Jazz Chanting

It is a fairly new Seishindo Practice and my clients and myself have been finding it to be particularly enjoyable, and effective in helping to bring about a change in the way we approach what we perceive to be “problems.”

1. State your “problem” or what you want to be able to accomplish.

If you are stating what you consider to be your problem you might say for instance “I have difficulty getting up in the morning.”
If on the other hand you state what you would like to accomplish you might say, “I would like to get up on time each morning, and feel fine when I get up.”

2. Create an “I am” statement.

You do this by making believe you have already achieved the outcome you desire, and making a statement that signifies this.

“I am getting up on time every morning, and feeling great.”
Within reason, keep your statement as short as possible.

3. Write down in very brief form what seems to hinder you from achieving your goal.

For instance: “I can’t get to sleep at night.” “I have too many worries.” “My baby wakes me up numerous times each night.” “I am just a natural night owl.”

4. Write down what it is about your nature/character, and or life circumstances that can help you to achieve your goal.

For instance: “I have a strong interest in self improvement.” “I have a tremendous amount that I want to achieve in my life.” “I hate feeling stuck or addicted.” “My partner gets up early and I want to share more of my life with him.”

5. Choose some music that is calming, and play it in the background. Usually it is best to have music without lyrics, but music with lyrics can also be fine.

6. Take all that you have written so far and place it on a large piece of paper. Usually I disperse the statements like you will see me doing below.

You might also want to somehow bold certain words to make them stand out, or use different colored felt tip markers.

“I have difficulty getting up in the morning.” “I am getting up on time every morning, and feeling great.” “I can’t get to sleep at night.” “I have a strong interest in self improvement.”
“I have too many worries.” “I have a tremendous amount that I want to achieve in my life.”

My baby wakes me up numerous times each night.” “My partner gets up early and I want to share more of my life with him.” “I am just a natural nighttime person.”

“I hate feeling stuck or addicted.”

7. Create an improvisational jazz chant for yourself.

With your soothing music playing in the background, create a free form improvisational chant, and chant for at least ten minutes.

You want to make sure that you have free time, and you will not be interrupted, and I would strongly suggest that you set an alarm clock if one is available, so that you do not have to check the clock to see if your time is up. Ten minutes would be great, but if you find this too challenging then start out with five minutes.

Before you begin your chanting you want to make sure you are seated comfortably. If you are sitting on a chair, please sit towards the front of the chair and do not lean back against the back of the chair. Take several deep breaths before beginning, and notice whatever rocking motions (if any) your body has at this time.

When you are ready, begin your chanting.

There are an endless number of ways to do the chanting. Usually I would start out by reading through the above text with bolding, once or twice, slowly, with pausing, and taking some deep breaths. After I have done this I would start improvising from there. I will write a few possible improvisations below, for the instance of someone having trouble getting up in the morning.

“Getting up in the morning……..with my partner…….getting up on time……..even though I can’t sometimes sleep at night……..My baby, my partner……sharing more of my life……a natural nighttime person……..I have difficulties……..too many worries………to stay awake at night…….I have a tremendous amount…….Strong interest………strong worries……..strong desire to change……..addicted feeling, feeling stuck………at night……in the morning…..all of the time………getting up in the morning…….

Like any of the other Practices, it might take you a few run throughs before you feel like you get the hang of it, but please do give it a shot, because many people find this Practice to be especially beneficial.

I was doing this Practice recently and I had a concern about following through with certain ideas, rather than flitting from one idea to another. I was doing the Practice as outlined above, and suddenly a thought and an image came to me in an aesthetic fashion. I saw myself sitting by a small river rapids, watching how the water, over time, ate away at the rocks below, and then these words came to me:

Dripping water,
On the surface of a rock,
Penetrates deeply over time.

This poetic statement felt really right to me, and I switched from my other chanting to mainly just slowly repeating this refrain.

I offer this as an encouragement to let your creative spirit soar when doing such Practices!

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