Music touches people on a deeper level than words alone. The music composed by Swami Kriyananda is written to change consciousness; the experience of listening to, playing, or singing such music goes beyond the sensory experience, into the soul.

Being part of the choir at the Ananda Center in Portland has become a vital part of my spiritual practice. I count on it to bring inspiration and understanding, just as my meditations do. Every song is an opportunity to tune into divine truth and then to share with others.

The choir is made up of people with a range of musical experience. Fortunately, the only requirement for joining is a desire to sing, so I get to spend time surrounded by many with natural talent and musical ability. We all enjoy the company and the inspiration that comes with practicing together, although our companionable chatter can push our choir director to the limits of patience. I’m filled with sweet gratitude as we drive home after practice and my daughter tells me she is happy we were able to go.

My daughter, Mary, is 10 years old and she has been singing these songs for years. What would it be like to be exposed to music that uplifts the soul, from such a young age? She has a musical ear and the memory of a youngster, so it takes very little for her to memorize words and melodies.

As Mary sings around the house, taps out tunes on her keyboard, and sings for hours with friends, I am glad she looked beyond her natural shyness to find the courage to join the choir a couple years ago. Now the joy I feel in the music is doubled as she stands up with me to perform.

 Singing in the choir

Many people have told me that it was the music that drew them to Ananda, and brought them back for more. I know that some of my most blissful moments have been while singing the songs that express these universal teachings so beautifully.

I encourage you to listen to the music of Ananda with your children. It provides a wonderful opportunity to talk about spiritual teachings and to explore ideas together. Even the simplest children’s songs offer a deeper reality to share that is beyond words and notes.

As one song by J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) puts it:

Joy will come to anyone whose soul has learned to fly!
Sing when the sun shines, sing when the rain falls,
sing when the road seems strange,
In a tempest seize the lightning flash,
and ride the winds of change!

Find out more about Ananda music in the posts by David Eby.

Joy always, Lorna