Singing to the Divine - dummies

By Sharon Janis

When you sing to the divine, you’re using your voice as an instrument to make a beautiful offering from spirit into spirit. Just think of the blissful, peaceful harmony that comes from good spiritual music. The divine universe has given you this instrument of your body and voice, and you play it to express love and respect for that divine presence of God.

Even if you don’t think you have a great singing voice — perhaps certain talent judges might critique your singing voice or call your singing “pitchy” — don’t worry about their assessments. Sing to spirit with openhearted love and enthusiasm. In “Devotional Idol” singing, the most important points are given for your sincerity, devotion, love, focus, and surrender into the blissfulness of spirit.

Traditions around the world have sung their scriptures, from the Koran to the Torah to Psalms, the Bhagavad Gita, and many other texts. Whether you prefer to sing Latin hymns, Native American chants, Sanskrit mantras, Gregorian chants, or gospel songs, the practice of devotional singing opens your heart and mind to divine and joyful experiences.

What’s more beautiful than hearing a mother sing a lullaby to her child? What’s more potent than a group of men singing together in strong deep voices filled with conviction? What is more heart opening than singing from your soul to the omnipotent and omnipresent God?

When you sing to God, you’re loving God. You’re making a statement that with all the other things you could be doing with that time — working on your career, cleaning your house, going out with friends, or watching television — you’re choosing to spend time to offer a devotional song to God.

Group devotional singing or chanting is a powerful practice to support and nourish your spiritual quest. You can find devotional singing in various church and temple programs, from singing Latin vespers at Catholic churches and monasteries to the ever-growing popularity of Indian kirtan chanting in yoga studios.

The group dynamic is especially helpful for releasing the joyful spirit of spiritual singing and chanting. There is something about group singing that creates a uniquely sweet power. When you have a group singing or chanting together with devotion, the entire room becomes filled with a great spiritual energy.

Another side benefit of chanting is that it gives you a natural pranayama, or breath control exercise. When you sing devotional texts, phrases, or stanzas, your breathing becomes naturally deep and harmonious as you regulate your breaths to support the singing.

Try group chanting at least once, in whatever traditions appeal to you. Singing together with love to honor the Divine — what could nourish your spirit better than that?