You have reiterated something that deserves an important consideration and expansion. Your statement: “Chant is the beginning of meditation.”
The term “chant” here indicates more than just uttering the hekau in rhythmic fashions. Rather it indicates that a devotional process needs to be engaged before the mind may be ready to enter into calm and later stillness phases.
Devotions, including chant, help to corral the wayward mind so that it will be able to redirect itself towards one pointedness in the forms of the Divine and later into the formless form of the Divine in the meditative state.
Therefore, the precursor aspects of the spiritual practice that precede formal meditative practice should not be overlooked. Part of this precursor process may include taking tea, taking a shower, setting a mat, burning incense, followed by relaxation posture, followed by chant followed by meditation.
In this way the body/mind is led through a gradual process of relaxations and occlusion leading to concentration on oneness which is the purpose of meditation.