By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 8 July, 2011
Dear Spiritual Explorer: I’d like to start chanting but don’t know how to start. Can you suggest something for me? Raul E., Mexico City, Mexico
Sacred Art of Chant
Dear Raul: One of the best books written on how to start chanting is The Sacred Art of Chant by Ana Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez approaches chanting from a very different viewpoint. For one thing, she is an accomplished musician who loves to chant. She authoritatively speaks on the value and mystery of how sound permeates our lives and our practices, giving us great examples of chants complete with their pronunciations. Some of them are even set to music. We are not limited to Buddhist and Tibetan chants, but include Christian, Native American and Zuni chants.
Ms.Hernandez also lovingly and realistically speaks of the value of chanting in her life and how it transforms many of the myriad moods that afflict us by day and night. The Sacred Art of Chant- preparing to practice- is written in a down to earth manner, but also invites us into the sacred art of chanting. Sprinkled with wonderful, captivating anecdotes, the Sacred Art of Chant is both formidable and inviting to the person who wishes to incorporate chanting into their everyday life.
Ms.Hernandez tells us that anybody can chant. She opines that nothing can take her deeper. As she chants her whole body becomes engaged and vibrations permeate her to the core, moving and transforming energy from one end of the spectrum to another. Chanting is another way to pray, addressing the main deities without actually clamoring or begging for their attention. I like that. Sometimes in days that are endless, I feel that all I am doing is complaining. But as Ms. Hernandez reminds me, chanting is like praying all day without complaining. That’s a good sell in itself for the practice of chanting.
Enjoy this book and thanks for your question. Spiritual Explorer
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