By Jill Purce
I am not modest — I am trying to re-enchant the world and make it magical again through chanting. I want to reintroduce the extraordinary power of group chanting into our daily lives.
Chanting and singing bring joy and ecstasy back into our lives, by allowing us to acknowledge and become part of a power and dimension beyond our own — to praise and participate with the divine. It can also improve our health by reducing stress levels. Humming as we meditate can stop our mind wandering on to past problems and future fears.
Chanting seems to stimulate the emission of endorphins in the brain, which give rise to enhanced awareness, profound calm and deep meditative states. Socially, it creates a sense of community. People have always sung and chanted when they needed to work together. But in the West singing has been marginalised. Singing in a group helps to overcome the isolation of modern society.
I first experienced the power of the voice in early childhood in Ireland. My family were on a boat trip to a remote island when a violent storm blew up and it seemed certain we would drown. Suddenly, three island women began to sing with an ancient power and deep passion. Almost immediately our fear dissolved, strength surged into us and we felt blissful and enchanted.
The voice has the power to transform our lives.
Start singing, chanting or humming around the house, join a choir or come and do a workshop and experience the joy it can bring!