Sat Dharam Kaur practiced Long Chant as a daily meditation for 40 days, for 2.5 hours each day. These are excerpts from her journal.
This morning I chanted for 2 1/2 hours with a woman who is also a saxophone player. We had an incredible time. Matching tones perfectly, even before we heard each other, projecting from the navel, using lots of breath. At one point during the chant I burst out laughing because there was a tortoise looking at me, turning his head to see me better, just in front of my face, some kind of inter-species communication. Time passed very quickly. I zoned into the sound and became totally (almost) present with each syllable, as though surfing a wave, synchronizing with the other voice and person behind it. Engaging fully moment by moment. Feeling the tones in my body, enjoying each new sound. I had the experience that the sounds already exist; we are just opening our mouths and using our larynx to be a mouthpiece for them and then our ears to hear them. But the sounds are already there creating the universe. When we verbalize them we become co-creators in this evolving play, and somehow everything changes because of it. I was not making the sound, but rather allowing it to move through me. Becoming a vessel for it. The sounds themselves were like tuning forks for my body/mind, reshaping, adjusting. Felt elated, energized at the end.
I am pregnant with the Universe
as I inhale I gather prana
and then the Sound emerges, bringing All into being
the pulse of creation begins at the base of the spine
moves up through the vagina to the navel
expands from the heart and throat
subtly wanes at the forehead and crown
permeates throughout space and time
and then there is nothing
an empty womb
no sound, no breath
the pause that gathers before birth
non-existence before existence
until creation grants the next breath
and prana infuses the Word
with potency and power
We are participants
in the great formation of everything.
Enjoying very much the subtle sounds that are heard above the notes I chant. Little bells go off with “Ong”. My fellow chanters hear these bells too.
Noticing this morning that if I do not maintain focussed attention on some part of the body – i.e. contract anus on Ek, contract sex organs on Ong, pull in navel on Kaar, release and take deep breath, pull in navel on Sat (as well as lightly squeeze anus and sex organs), lift diaphragm and expand from heart and throat on Naam, pull in navel and lift diaphragm last little bit and rise to third eye on Siri, take shorter breath, float up to crown and become light and sublime on Wahe Guru – if I do not maintain the focus on the felt sense in the body, my attention wanders and full presence is lost. When part of my awareness is anchored in the body, it allows me to go more deeply into experiencing the sounds, becoming the sounds.
Today’s experience of the sounds:
Ek – a blast of initiating energy, contained
Ong – has no beginning, the “O” is open; the “ngg” can go on forever. The sound is the creativity that has always existed going on forever. The “ngg” transitioning to “kk” is energy moving into form.
Kaar – has a beginning in the “k” sound; “aa” is infinity; “rr” can go on forever. Kaar is infinity manifesting in form forever.
Sat – infinite piercing unwavering truth. It just is. Direct, unshakeable. NOW is truth!
Naam – “N” has a beginning, “aa” is infinity, “m” has an ending. This is infinity bound in form, contained. As I chant this I am the infinity contained in all form; I am all form.
Siri – greatness; I don’t have a strong experience of this word
Wahe Guru – the embodiment of all wisdom, past, present, future. Sublime, light, reverence, uplifting. The guidance behind all that is.
Perhaps the sweetest part of the chant is the silent stillness after the breath had been exhaled with Wahe Guru. I like to extend that stillness a few seconds. Then the world stops. Creation begins again with the next breath.
When chanting the sound “Naam” I am aware of my throat and that with every word I utter I am creating something. The enormity of that awakens in me. Which words will I utter to not harm, to exalt, to be truthful, to praise the creator? How can I be so careful with my words?
Today I realized while chanting that consciousness is non-local. The only thing that separates “my” awareness from full merger with any particular being or all that is, is identification with this finite form of thoughts, feelings, a body, a past, a name etc. If I can become unidentified with that, I am pure consciousness, which is everywhere, and from which all arises. Sounds simple!
Experience of the word “sat”, as the reality/truth/complete perfection of NOW, vibrating with the infinite, moment by moment. When added to Naam, it becomes who I am as a finite being, containing the Infinite.
This story was originally posted on Sat Dharam Kaur’s blog as Kundalini Yoga Meditation Practice: 40 Days of Long Chant.
Sat Dharam Kaur began studying Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan in 1976 and has been teaching for over 35 years. She is lead trainer of Lotus Yoga Centre’s Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Program, and facilitates monthly workshops at the studio. Sat Dharam is also a Naturopathic Doctor, published author, and has developed Kundalini Yoga programs for addiction recovery and breast cancer prevention. Find out more at www.satdharamkaur.com.