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Why We Chant

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I found this nifty article at Ancient Huna, a website dedicated to the ancient shamanistic and healing arts of Hawaii.

We chant because chanting opens up the heart, and makes it swell and expand. We chant because at the deepest level of the meaning of the chant there is a vibration that corresponds to the meaning, and chanting opens up the neurology to that vibration.

Once, someone asked Swami Muktananda (an Indian swami, and master teacher of meditation) why he chanted and taught chanting, and he said, "We chant because without the chant, the heart of a yogi becomes as dry as a leaf in the fall, and as brittle, too."

The theory of chanting in both the Hawaiian system and the Sanskrit system (in India) says that the sounds being chanted, the tonal patterns and the frequency of the vibration of the sounds, invoke in the neurology of the listener and also the chanter, the deepest spiritual essence of what is being spoken of in the chant. Remember listening to a song, and notice that each word has a certain vibration in addition to the tune. In a Hawaiian chant, the vibration of the word has the same frequency as what is being spoken of at the deepest level of the chant. The ancient languages including Hawaiian, Greek, Latin, Hebrew have this effect. English does not. If you are Catholic, what was the difference between the Mass in Latin and the Mass in English? Do you remember the difference? Even if you do not remember, statistics show that attendance of the Sunday Mass dropped significantly when the Latin was eliminated.

English, on the other hand, is a modern language, and so does not carry the same vibrations at its deeper level of sound as do the ancient languages.

We have 10 to 10 to the 11th possible neurological connections inside our body, according to Dr. Paul Goodwin, Neurophysicist, at Alaska Pacific University. We only use 10-15% of them, he says. But what do you think the rest of the neurology is for? To be developed, we believe. Chanting does that, making new neurological connections which allow the experience of subtler levels of creation and vibration.

That's why the tradition of Huna includes chanting. For example, we include chanting because by hearing the chants, every single pattern of sounds connects a certain set of neurology inside. So, simply hearing the sounds of the chants establishes certain neurological connections that you may have had before but do not currently have. If you have them already, then it strengthens those neurological connections.

Simply put, we chant to expand our neurology and attune it to spirit, and to expand our consciousness.

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