Exploring the practice of devotional chanting as a procedure for promoting well-being, happiness, and transcendence.
Repeating a Mantra Induces Relaxation
In the book's introduction Kailash (Kurt A Bruder, Ph.D. M.ED.) answers the question Why Chant? in some detail, but this one sentence in his response "Simplifying your mental processes by working with mantras will support you in increased concentration and emotional command." were the words that sucked me into wanting to explore further. A page turner you might say. Who doesn't need a mental clearing?
The beautiful scrolled artwork on every page and brightly colored images of deities sprinkled throughout the book are especially alluring too. I love the depiction of Green Tara, Buddhist goddess who represents fertility and the life force.
Following Sound into Silence comes with a free CD featuring Kailash chanting. Kailash routinely hosts evening kirtan events and also offers devotion therapy workshops.
Kailash began his exploration of chanting from an Eastern Orthodox Christian background. He studied with nuns and monks at a small monastery located in Texas. His first prayerful chants were focused on Jesus. He shares chanting background from a teacher's point of view. The purpose of the lesson is that chanting is a practice to connect with whatever your concept of divinity maybe. Chanting is not Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, or Islam practice. It is a practice for anyone who has a belief in a creator or higher source of being.
Voice, Mantra, and Song
In chapter 2 Kailash defines "voice" as A Tool for Directing Your Consciousness. He offers perspectives on choosing mantras as a spiritual practice and also as an applied remedy for psychological suffering. He also writes about how to go about choosing music or rhythm to partners with the mantra to make your power song.
Chanting with Mind and Heart
Chapters 3 and 4 are devoted to attention (Chanting and the Mind) and affection (Chanting and the Heart). Attention means to become aware and focused, gaining control of your thoughts. Affection, not as easy to define, means the desire to become a part of the whole, or to commune with all there is. These definitions are not the words that Kailash used in describing mind/heart chanting, but this was my take away in simpler terms.
Five star rating PLUS two thumbs up from me on this beautiful book and CD!