Why chanting is so beneficial to your personal spiritual practice
One of the key elements to remember when chanting is that the sound needs to come from your lower abdomen. In Japanese, this area is called the hara or tanden. When the sound comes from the hara, you perform deep breathing (Okinagaho in Shintoism). Deep breathing is important if you want to heal yourself. It helps you to ground yourself, releases tension in your abdomen, creates a strong physical vehicle in which you can embody the universe, and it enables the vibration of the sound to travel through your whole body, not just your throat.
By focusing on a sound the mind stills. Normally, the mind is going all over the place as we think about the past and the future, and what we are doing in the present moment. By focusing on just one sound you stop following your thoughts as they race through time. Instead, you still the mind; letting go of clinging to the past, present, and future. This, in turn, creates a tremendous opening within you for healing to take place.
Buy Primordial Sounds for Healing by Frans Stiene
True Word Power
True Word Power, or Kototama in Japanese, is when you begin to tap deeply into sound itself. When this occurs you begin to realize that it is not just you chanting, but the whole universe that is chanting.
How to Chant
To chant primordial sounds, know that the sound comes from your hara/tanden. Bring your breath in deep as you breathe in and as you breathe out open your vocal chords allowing the chant to flow along the breath. Don’t worry about the length of the chant – each person is individual with this. However, you will notice with time that your capacity to chant each sound becomes longer and with more connection will improve.
In the beginning you can copy the chant but over time it will become more organic. Each time you chant the sound it needs to be fresh.
There are 3 very important elements to chanting: placing your mind, body, and speech in the right place. The mind needs to be concentrated on what you are chanting, not thinking about other things while you chant. Your body needs to stand, sit or lay in an open way so that the sound can flow through it like a hollow reed, if the reed is all crooked or bent, the sound will not flow with ease. Your speech needs to be clear and open, without judgment. Chanting is not singing! And you will notice that sometimes your tone or rhythm changes, this is perfectly natural.
What listener’s say
I’ve been listening for a few days to Frans Stiene’s new CD, “Primordial Sounds for Healing,” a combination of chants used in Reiki practice at Level II and III and other traditional chants.
Each track is a separate practice, and he keeps them powerfully simple; the only sounds are his chanting and a bell chime to indicate the transition between the chant and the rich silence that follows each chant. On a few of the tracks, he layers his own voice as though chanting with himself in a group of many Franses. Most of the tracks are his own straightforward single voice.
I have been studying with Frans for a number of years now, and I make it a point to get together with him in person at least two times a year to be supported by his energetic presence fully. I was curious to see if that presence would be carried at least a little in a recording.
Amazingly, listening to the CD is like having Frans chanting in the same room with me. It offers a jolt of healing, and the energetic signature of each different chant helps me connect with that specific energetic quality quite quickly, just by listening.
The CD can be used several different ways to facilitate healing and/or deepening of our spiritual practice, whatever it might be. I have had it on quietly in the background as I work on my laptop or write, providing a subtle unconscious support. I have also used it as a meditation tool, settling down in a quiet space and putting my attention on the chanting directly, as well as looking inward to what arises.
Sometimes I put one track on repeat and really infuse myself with that one specific energetic quality. And other times, I put the whole CD on shuffle and wait to see which quality will carry me along next.
It is also possible to chant along with the tracks and, in doing so, chant with Frans.
Chanting is not singing. This is not music to lose yourself in for the beauty of it. But these sounds can sweep you away nonetheless. Who knows what might awaken within each time we listen?
Anyone can benefit from these healing sounds; the CD is not just for Reiki or energy practitioners. The energy of the first chant in particular, called Grounding, would be deeply beneficial to just about anyone by creating a solid foundation for what life throws our way.
– Alice Risemberg, Reiki Teacher, Reiki Pulse http://reikipulse.com/
Yesterday, I played a bit of a few of your chants for Indigo, my daughter of 7 years old. She was quite interested to hear the beginning of a few of them–I read her the titles and she chose–Letting Go first, then Inner Happiness, then Immovable.
When i played the Immovable one, she wanted to hear the whole thing, she closed her eyes (she was on my lap) and i could feel her heart energy getting very big. Afterwards, she said, “Oh i like this one best! I feel the energy through my whole body!”
Then she asked me to teach her a chant so i taught her CKR and she sat on my lap and we chanted it together for a bit. After about 10 minutes, she said, “Oh i LOVE chanting mommy, it feels so good in my body! It tingles!” It was so cute:) Then later that night, she wanted to chant herself to sleep, it was so darling.
As she was chanting at bedtime, I suddenly realized–the CKR chant was the one you taught me after my first class with you, and I practiced it every time I nursed her from the time she was 3 months old 🙂 She already knows that chant doesn’t she;)
Anyway, Indigo and I give Primordial Sounds for Healing our best mommy/daughter thumbs up! 🙂
–Kathleen Prasad International Reiki Teacher, cofounder of SARA author of Animal Reiki and Reiki for Dogs
I was so excited when I heard that Frans was going to make a CD on which he would be chanting. I am very pleased to say that the CD does not disappoint, it is lovely to just sit and listen to the chanting. I know I will use this CD within my practice.
As a teacher I will use it with my students so that we can really know that we are pronounce the chants in the proper way, thus deepening the experience. It will also be nice that when I teach the chants I won’t be the only person chanting!!!
Thank you Frans once again for making the teachings of Reiki more accessible.
– Helen Galpin Reiki Teacher and co-founder of the British School of Meditation
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.