Chanting is one of the most effective techniques for focusing the mind and uplifting the heart’s aspiration toward higher consciousness in meditation- and in daily life. This is a wonderful practice to use before ones meditation techniques and throughout the day. In fact, Paramhansa Yogananda often said that “Chanting is half the battle” on the spiritual path. What is chanting and why does it work?

Jyotish Novak, Spiritual director of Ananda, writes in his book How to Meditate:

“A chant is a simple word formula set to music, often a prayer or affirmation such as, ‘From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt again.’

A chant not only helps us to concentrate on a spiritually uplifting thought, but it also opens the heart. We will make little progress on the spiritual path until we can direct the natural love of the heart toward higher realities, and chanting is one of the very best ways to awaken spiritual fervor. Chanting also helps direct and focus the mind by giving us a clear focal point for our thoughts.

It is extremely difficult to go beyond the tendency to verbalize thoughts. Even when the mind is calm, this habit tries to reassert itself. Rather than simply repressing this normal mental function, we can use it to bring us into a deeper and more uplifted state of concentration… By repeating a chant over and over, we focus the mind, open the heart, and reprogram the subconscious.”

Durga Smallen, Ananda Meditation Retreat manager and a longtime chanter and kirtan leader, talks about the power of chanting in rising above life’s challenges:

“Losing myself in the singing, I become aware of not only who I am in my essence, but also how to stay in tune with the yogic principle of being ‘even minded and cheerful’; how to maintain equilibrium and calmness in the face of life’s challenges.

As Yogananda stated so clearly: ‘Words that are saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith, and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs that have power to remove the rocks of difficulties and to create the change desired.’

Everyone is interested in finding happiness in his/her life. Chanting is an avenue that opens up the portals of expansive joy and gives one an opportunity to grow towards “perfect freedom in God”, in his/her own Self. In losing oneself in the pure joy of pouring out your heart to a higher power, you become more than just your aches and pains, your disappointments, your fears, your emotions. You become aware that the more you can lose yourself in the devotion of your heart, the more joy can fill your Being. You know you are connected on a very real level to something far greater than this body and mind. Chanting has become became for me, my most valuable tool to Self-realization. I wonder if you, too, could find the joy of your own heart in chanting? “

“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to God-realization. Vibrations resulting from devotional singing lead to attunement with the Cosmic Vibration.” Paramhansa Yogananda

Chant along with Durga:

Access Ananda chants by downloading the Ananda Meditation app:

or online at Crystal