Community in Sound

This morning in class after we chanted OM ~ and the class is becoming less self-conscious and more vibrational as they grow accustomed to chanting ~ a student remarked how “good we sounded” as we had reached that exquisite blending of voices ~ that community of OMs.The experience reminded him of the Virtual Choir he’d seen on You Tube.  Eric Whitacre, the composer and conductor speaks in the following TED video of what the process of group singing meant to him. He said that the first time he sang in a choir he realized that he was part of something bigger than himself.

In yoga, we’d say that we ARE something bigger than our conception of our individual selves. This is the beauty of chanting before class. We acknowledge and surrender to that energy, that grace, that love.

It is from that space that we twist and turn ourselves in the poses and that we sit quietly in breath work or in meditation or savasana. This is true whether we have chanted in a hall with hundreds of yogis or if we chant silently to ourselves while practicing. This is the sound of the universe. Of the primal energy that flows everywhere. The vibration that is.

In class at Panterra on Tuesday night, we were fortunate to have sitar player, Justin Scarimbola strumming his instrument while we fell deeply into savasana. As one note fell away, another appeared, then another and another. The evening raga grew a little “on edge” as daylight was fading to dusk and the notes picked up steam, coming faster, more insistent and then sliding back into quietude. The music took my mind along on its journey. Afterwards, I felt that somehow, I saw the world a bit differently. Time and space shifting in their tides just as the Indian raga grew louder, softer, faster, slower, smoother, rougher.

Today is windy and hot. Yesterday was hot and still. It’s all labile, change, flux, even when it seems to be static. Do not stay stuck, the music, the chanting, like our practice tell us.

We are capable of so much more love than we realize.

MANTRA for today: May I open to unknown capabilities within myself today.

2 thoughts on “Community in Sound”

  1. Lovely post.
    The collective OM’s–and the way they metonymically represent the larger communal experience of yoga–are one reason I could never do my home practice exclusively…

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