Friday, 20 June 2014

Adventures in Chanting

A long time ago in the halcyon days of my late teens a hippy crush taught me how to chant, at first I was sceptical, I'm a wordy person,  I wanted to know what I was saying over and over again, I felt silly and self-conscious  and I didn't see the point, the only reason I kept trying was I wanted to impress an older boy. When chanting worked it felt great, it was restful like sleep and made me feel less like a child with AHAD.

Life took over and my crush went out with a prettier girl with great hair. Then many things happened, boyfriends, kids and a nightmare of a life, I forgot about chanting. As my mind got more tangled and my bedtime story in my mind turned into a nightmare, a tangled web of thoughts that kept me awake however much I'd done, the mornings became arguments and I needed to do something.

So I tried chanting again, I got up early lit some candles and tried again. At first I giggled, I wondered if the neighbours could hear but I soon got it again. I felt calmer, more human and didn't shout at the kids, I felt in control, my daughter gave me her usual tantrums and traumas and I stayed calm. There is a good explanation for my laid back attitude, and calmer outlook, meditation, this helped me to be logical, understand my actions and not take things too personally. Chanting changes your brain wiring for the better. 

I found chanting replaced some bad habits. When the kids go to bed there's a huge temptation to watch TV just to get that zoned out me time, there is little that's not history or horrible on late night TV, even programs about homicidal stalkers can keep you up late, then in the dark you wonder if that bloke who smiles at you every day is a secret killer just to add to the worry soup swilling around your skull.

Chanting does work, science tells us that, but there is something bigger.  My friend told me chanting is praying to the better part of yourself, and that's what we need; we scan our words, rush our food, shout at our kids and live in a soap opera with no time to think as life pulls us in a thousand directions and threatens to shatter our souls, we need to connect with the best in ourselves and take our happiness and peace into our control as the Dali Lama said "Happiness is not something ready made it comes from your own actions."

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