Bird of Light – Heather Houston

I offer this chant as a powerful practice of presencing. In the dark, difficult, and uncertain times, one of the most powerful tools I’ve found is to chant mantra. Mantra, that which protects the mind, helps us to enter into a one-pointed concentration, thus quieting the looping stories and the fears.

Choose one part and stick to it throughout, and notice how you feel afterward. This is also a beautiful one to sing with a large group of people.

Hamsa so hum translates as “I am That” in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. The Soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes. Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation.

Hamsa means white swan. The swan, of course, is an ancient symbol of spiritual grace and purity. The mantra is called White Swan because when the in-breath and out-breath are freed and purified, they are like the wings of a swan helping our spirits to soar. The Hamsa mantra helps us find the grace within and carries us beyond our limited concepts.

Lyrics:

Hamsa so hum, hamsa so hum

I am that I am that I am, I am that I am that I am

So hum, so hum, so hum, so hum

I am this breath, I am this voice

I am a bird of light, I am a bird in flight

© November 2019
Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Gayatri Mantra – Traditional Vedic Chant

One of my favorite morning chants from the Vedic tradition

Lyrics:

Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha,
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi,
Dhiyo Yo Nah Pracho Dayat

Meaning and History:

A prayer to the Divine Light Traditionally chanted in the morning as the sun is rising

The Gayatri mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, an early Vedic text written between 1800 and 1500 BCE

Translation:

The eternal, earth, air, heaven
That glory, that resplendence of the sun
May we contemplate on the brilliance of that light
May the sun inspire our minds

Lokah Samastah

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra which means:

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

A mantra from the Vedic tradition, where mantras are chanted on only three notes. SA, RE, and NI. Over time, mantras such as this one have been turned into countless melodies and rhythms. I learned this particular one from Slivia Nakkach. She learned it on her travels in India.