament describes the beginning of the world with a sacred “Word.” Every religion in the world has some practice involving the voice, the sacred chant, divine utterances and mantra recitation.
Body: Since we are focusing on the throat chakra today, we begin our practice with a self massage. Start by rubbing your hands together to generate warmth, and place your palms on your shoulders. Squeeze and release repeatedly, working your way up from the shoulders to the neck, front and back. Then, taking the tips of the fingers, gently massage the jaw from behind the ears working your way in small circles to the corners of your mouth.
Breath & Mind: Every spiritual tradition in the world incorporates sacred chant with meditation. Buddhists practice mantras such as “OM MANI PEME HUNG”. This mantra is meant to invoke compassion. Sometimes it is translated as “The Jewel in the Lotus”, but understanding the literal translation is not necessary, and may even get you stuck in being too conceptual. The idea is to relax the mind, to create vibrations in the subtle body, or chakras, that in turn open our minds, our hearts and our spirits to resonating with the divine.
“AVE MARIA” is the “Hail Mary” in Latin, and I’ve always enjoyed hearing the ancient Catholic prayers in Latin. Gregorian Chant is a beautiful way to connect to this lineage – and the aim is the same: to relax the mind, open the heart and surrender completely to the movement of divine grace in your life.
If you prefer a “non-denominational” approach to sacred chant, consider singing something meaningful, beneficial and repetitive: “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…” or “PEACE, PEACE, PEACE…”