What Is Singing Meditation?
Singing Meditation is an interfaith spiritual practice that combines singing – of many types – with group observation of silence. Combining the two practices, which are often engaged in separately, results in a synergy that enhances each component.
Click here to see a video introduction to Singing Meditation, with Ruthie Rosauer and Liz Hill (video by Bill Lewis of the Youngstown Vindicator).
In Singing Meditation a song is introduced by the Facilitator. If the song is new to most of the participants the Facilitator will play the music line through on a keyboard a few times to give everyone a chance to hear it clearly. Then the song is sung repetitively by the group until singers go from ‘learning mode’ to singing from the heart. The songs in Singing Meditation are deliberately chosen to be easy to learn.
The singing part of “Singing Meditation” includes a variety of vocalizations: toning, chanting, singing in rounds, singing in harmony and mantras. The repertoire is inter-faith: Jewish, Christian, Sufi, earth-based, Hindu, Buddhist and others. Our goal is to sing a song enough times that its vibrations sink deep into the soul of the participants.
Our CD, Songs for Singing Meditation: Let Joy Fill Your Heart is an excellent way to quickly become familiar with some of the songs that work well in Singing Meditation sessions. Listen to cuts from the CD.
After the learning mode the group sings a cappella until the song spontaneously dissolves into silence. Silence is undirected by the Facilitator. Occasionally an inspirational reading or poem will precede silence, but in general no directions or suggestions are provided. Silent periods usually last from 2 – 5 minutes and may be used for meditation, prayer or silent contemplation. A bell is rung to signal the end of the silent period.
Not all of the songs used in Singing Meditation are slow and contemplative. Many are high energy and joyful. Percussion instruments are played.
The goal of Singing Meditation is to help the participants reach a place inside themselves where they can connect with the Divine, their Inner Core, the Spirit of Life. Joy and contemplation, song and silence, are splendid combinations for this purpose.