Tutor(s): Swami GyanaDharma
Chanting offers us a direct way of healing our emotions. To evolve in our self-understanding we need to be able to channel the raw energy of our emotions in wiser and more productive ways: in so doing, emotional energy becomes the fuel that enables us to travel far along the path of spiritual awakening. Emotions can often misguide us, or manifest in unproductive outbursts. Through the practice of chanting (known as mantra yoga) they can instead be channeled and expressed in more mature, creative and beneficial ways. The powerful energy contained within emotions then becomes available to us for healing or deepening our practice.
As Swami GyanDharma explains – ‘We need to sing to stay emotionally healthy. We often underestimate the importance of singing; it re-balances one’s whole emotional personality and helps us find a way through discomfort or pain. It is a wonderful moment when we open up in this way and when we intuitively understand the possibility of healing our disruptive emotions.’
Chanting primarily bypasses the thinking/questioning/doubting aspects of the mind. As such, it is a direct and accessible gateway to meditation and a simple way to liberate ourselves from mental complexes, emotional imbalances and energetic blocks. All we need to do is relax, use our voice and open up to the experience. Chanting helps us to stay in the present moment and empowers us to express ourselves more openly without being bound by fear.
This retreat will mainly comprise chanting and meditation. There will also be one or more havans (fire ceremony). Swami GyanDharma has been chanting for 40 years. He makes seemingly difficult chanting accessible to all. He is a clear reminder of the fruits of spiritual practice. Being in his transformative and life-affirming presence will be a central feature of this retreat.