I am feeling the urgency of particular words and thoughts today because this 40 day process is quickly coming to a close and I will be angry with myself if I don’t say what I really need to say. Did I not commit to staying honest with this process? It is one thing to harbor thoughts, but to actually say them presents a different kind of ownership and exposure.
It is funny, when I think of where singing anchored itself in my being. No, it wasn’t with music lessons and choirs. My childhood exposure to music was spotty at best; we didn’t even listen to the radio much, that I can recall. My childhood was spent in chores, athletics, and the outside. Let me back up to the chores: Saturday afternoon ironing, this after the dusting, vacuuming, and bathroom cleaning. I sang my way through ironing with what else, church songs. I think that is where mantra must have taken hold. Into my teens I thankfully graduated to some Broadway show tunes and popular music.
But that was about it, my fleeting relationship with music: I participated in a choir in middle school and then not again till my senior year in college with an elective credit, and then not till graduate school where I participated in a choir singing the music of Hildegard of Bingen. I dabbled in teaching myself the recorder, listened to varieties of music, and even attended concerts.
There was something about the potency of the human voice, even more so than a musical instrument that hooked me though, my particular entrainment to the frequency of Beauty. Chants somehow worked their way into my life with some Feminist Spirituality groups. Where singing really took hold was when I became a parent: a bigger, deeper switch got flipped on. I think I drove my husband nuts because I sang so much to our two children. I sang lullabies and nursery rhymes of course, but I even created ditties while I was changing diapers. Mantra somehow returned.
When the opportunity for me to join a Kirtan group presented itself some years ago, I readily jumped in. I started chanting more, especially making use of the privacy of my car as I made out-calls to hospice patients. It was interesting feedback when I was receiving body work with tuning forks that the therapist asked me if I played a musical instrument or sang. She could tell. Wow, this singing stuff really works. Surprise, surprise…our bodies are 60% water, and frequency is amplified in water.
I am wordy today, but it is the intention piece that I am finally getting to. I have done 40 day mantra practices. This writing on Beauty is a mantra practice of its own. But I have also taken on a longer practice of mantra, daily recitation of one mantra for one whole year. Last year it was a traditional Sanskrit mantra.
This year I am working musically with a phrase inspired by Patricia Cota-Robles (Era of Peace
). She is another of the Big Mind people I hang out with. While she can be a bit wordy, there are some phrases of hers that pop out for me: “I AM the doorway for the Light of God” and “I AM the Light of my own God Being”. She has even updated some of the wording of the Catholic Rosary that allows me some re-entry into this mantra.
I am discovering that this longer practice of mantra/chanting uncovers layers of smallness I hold in my unconscious. I get to use sound and intention to nudge me towards my own bigness…the light of my own God Being. I have been applying an overlay (intention) of Beauty to my practice of mantra in this period of 40 days of writing. There is a bold questioning in today’s guiding thoughts, and that is, “How do we stay big?” Nudge. Nudge.