Chanting

April 22, 2008

There are two ways that sound may be used in meditation. One is to silently speak a syllable or pattern to yourself.  This is referred to as a mantra. The other is to speak or intone a syllable or pattern out loud.  This is called chanting.  The same syllables or pattern of syllables is often used for both mantras and chants – the most common syllable being “Om.” 

I find that about five minutes of chanting is helpful in quieting roof-brain chatter prior to other meditation. The chant that I use is “Om, d’om, om sid-hi.” 

Begin by sitting quietly – naked, if you have privacy – sensing the beating of your heart.  The first syllable, “Om,” is chanted for four heartbeats at a pitch in the middle of one’s vocal range. After a quick breath the second syllable, “d’om” is chanted at a lower pitch (the pitch described by musicians as a perfect fourth down) for four beats. After a second quick breath, the third syllable, “om” is chanted on the same pitch for two beats followed immediately (no breath) by the fourth and fifth syllables, at the original pitch level, for one beat each. This is followed by a long, slow breath taking four heartbeats, and the chant is repeated.

Next week, I will give an example of how I use this chant in daily practice.

3 Responses to “Chanting”

  1. […] while chanting eight repetitions of “Om, d’om, om sid-hi.” – which is the chant given in last week’s posting – one mudra for each […]

  2. […] using a succession of the eight mudras given on April 28th, chant “Om, d’om om sid-hi,” eight times. Begin Vipassana and continue until the timer […]

  3. […] This meditation is done outdoors. It begins with one half hour of slow walking while chanting “om, d’om, om sid-hi,” – taking four steps for the first “om” followed by a quick breath, […]

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