Twenty-some years ago, I embraced a daily spiritual practice. Having an active and creative brain, I often found sitting in silence to be difficult, as such, I found myself gravitating toward practices, from the Christian tradition in which I was raised, which first engaged my mind while leading me to peace. Lectio-Divina and Imagination/contemplation became the foundations of my daily meditation. That was until I discovered Kirtan. Kirtan is a chanting practice that comes out of the Bhakti branch of yoga. Bhakti is also known as the yoga of devotion. In the practice of Kirtan, one uses mantra and chant to facilitate inner peace and relaxation. While I have retained the sacred reading of scripture as part of my daily practice, I have found nothing more effective than chant to bring me into the place where I am remembering my Oneness with God and experiencing the depths of Divine love.
In Sacred Sound – discovering the myth and meaning of mantra and kirtan, by Alanna Kaivalya, I have found a fabulous supplement to my kirtan practice. In this book, Alanna fleshes out the transliterations, translations and spiritual meanings of many of the most honored sacred mantras. Alanna then provides the Hindu and Buddhist myths that provide the sacred stories out of which the power of these mantras first emerged. If you have found yourself drawn to chant or have already incorporated mantra into your daily spiritual practice, you will find Sacred Sound to be a great supplement to your practice and a fantastic resource for your spiritual library.