Each sequence ascends through four tones and then returns by descending to the starting note.
The eyes are closed while ascending and descending on each chromatic tone sequence.
It is not necessary to do all the sequences in one session. One could choose from any of the five element sequences and perhaps do two or three of them.
Whichever sequences chosen, one will always end with the sixth sequence, the Heart Chakra.
The Chromatic Zikar can be performed in two parts with men and women’s voices set an octave apart. With a mixed choir, it is possible to add a quint, an interval of a fifth, above the lower part.
The Chromatic Zikar practice is most helpful as a preparation for The Gentle Singing Zikar of Hazrat Inayat Khan, as well as for other concentration disciplines.
The Chromatic Zikar is sung collectively and is not intended as a individual practice. It is also important that group be lead by an experienced musician so the intonation and rhythm of the performance can accurately match the audio recording.
This practice develops magnetism in the voice by energizing the vocal cords. One might say, we are not all singers, so why should we develop the voice? The answer is, that it is with the sound of the voice, that we communicate our thoughts and feelings to others in a harmonious way or in an unconsidered way, and the sound of our voice can have a completely different impact than what one might expect.
The awareness of the voice is obviously one of the many ways with which, we can convey whatever we have to offer, and it also reveals the characteristic of the personality of the one who has made an effort to be considerate in the manner with which, the modes of expression are carried out along the voice flow.
Another important aspect of the Chromatic Zikar is that it also works as a breathing exercise. When chanting, one is breathing out through the mouth, expelling negative vibrations and toxins. Furthermore, it is also a thinking technique, because when coordinating the breath with the chanting, one is really relying on concentration.
In this practice, the breath follows a rhythm that corresponds to the group of notes chanted in each repetition of the Chromatic Zikar and the subtle sound vibrations resound within certain centers called Chakras.
Furthermore, when focusing with closed eyes on one of the five chosen chakras, while holding the thought-waves under control all along the breath-current, one’s consciousness is directly linked to the kundalini energy-flow.
The Chromatic Zikar practice is chanted on the melodic pattern of the Gentle Singing Zikar and each repetition of that pattern is successively augmented by half tones, while rising to a given pitch, and then descending in the same way to the starting point. On each ascent and descent one intones a given vowel.
The last of the five sequences is chanted this time upon the words of the Gentle Singing Zikar and with eyes closed, one mentally focuses upon the heart chakra, keeping in mind the following picture: ‘My heart is an empty bowl in which there is only place for Thee’.
The closing of this special practice is done in silence, while all thoughts and wants are cleared away, once the veil of the ‘I’ concept has been replaced by the brilliancy of the shining light in space.
Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan
Practicing the Chromatic Zikar
Our bodies exist within a field of energy. This subtle body is said to be the starting point for vitality and wellness or illness and disease. Within this subtle body there vibrates several major energy centers known as chakras, which correspond to the specific elements, colors and sounds.
In Chromatic Zikar, the melodic formula of the “Singing Zikar” is repeated on ascending and descending scales, with consecutive intervals of one half tones. This practice, which is of Zoroastrian origin, brings vitality to the chakras.
Earth Element: With eyes closed focus the inner gaze on the area of the navel. The color is yellow. Visualize the yellow color radiating out of the center of the chakra in all directions. Attributes of the earth element include stability, balance, inner security, grounding and nourishment. The tone on the ascending and descending scale is: AAH
Water Element: With eyes closed we focus the inner gaze on the area of the heart. The color is green. Visualize the green color radiating out of the center of the heart chakra. Attributes of the water element are ongoing movement, progress and continuity. This is the seat of love and the centre of our emotions. The purity and cleansing vibration of the water element purifies the heart, opening it to compassion, so that the heart “overflows” with love. As the power of flowing water can wear away stone, so the water element softens the hardness of the heart. The tone on the ascending and descending scale is: OH
Fire Element: With eyes closed, we focus the inner gaze on the area of the throat. The color is red. Visualize the red color radiating out of the center of the throat chakra. Attributes include energy, transformation, passion and enthusiasm. The throat chakra governs empowered communication and allows us to speak with conviction, sing with joy, shout with anger or scream in pain. The tone on the ascending and descending scale is: EEH
Air Element: With eyes closed, we turn the inner gaze on the area of the third eye. The color is blue. Visualize the blue color radiating out of the center of the third eye. Attributes include inspiration, intuition, telepathy, guidance, initiative, as well as thoughts and beliefs. The Sufi looks upon this area as the seat of healing in the body. The tone on the ascending and descending scale is: EUH (as in “rue”)
Ether Element: With eyes closed, we focus the inner gaze on the area at the top of the head, the Crown Chakra. The color is pale silver grey spiraling upward into a brilliant, clear diamond white light containing all colors. Visualize the spiraling diamond light radiating out of the center of the portal at the top of the head. Attributes include interaction with the Divine Presence, grace and inspiration.
The Tone on the ascending scale is from Zikar 1 of Inayat Khan - La El La Ha - El Al La Hu. This means “None exists save God. God alone Is”.
The tone on the descending scale is from Zikar 4 of Inayat Khan - HU - simply translated as “Is”.
There will be a 5 minute meditation after the Ether Element Zikar, followed by a bell tone to mark the end of the practice.