Art That Heals

The choir rehearses a song by Swami Kriyananda at Ananda Sangha in Palo Alto.

In Narayani Anaya’s wonderful book My Heart Remembers Swami Kriyananda, she tells how, after she was diagnosed with a very serious cancer, she visited Swamiji in Assisi Italy to ask how she should deal with the forthcoming chemotherapy and the dire disease.

Swamiji told her an amazing thing. “Listen to my music,” he said. “It will heal you.”

In his book, A Tale of Songs, Swamiji begs the reader to sing and perform his music.

Which, of course, raises the question, what’s the big deal? Followed, undoubtedly by the usual smug demands: Show me the numbers. Where are the double-blind studies? I’ll believe it when you can show me multiple duplicated results.

The thing is, Narayani was healed. For months, she played Swamiji’s music constantly, 24/7 while she lay in a small room in her father’s house in Spain.

Yesterday was Sunday. I sang with our small group at service but skipped rehearsal afterward because my throat was sore and I felt unwell. I rode my bike home, enjoying the warm California sun, but by 3 p.m. I was toast and lay down for a nap. I awoke five and a half hours later, feeling very sick and staggered to my office to — do what? — maybe watch a video. Instead I worked on editing a book I’m writing about Swami Kriyananda. Soon I was feeling much, much better.

I had a good night’s sleep but awoke feeling awful again. Nevertheless, I showered and shaved, did Yogananda’s energization exercises, and went to the music studio. I normally meditate with the usual gang at the community temple but didn’t want to share the virus.

Before starting my meditation, following inner guidance, I sang three of Swami Kriyananda’s songs: “What Is Love?,” “Brothers,” and “I Live Without Fear.”

As I sang, I paid attention to the vibration of the songs and how they were resonating with my innards, and as on countless occasions I felt their special magic. Swamiji said that he had never written a note of music that wasn’t received from a higher source.

I believe it. I was curious to see how the songs would affect my body. When I was done singing, I had a nice meditation during which the rawness in my upper throat and sinuses was gone.

I had planned to work a little, then spend the rest of the day lying down. I needed to deliver a bottle of tarnish remover to Chandra but had felt too crappy to do it right away. Now I felt fine. I got on the bike and dropped off the bottle, then I ran into a friend and spent ten minutes yakking, still feeling good, and rode to Sprouts for cough drops and groceries.

When I got home I hadn’t the slightest inclination to rest. I spent an enjoyable hour editing the book about Swamiji then fixed a glitch in a client’s website and worked on photos and more editing for several hours.

Am I claiming that I had a miracle healing? Oh, heck no. It’s 3:33 p.m. and my motor is running down. But I’m feeling a dickens of a lot better than I would, if I hadn’t gone to the studio to sing.

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