At the holiday season, sacred song is often part of the experience. In churches carols are sung at special services. Meditations or Solstice ceremonies often include devotional song. Chanting is a part of services in many traditions. You might go singing with your neighbors, from house to house. At home you might sing along with the radio, or while cooking meals with family.
Singing lifts and inspires us, especially in a group. It can also lift and inspire us individually, signing aloud or silently inside. Take a moment to recall a favorite that moves you in a good way. Begin to experience that song now. After a while notice how you experience it. Do you hear it in your mind, or sing it to yourself? Are you paying more attention to the words or the melody?
For now settle on a verse or phrase that you can repeat. Set that going and begin to feel into it. It doesn’t matter now if its the words, or the tune, or some past association with it, as long as it feels good. Notice again where your attention is. If it is in your head, invite it to come down to your heart.
Focus on the feeling that comes with the song, the opening of your heart. If it is a song about the divine: a kirtan, hymn, or chant, let your heart open to the joy that is Spirit. You can sing the Love and Light into your heart. If the song connects you to Joy in some other way, let that feeling grow. No effort, and don’t think about it, just lean into the feeling and let it spread into your body and cells.
So many of the old practices are misunderstood. It is said to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. This, and singing in other traditions, is not most importantly about praising the divine, or telling Goddess how great she is. It is about using song to open your own heart and find the Joy that is always there for us all. The song becomes a bridge to Spirit, an invitation for Spirit to be actively present in us; for our Higher aspects to embody.
In the Yogic traditions this is Bhakti, the path of joy and devotion. It is a way to be Joy and embody the divine.
Invite your heart to be filled with the song, and notice what happens. Intend for the rhythm and flow of the song to resonate there. It’s fine in the head and mind, but the energetic connection works best through the heart. Notice how the experience changes as your attention moves from facet to facet. What works best for you?
Choosing one or two songs, or letting them show up inside you, make it a habit. There are many practices about song and chant during services or ceremonies, but if you can learn to feel a joyful song in your heart, you can take it with you into the world. Let your heart sing as you walk or drive, as you talk to friends or at work. Knowing that this is a gateway to Spirit, you can call on Spirit to be with you in this form any time, or all the time.
The felt song is a vibration, a carrier wave, connecting you to the Source of Love, Joy, Peace. Practice moving across that connection, and bringing those energies back into your heart and your life. As you practice it becomes easier and more direct, to call all the qualities of Spirit into yourself whenever you need them, or whenever you want them. A song in your heart helps you come alive as your Essential Self.