SSRF recommends chanting the Name of God as a foundation to one’s spiritual practice. By coordinating chanting the Name of God with one’s breath, one can gain a number of benefits and improve the quality of chanting as one’s spiritual practice.
2. Effect of co-coordinating the chant with one’s breath
The following are steps in our spiritual practice of chanting as we grow spiritually and their importance:
- This is because finally we have to go beyond the physical aspect of chanting the Name of God
- You will see that as we progress spiritually the experience from our spiritual practice takes greater prominence. Basically as we grow spiritually we will begin to concentrate on more subtle-aspects of the Name of God.
3. What are the benefits of coordinating the chant with one’s breath?
3.1 Reduction in unwanted thoughts
Nowadays there is an increase in subtle-components of Raja-Tama in the environment. One of the reasons behind this is the low average spiritual level of mankind in the current era. People who are more Raja-Tama predominant generally have many unwanted thoughts such as thoughts of anger, jealousy, greed, etc. These thoughts collectively pollute the environment at a subtle intangible level.
These unwanted thoughts and vibrations enter us at a subtle-level through our breath and destabilize us at a psychological level. When we coordinate the spiritual practice of chanting the Name of God with our breath, we resist the entry of these unwanted thoughts from the environment.
As a result one experiences peace of mind, reduction in desires, improved mental health and Bliss (Ānand), a superlative state of happiness, much faster.
3.2 Living in the present
Most of the time our thoughts revolve around something related to us in the past or in the future. Generally this gives rise to further related thoughts and only reinforces our focus and attachment to our five senses, mind and intellect. For example one may be stressed due to an upcoming exam or about a hurt experienced in the past.
One aspect of growing spiritually is to let go of everything which includes forgetting the past and not worrying about the future and dwelling in the present on realising God. At the highest level of spiritual evolvement one experiences that there is no such thing as time and that there is only God. There is no past and present and one gets the experience of being one with God all the time.
By focusing on combining chanting with one’s breath one is trained to live in the present.
3.3 Continuity in chanting the Name of God
We breathe continuously throughout the day, and when we combine chanting with our breath, it improves the continuity of our chanting.
This in turn helps us to
- Remember God more throughout our day.
- Experience more of God’s energy
3.4 Purification of the environment
When we exhale taking the Name of God, we spiritually purify the environment.
4. Tips on coordinating chanting with one’s breath
Breathe normally and then try to coordinate the chanting of the Name with the inhalation and exhalation.
One remains alive due to breathing, not due to the Name. Therefore, it is important to concentrate on the breath and synchronise the Name with it. Breathing should not be synchronised with the pace of the chanting.
4.1 Example of chanting with breath
The following is a diagrammatic representation of coordinating chanting the Names of various aspects of God with one’s breath. It shows what part of the Name should be chanted during inhalation and exhalation.