This is how Ajay introduces the meditative singing as part of a silent meditation retreat:
We just keep repeating the same simple words over and over again until the busy mind falls asleep. Then we can see what else is left.
Strangely enough, some of the richest silence during a retreat can come spontaneously in the moments after singing a simple song together in the meditation hall. We sing and breathe together songs from different spiritual traditions for some 20 minutes or so, often at the end of the day.
We include optional meditative singing in our silent retreats for many reasons. A different way of connecting to inner voice and inner silence, this optional singing gives a chance to activate the vocal chords without concerns about how it sounds, what we are going to say, or how others will receive us.
Singing can also turn off mental chatter, smooth the breath, and release tensions accumulated through the day (and life) from trying too hard.
Sometimes this “inner singing” can be easier for a “non-musician” than for someone who is well-trained in “outer” music, and possibly more used to judging the outer skin of song. With beginner’s mind and ears, sometimes we can tune into a vibration somewhere between sound and energy, where we can fall through into deep meditation.