I was first introduced to chanting a couple of years ago at a retreat week, and I wasn't much taken by it. However I didn't want to be separate from the group, so I joined in. I continued to chant on Sunday at my Toronto location. I found it soothing before the session began.
When in-person gatherings were suspended due to the pandemic, I yearned for the lost connection and was happy to find it again in our Saturday morning chanting sessions. Gradually, I started noticing changes. After chanting, I felt calmer but energized at the same time. All the extraneous thoughts in my head were gone. My thinking was clearer. I felt more motivated to do things.
In October, I began to include chanting in my personal practice. I chant almost daily on my own. I find it gives me a gentle focus so that I can practice the set without distraction. I'm able to let go more. Now, without fail, I chant before I practice the set.
Recently, I've noticed other changes. I am more aware of what is happening internally when I chant. Now, I try to bring those feelings to my physical practice, and this has made a dramatic change in my danyu.
Chanting has turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. I've learned it is really important to keep an open mind and I'm looking forward to what may be uncovered next.
Scott, New Brunswick