By Nayaswami Dharmadevi
October 22, 2019

Narayan and I just finished an inspiring and fulfilling weekend at our community in Palo Alto. At the temple, we offered a workshop we just launched in Los Angeles, called Chanting for Healing. This three-hour workshop involves mostly, you guessed it, chanting! Interspersed between the chants are guided visualizations, meditations, and affirmations to attune more deeply to the essence of Paramhansa Yogananda’s sacred chants.

We utilize the healing qualities that he gave to each chant and break the workshop into three, hour-long segments – Overcoming Habits & Negative Thought Patterns; Overcoming Fear, Failure, & Disillusionment; and Attuning to the Divine Light Within. Even though we have followed the same outline for the program, it has, each time we’ve given it, been a completely unique experience.

One common denominator in the program is that, at some point during the three hours, I wonder, “What if I’m the only person enjoying myself?” I question my singing abilities, my lack of skills on the harmonium, I see others in the audience who I think would probably do a much better job, and then thankfully, I start chanting again and forget all of that nonsense. 

Yoganandaji said in How to Have Courage, Calmness, & Confidence, “If you have an inferiority complex, remember that success, health, and wisdom are your rightful heritage. Your difficulty is due to weakness, which may have had its inception in one or more factors. It can be overcome by determination, courage, common sense, and faith in God and in yourself.”

We sometimes think that to lack in self-confidence means we are humble, but without a healthy sense of confidence, we would never achieve anything of real value. We would simply be paralyzed by a feeling of unworthiness. Swami Kriyananda said, “Humility does not mean self-abasement: It means self-forgetfulness.” 

What is healthy confidence? Yogananda said, “Be a proud child of God.” He called his prayer poems in Whispers from Eternity “prayer demands.” He teaches very clearly to pray not as a beggar but as a child to his parents. What your Heavenly Father has, is your divine birthright.

After hearing from a number of grateful attendees at the Chanting for Healing workshops over the past couple of months, I came to an important realization: I have a mediocre to decent singing voice. I can remember how to play a fair number of chants on the harmonium. Neither of these things are special or necessarily seem to make me qualified to share this workshop. But, I love chanting. I have felt the benefits from chanting Yogananda’s and Kriyananda’s chants directly. And, most importantly, I am a willing channel for God’s power and blessings to flow through the chants to help others have a direct experience of the Divine.

What do you love to do? How do you feel you can be a channel for blessings in this world? It doesn’t necessarily equate to what you feel you can do really well or have some special skills in. 

“Remember that self-confidence and abundance-consciousness spread faster than the disease of depression ever can. Just as the sun quickly spreads over half the globe at one time, so the strength of your joy and abundance-consciousness can spread quickly over the dark territories of your own consciousness, as well as that of your family, your neighbors, your country, and the whole world.”

–Paramhansa Yogananda,
How to Have Courage, Calmness, & Confidence