Chants for Sleeping, Prayers for Achieving Mystical Experiences and Mantra’s to Relieve Stress. The Power of Sound!

16 Nov



Study – The Energizing Power of Gregorian Chants


The Energizing Power of Gregorian Chants

One group of Benedictine monks discovered an unexpected benefit from their Gregorian chants: teir chanting seemed to energize their bodies.

In 1967 Alfred Tomatis, a French physician, psychologist and ear specialist, studied how chanting affected the Benedictine monks.

For hundreds of years they had kept a rigorous schedule, sleeping only a few hours a night and chanting from six to eight hours a day.

When a new abbot changed the schedule and cut out the chanting, the monks became tired and lethargic. The more sleep they got, the more tired they seemed to become. Tomatis was called in to find out what was wrong with them.

He believed that chanting (and listening to certain kinds of music) served a special purpose—energizing the brain and body. He said the monks “had been chanting in order to ‘charge’ themselves.”1

He reintroduced chanting, along with a program of listening to stimulating sounds, and the monks soon found the energy to return to their normal schedule.

Whether the monks knew it or not, they had discovered the power of sound, especially spoken or chanted prayer.

Monks Report Extraordinary Mystical Experiences


Monks Report Extraordinary Mystical Experiences

The Eastern Orthodox Church has also preserved a tradition of repetitive prayer. Their story demonstrates the immense power of the spoken word.

For hundreds of years, Greek Orthodox monks have reported extraordinary mystical experiences that stemmed from their repetition of a simple prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.

They repeated the prayer over and over again, while sitting with their chins resting on their chests to focus their attention on the heart. They believed the prayer facilitated divine union by attracting the mind to the heart, which they saw as the seat of divinity.

As they said the prayer, the monks synchronized it with their breathing—a practice that is similar to Buddhist and Hindu techniques—breathing in with the first half of the sentence and out with the second.

The monks attempted to repeat the prayer continuously, pursuing Paul’s directive to “Pray without ceasing.”

One elder advised that they should even attempt to repeat the prayer while sleeping! He instructed them to meditate or repeat the prayer “without interruption, whether asleep or awake, eating, drinking, or in company.” (Hindu yogis also train their minds to repeat mantras during sleep.)

The monks claimed that after several weeks of repeating the prayer for hours a day, they would enter a transformed state of being. They said they could see a powerful light around them, as powerful as that witnessed by the disciples at Jesus’ transfiguration.

One monk described the condition as a “most pleasant heat,” a “joyful boiling.” He claimed to live in a state that was beyond pleasure and pain, experiencing a “lightness and freshness, pleasantness of living, insensibility to sickness and sorrows.”4

This is a state in which “the flesh” is “kindled by the Spirit, so that the whole man becomes spiritual.”

The monks’ description brings to mind the idea of non-local reality.

Apparently, these monks had chanted and meditated themselves into a non-local state. The prayers had propelled them into a constant experience of heavenly fire.

This goal — entering a higher state of consciousness, a state of oneness with God — is why people repeat their decrees, chants, mantras and prayers.

Harvard Study: Repeating Mantras Relieves Stress


Repeating Mantras Relieves Stress

In the early 1970s, Dr. Herbert Benson, president and founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard Medical School, documented a phenomenon he dubbed “the relaxation response” which he says is the opposite of the body’s fight-or-flight mechanism.

Benson experimented using Sanskrit mantras. He told his subjects to sit quietly and repeat the prayer either mentally or verbally for ten to twenty minutes, to breathe regularly and to push intruding thoughts aside as they entered their minds.

Benson found that those who repeated the Sanskrit mantras, for as little as ten minutes a day, experienced physiological changes—reduced heart rate, lower stress levels and slower metabolism.

Repeating the mantras also lowered the blood pressure of those who had high blood pressure and generally decreased the subjects’ oxygen consumption (indicating that the body was in a restful state).

Subsequent studies documented in Benson’s Timeless Healing found that repeating mantras can benefit the immune system, relieve insomnia, reduce doctor visits and even increase high-school sophomores’ self-esteem.

Benson and his colleagues also tested other prayers, including “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me,” and found that they had the same effect. Even words like oneoceanlove and peace produced the response.

It appears that Benson and his colleagues had uncovered a universal principle: repetitive prayer allows human beings to enter a relaxed state.

3 Responses to “Chants for Sleeping, Prayers for Achieving Mystical Experiences and Mantra’s to Relieve Stress. The Power of Sound!”

  1. Suzanne Du Molin January 10, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Fascinating article. I have used some of the chants and prayers from the Summit Lighthouse and I feel different (happier, lighter, more energized) when I do so. I think it also helps to say the prayers in a group — a multiplier effect. Get there faster.

  2. Neroli Duffy November 17, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    Excellent article. I love chants and prayers and find that it all works right along with mind body medicine. It is useful in all kinds of illnesses and prevention of illness including cancer and autoimmune diseases. Best wishes in your ongoing work, Neroli

  3. Christina Sarlo November 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I find great comfort in the repetition of sacred prayers. Very calming and centering and I know I’m helping the whole world out as well as myself!

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