Atlantic Ocean sunrise

Akal: A chant honoring those who die and those who mourn

Atlantic Ocean sunrise
“Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.” The David Searls quote rings true for this sailor and seeker. How about you?
Vladimir Nabokov quote
The golden light of a new day dawning on the east coast of Florida’s Hobe Sound from a peaceful spring break anchorage (oxymoron, that) for the crew of Chip Ahoy reminds us to savor life as well as what comes next.

Many texts and teachers instruct us in the ways of death, reassuring that there is nothing to fear. That it’s the ascension to the clearest, most joyful and easy-flowing consciousness ever known. Others suggest that existence after death will be what we wish it to be. Those who see it as the end will go into that big nothing. Those who have a kind of heaven in mind will realize that vision.

Whatever you believe, it’s easier to think of death in the abstract. And in my case it’s a heck of a lot more relaxing to focus on my own death, or what Abraham-Hicks irreverently terms “croaking.” Now that my children are grown I don’t fear the reaper. When it’s my time, it’ll be fine. In other words, when it comes down to me and my loved ones, I’d rather go first.

It is always hard to say’ goodbye for now’ to loved ones who have passed and to gracefully and authentically join with those who are celebrating the lives of their beloveds who have passed away. Death comes along fairly regularly once you’ve passed the half-century mark. Just lately again I’ve again noticed a cycle in my circle of friends losing parents and grandparents. My dad, who died in 2008, never liked that term. “I’m not going to be lost,” he’d say. But he is in the physical sense lost to us. We can’t hold his hand. This part of our relationship with him is no more. And that is sad. There is a sadness for those of us left behind when the soul of the departed leaves the body.

There is a beautiful “Akal” chant that helps me be more at peace with death. It’s a ritual that brings to life the phrase “if there is anything I can do,” because you can do this to help the departed and the grieving. I offer this in honor of friendship, of the transitory and eternal duality of life and in absolute faith in the enduring nature of love.

This kundalini yoga mantra has a power that’s super soothing at a time when we may be feeling powerless. Pronounced “A call,” AKAL is literally ‘a call’ that declares the undying essence of the universe, the deathless energy of the soul merging with the divine. It honors the liberation of the soul passing from one world to the next. It helps the living and eases the transition of the departed.

Another way of describing Akal is to think of it as a tool for lifting the sadness we are feeling by giving our beloveds a gift – the gift of our wish for their easy transition into the next phase of existence, to merge with God or whatever name or image you attach to the pure energy source that extends beyond this realm.

Faith is very personal. If Akal doesn’t resonate with you, the principle of using words set to music can still be a balm to heart and soul. For example, when my Grandma Hammer passed away we sang “In the Garden” and “Old Rugged Cross.” Those songs held a resonance for me, because I had so often heard her play and sing them. And this, for Grandma, was her Akal, the expression of undying, infinite, pure, positive love.

Akal can be chanted alone or in a group. For me it has become a late night ritual used to honor my own departed loved ones when my own loved ones pass and also to send out healing vibrations to grieving friends who are suffering a loved one’s loss.

And I hope that when I “croak,” there will be those who chant Akal for me. Here’s a lovely version by Snatum Kaur:

Bonus inspiration: Abraham-Hicks and a different spin on the death experience: After ‘croaking’ how soon are we back?

Bonus inspiration: Writer and social media maven Wendy McCance writes about comforting, ethereal farewells in a recent “Searching For The Happiness” post.

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