Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Allowing Chanting to Find a Home Part 2

image compliments of wall art hd

Part 1 can be found here.

Chanting is so energetically important because it has the immediate effect of marrying body and mind through vibration.  Yet it is tricky to get the chant right (tune, content, volume, setting) so that the mind willingly buys into the process.

In working with a client with a specific physiological condition, I took the sequence my teacher gave me at my most recent training, diluted it, and attempted to teach it in pieces.  It is a multi-faceted practice, using chanting of a mantra, gesture, breath-centric asana, pranayama, and meditation.  About 90% of the content of the practice is landing and is being received and processed by the client.  However, the chanting is meeting resistance.

I was able to take what works from the chanting practice, and scrap the rest.  We kept the OM and used it in place of any other sanskrit.  We also kept the nyasa (gesture) attached to the practice - namely bringing hands to eyes, hands to heart, and hands to belly.  We also had a conversation about chanting in Hebrew.  My client was happy to note how open I was to changing the chanting.  I looked at her and said, earnestly, my teacher has asked us to help our clients tap into sources of meaning.  I want to help this come alive for you!  Let's work together.  She is off to find phrases that make her spine tingle.  I sent her with those instructions because that little tingle is always a truth-beacon for me.  She is heading to Rosh Hashana services this week and will have a chance to drop in and swim in mystical currents of renewal.  I wish her a wonderful dip in the current!!

My teacher's practices are complex, elegant, deep, and esoteric in nature.  It's gratifying, in a way, to know that what landed well with me (the practice my teacher gave us therapist-trainees) does not necessarily translate to a client.  The gratification comes when I think of the many hours of studying, time away from my family, and financial sacrifices my family has made to allow me to receive this training.

The most fascinating thing of this process is that the chant that I gave the student, upon practicing it myself, has become my own.  I've entwined it with some tantric practices (Reiki symbols), nyasa, and mantra in pranayama.  It is truly alive in me and my bells palsy is responding.

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