“We must go beyond the illusion of separateness so as to realize that we are all interconnected. Whatever our beliefs, we must seek to be instruments of love, peace, and light, so that we may be a force for good in this world.”
-Dr. Joseph Michael Levry
Consider the vastness of our global practice community, and that each of us has our own unique reason for finding our way to the mat. With a body of teachings as rich and diverse as Kundalini Yoga, there is beauty in the invitation to choose what resonates, and engage the tools that speak to our soul.
Some of us come for the exercise, finding that the rhythmic and repetitive movement energizes the body and gives us what we need to keep up, despite trying times. Others find peace within the meditations or a community that feels like home.
But it’s hard to find a Kundalini yogi that hasn’t been, in some way or form, transformed by the power of sound. In this post, we journey into the beloved and medicinal world of mantra and explore the ways in which mantra serves as a bridge between worlds.
The Cusp of an Age
The teachings of Kundalini Yoga speak directly to the change of Age - forewarnings of systems collapse and interpersonal tension, most of which we’re experiencing now in real-time. Is there anyone that does not feel in their own heart and belly the grip of massive change?
In the midst of such change, we need techniques that are widely accessible, deeply healing, and able to shift our consciousness from the illusion of separation into the wholeness of which we’re a part.
Shabad Guru: From Darkness to Light
“There is no wound of mind, heart, spirit, and body, whether past or present, that cannot be healed with unconditional love.”
-Dr. Joseph Michael Levry
Chanting is a cornerstone practice in Kundalini Yoga, celebrated for its accessibility and ability to bring us back to the heart. Chanting mantra is a conscious method of controlling and directing the mind. In the words of Krishna Das, “Chanting is like asanas for the mind and the heart.” When we slip into the illusion of separation, chanting brings us back.
We can think of mantras as a code, each containing a signature frequency that we attune to as we vibrate the sounds. It’s a tender and time-tested way to train the mind, guiding it toward the Infinite.
Though not all, most of our mantras in Kundalini Yoga stem from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book of the Sikhs. Each mantra contains perfect mathematical symmetry, a quantum intelligence encapsulated in the word “naad,” or sacred sound.
In the language of Gurmukhi, shabad means sound, and guru means teacher or knowledge that transforms you. The patterns of the Shabd Guru combine atoms of information in the smallest sound units “to release the inner energy of awareness needed to guide the mind through this wave of change.” The root meaning of shabd is that which cuts the ego.
See the Other as You
At the heart of yoga practice is the recognition of our interconnection. This is the wisdom of the heart and the dwelling place of compassion. Yoga teaches us through embodied experience that we are not separate from the larger matrix of life and consciousness. Still, often, we forget.
In times such as these, when we’re facing uncertainty, rapid change, and polarization on a global scale, we are wise to remain aware of this. And if you find yourself in a state of fear, self-doubt, or loneliness, perhaps try chanting to bring yourself back. One hand on the heart, one hand on the belly.
You are home here.