I listened to some chants this morning – not call-and-response chants like the “kirtan” we participated in last night, but just the usual chants of day-to-day life. A chant is essentially a repetitive rhythmic phrase, and they were everywhere this morning. As Delycia and I walked up and down the grassy lawns for exercise before breakfast, every bird’s song was a chant, the same smooth phrases sung over and over. Then, at the silent breakfast, there was a soothing kind of chant-like rhythm in the sounds in the otherwise silent dining room – shoes shuffling, silverware dinging, glasses clicking, shoes shuffling. It seemed, as I listened, more and more like a chant chosen just for all of us who came to Kripalu for comfort and understanding this week. And even later, as I was writing among groups of people in the downstairs reception area, I heard chants around me, chants of laughter – small volleys of gladness seemingly in rhythmical patterns. There was an almost lyrical quality to the laughter – first some quiet conversation, then soft explosions of laughter, then more conversation, then laughter briefly bursting out again. It was like a chant of good cheer, this graceful flow of laughs, the kind of chant a writer like me can love as he’s letting words loose in sentences.
Written at The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health,
with Delycia for R+R
July 4, 2013