jeudi 6 novembre 2014

The Soundcloud of My Loving Meditations

Every month or so, I participate in a chanting session that makes me deeply happy.

I am sitting on a cushion, with thirty or forty people, accompanied by a few musicians (among whom is the lead singer): for two wonderful hours, we chant Kirtans and other sacred songs from various cultures.

The couple who organize these monthly events is very inspiring, and the whole atmosphere makes me completely at ease to sing my heart out, or to whisper my feelings through the foreign words, in resonance with the unexpected places where the chanting takes me.

To me, this is a complete form of meditation – in which heartbeat and breathing, mind and heart are aligned.

When I sing these simple lines over and over, the meandering river of my breathing becomes deep and wide...

Thoughts loose their reasoning power - they become a state of mind, which in turn is transformed into harmonies, soothed and re-energized by the fact that everyone is joining their voices.

Solutions arise, doubts are dissolved, understandings take place, but all of this happens in a random way – even as you focus on placing your voice correctly, you are really into the vibrations of the song, carried by them, carrying them on.

Of course, I can hum these mantras by myself – and I often do because the melodies have become a part of me – but here, within the loving cloud of sound that you are co-creating, the chanting brings you to another level, on many aspects.

In a way, it is a metaphor of life, since we are all givers and receivers of this sweet magic :o)

At Millesgarden (Stockholm), which I visited with Pierre a few years ago. A quietly blissful place.

My favourite aspect of these chanting sessions is the shifts in rhythms and moods from one song to another: this allows you to really feel the spirit of every mantra, in your whole body. Joy, gratitude and awareness are literally flowing through your bones and muscles.

Simultaneously, your consciousness expands to the whole room, to the world at large; to your past, to your loved ones. 

Often, I get clear, unexpected visions from people who are (or have been) meaningful for me. I greet them into my heart, into the song, into the loving river of living things, where we both belong.

This time, I actually felt the benevolent, knowing presence of a grandmother and great-grandmother of mine, sending peaceful vibrations that reached me in gentle ripples slightly above my head. (Where the crown chakra is located, apparently.)

My great-grandmother Yvonne, on my mother's side.
As shy as she might appear on this picture, she was a truly happy kind of person, whom everyone would refer to as a special lady.

They seemed to be telling me: “You are doing good, Emmanuelle.”

My grandmother Louise, on my father's side.
Always elegant, a wonderful cook and a woman with a flair for design and commerce, she was very affectionate with all of her grandchildren, wrapping us in her arms before devouring us with kisses.

My friend Solenne was sitting close by (we often attend these sessions together), and it was a joy, as always, to hear her soft voice intertwined with the others', and with mine.

At some point, I became particularly aware of the subtle balance you must find and constantly readjust - when you improvise with a group of people – between receptivity and confidence, listening and finding your voice, harmony and inspiration – and I was flooded with the revelation that this process is central in every aspect of our friendships. Or any sincere interaction. 

I learned that if your attention is truly open, if you listen carefully, without any expectations about the voices around you, unexpected notes can rise, and create new harmonies every time. 

It might sound obvious, and you would think I had figured this out before… Finding this balance has indeed been a very real preoccupation of mine – but during that chanting session, its actual meaning was softly imprinted in me.

And tears of gratitude were running down my cheeks.

Have you had similar experiences while chanting, or meditating?