Transforming Difficult Emotions Through Singing

“The Name repeated with either good or evil intentions, in an angry mood or even while yawning, diffuses joy in all the ten directions.”
~ Tulsidas (1532–1623), Indian poet-saint. (Quote shared by Krishna Das in the jacket cover of his CD, “Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga.”)

Chanting (singing) has been one of my daily practices for more than fifteen years, and I have been chanting a forty-verse prayer called the Hanuman Chalisa for more than ten years. Each day when I sit down to sing along with a CD by Krishna Das, I acknowledge whatever is present in me in that moment, and then ask for help as needed.

One morning last month I got really triggered by something right before I was going to do my chanting practice. I was in an utterly reactive state, so I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to do the practice, but I sat down anyway, feeling angry and depressed. I said a prayer, asking that my difficult emotions could be transformed into love…

Well, it took the entire forty verses for that transformation to happen! This was the first time I had this experience: I chanted the forty verses in a gruff angry non-singing voice with clenched teeth, and felt like I was possessed. And in fact, I was possessed, by my own toxic angry reaction… After chanting the forty verses that way, as I began the after prayers, suddenly I was singing in my normal singing voice! The healing, transformative power of the chants is so miraculous! I felt so incredibly grateful to be softened into love again.

Sometimes when we get angry we have to do the mental work of searching for the root cause and then consciously transforming and releasing the anger through understanding… But sometimes we can just simply sit and sing, allowing the healing sound vibrations to melt the anger into love and joy.

Can you relate to this experience? Have you ever dissolved anger through singing?

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy.

May our singing diffuse joy in all directions!

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

 

Love Thy Neighbor

Do you ever feel bothered by your neighbors? If so, perhaps you will be able to relate to my story here…

My intention is to send loving good vibes to my neighbors, even when – no, especially when – they do insensitive things that affect me negatively. However, when their carcinogenic cigarette smoke, toxic lighter fluid fumes, heart-breaking smells of dead animal flesh cooking, and offensive sounds of foul language all waft on the nice breeze across the property line and in through my open window, my best intentions are seriously challenged.

As I close the window, I feel irritation and anger that once again I cannot get fresh air and hear the lovely birdsong. I know that the negative energies arising in me are not healthy for me, and I do believe that energies radiate out to others. But, it is one thing to understand the energetic principles involved, and a whole other thing to be able to practice loving kindness in the moment of feeling triggered.

If you also feel challenged by your neighbors, here are a few practices that can help you to find equanimity, love, and compassion…

At the moment you first feel triggered, pause and witness your emotions with loving attention. Breathe, and cultivate compassion for yourself first. Next, remind yourself that the other person is doing the best they can with the light that they have to see by. They probably are not even aware that their behavior is bothering you. In fact, they might even feel bad if they knew that they were causing you grief.

Try to let go of any judgments you may be feeling towards them. And finally, send them love, compassion, peace, and healing energies. Notice how much better you feel after doing that. Kindness and compassion transform you, and they feel so much better than irritation and anger.

I hope this post was helpful to you.

 

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Orange rose photo by Alexas Fotos on Pixabay.