Repetition can be beneficial, whether it’s learning math or maintaining a daily spiritual practice. Joan Chittister says, “The daily schedule consists of the same prayers and chores repeated over and over again until we see God’s presence in the ordinary and are grateful.” Buddhist author Norman Fischer reminds us that “each moment in the ever-repeated pattern is, by virtue of the repetition, always new; whatever comes around again in the great cycle of things is always fresh.”
Just as the repeated patterns in Scottish waulking songs accompany the women as they beat the cloth to make it softer, our own hardness is softened by the repetition of prayer.
Waulking songs (this version by @cinciMUSEchoir,) according to Wikipedia, are:
Waulking songs (Scots Gaelic: Òrain Luaidh) are Scottish folk songs, traditionally sung in the Gaelic language by women while fulling (waulking) cloth. This practice involved a group of women rhythmically beating newly woven tweed against a table or similar surface to soften it. Simple, beat-driven songs were used to accompany the work.
A waulking session often begins with slow-paced songs, with the tempo increasing as the cloth becomes softer. As the singers work the cloth, they gradually shift it to the left so as to work it thoroughly.