For seven days during my Kundalini Yoga retreat I woke up around three in the morning to the sound of a singing ensemble in preparation for Sadhana. Sikh Dharma International states that “Sadhana means daily spiritual practice. It is the foundation of all spiritual endeavor.
Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort. It is the main tool you use to work on yourself to achieve the purpose of life. It can be done alone or in a group. Sadhana is whatever you do consistently to clear your own consciousness so you can relate to the infinity within you.
Before you face the world each day, do yourself a favor—tune up your nervous system and attune yourself to your highest inner self. To cover all your bases, it will include exercise, meditation, and prayer.” The exercise was strenuous but doable to a certain extent and I was careful enough not to injure myself through overexertion, specially since I am not a regular yoga practitioner. I did not know most of the prayers and what they meant. However, the beautiful music and chanting captured my heart, I surrendered to the practice comforted by the singing of hundreds of voices meditating together from all over the world. I do not think I have ever done so much chanting in my life in one single week. Even after workshops were over or Sadhana was finished I would continue chanting through my day in my head or out loud to myself, or with others who could not help but continue singing. It reminds me why I am a Music Director at our church and why I love community singing.
Science continues to support a multitude of claims that singing is beneficial to our body, mind, heart and soul, even if you are tone deaf! If you already sing in the shower or elsewhere regularly you already know how great it feels. If the hymns during services are not enough, consider a visit to a Singing Meditation session on Tuesdays at 9:30 am or a Choir practice on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm in room L. Give it a try for a few weeks! Not only will you be treating yourself to beautiful music but those who get to sing with you or hear your voice will be enriched as well tremendously.
It is a new year, the world may seem dire, but your voice may add a faint glimmer of hope the more it is heard!
About the author
Angel de Armendi, Music Director
Angel (he/she/they/any) received his Bachelor of Music degree from New World School of the Arts and continued his study of piano performance at Florida International University. He made his way to Tallahassee through the Music Theory graduate program at FSU. While in school he diversified his piano skills accompanying FSU and Tallahassee City Ballet dance classes. His interest in vocal coaching took him to the Asolo Song Festival in Italy during two summers, as Assistant Director/Pianist and Composer In Residence. In Tallahassee, he also directs the High Holy Days Choir at Temple Israel, and has been their regular pianist since 2008. His love for sacred music and practice has motivated him to go through and graduate in 2015 from the Music Leadership Credentialing Program, offered by the Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network. During their 2015 conference in Boston he was unanimously elected as Board Member at Large for the Board of Trustees, a three-year voluntary commitment. He is deeply committed to building a thriving music program at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee.