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In this video, Stephan introduces himself and explains what mantra chanting is all about.
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My name is Stephan, I play the Indian harmonium and I sing mantras.
Mantras are sacred and healing syllables, words or phrases that people have been reciting or singing for thousands of years.
They hold… mysteries. One of these mysteries is that they elude rational analysis. They unfold their subtle effect in deeper levels, deeper than where our analytical, rational thinking lies.
You might think: This is just another esoteric nonsense. What kind of deeper levels is he talking about?
The beauty of singing mantras is that you don't have to believe anything. But if you open yourself, you can experience what singing mantras is about.
Singing mantras is singing from the heart. It is not about beautiful voices or perfect sounds—it is about the experience of just doing it.
What will you find out?
Certainly something about yourself, maybe something about the universe, and if you are religious, maybe even something about the divine.
In order for you to experience something, it is not enough just to listen to mantras. You have to speak, recite or sing them yourself, loudly and audibly. And you will have to do it regularly.
You can sing mantras alone or with others. Chanting mantras in a group has a special quality and energy. We can feel directly that we are connected to each other. This can be a profound experience. Laughter can come spontaneously, tears can flow. We can be deeply touched by something for which we have no words, and are held and supported by the mantra, the sound and the group.
There are different ways of singing mantras. Often they unfold their own dynamics, which are not always predictable. The effects range from extremely powerful, rhythmic and loud to completely withdrawn, gentle and quiet.
For mantras there are many traditional melodies, but also modern interpretations and compositions.
I prefer a meditative, calm way of singing mantras. I call it "Meditative Singing".
Meditative singing takes its time. I rarely sing a mantra for less than 10 minutes, but rather 15, 20 minutes or even for a longer time. This time is needed for our ever restless mind to calm down and to open up to other, direct experiences. This is both a prerequisite and at the same time an effect of meditative singing. The process supports itself.
Over time it works better and better. You will be amazed when at some point you'll discover that your life has changed.
You might find that you have become more relaxed, your emotional balance has improved, fears have diminished or disappeared completely.
Perhaps trust and confidence could develop in you or were strengthened and stabilised.
Perhaps you have become more compassionate, in a way that shows itself in everyday life.
You may experience your inner clock ticking slower and that you are less prone to stress.
Maybe you feel protected and embedded in something that you did not notice before.
Perhaps the relationship with your partner has changed as well: Everyday struggles have subsided, mutual respect and a changed perspective have anchored love in a new depth.
And you may also notice that other people behave differently towards you, more friendly and more relaxed—just as you behave towards them.
This is another mystery of mantras: they change you. And the universe reacts. Sounds fantastic? Try it out and see what happens.
Have patience with it. Pulling at the seedling does not promote growth. We all walk our own way, at our own pace.
Where are we going?
Where do we come from?
Who are we?
Maybe singing mantras will give you a new perspective on these age old questions.
I invite you to making your own experiences.