Photo left to right: Swami Samnyasananda, Sal Kimber, Kate Tempany, Jarek Czechowicz (peace music founder), Brian Fisher, Tanya Adams, Venerable Lobsang Tendar.
Peace Music is a program of music, meditation, chanting and uplifting talks for the cultivation and expression of inner peace. The music varies from event to event. Generally the music is acoustic, world music and improvised music inluding free-form vocalisations of Om, AUM or Amen. This is an interactive event with occasional special offerings. A delicious aromatic chai tea is served at most events. This chai is an original recipe you can enjoy at Jarek's events.
AUM is an ancient and primal sound whose origins in literature can be traced back to 600 BCE to the Upanishads. AUM has been used as a preparation for meditation, as a mantra, a way of detaching from restless thinking and a vehicle for transcending the body, mind and intellect.
Basic OM Chanting Technique
Sit upright on the floor with legs crossed or sit upright in a chair with feet flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the floor. Keep the spine and neck aligned, and the head held up and facing forward. Avoid using a backrest if possible. Rest the hands, facing up or down, in the lap or on the thighs.
Instruction style 1
Relax the mouth keeping the lips closed and the teeth slightly apart. Inhale through the nose filling the lungs gently from bottom to top. Relax the muscles of the jaw so that the jaw and the lips open effortlessly. Keeping the throat relaxed, exhale slowly to produce a gentle 'Ahhh' while closing the jaw and lips. When the lips are closed leave the teeth slightly apart. Keep the tongue relaxed from start to end. Pause and abide in your silence. In the beginning stages always check for needless tension.
Instruction style 2
Gently take a deep breath. Let the mouth open naturally. Relax the throat and say 'Ahhh' while allowing the mouth to close slowly. Allow the sound to change naturally as the mouth closes. The sound will change naturally from 'A' to 'U' to 'M'. When the lips touch keep the teeth gently apart. The tongue is not needed for this so keep the tongue relaxed. Pause, abide in your silence, and relax more deeply.
Being a primal (fundamental, original) sound the vocalisation of AUM and its constituents, A - U - M, does not require sophisticated modern enunciation.
Relax all muscles not in use so that all movement of the lips and jaw is natural and simple. Modern elocution is not needed to produce a primal sound. Relaxation and simplicity are best unless otherwise instructed by a trusted teacher.
Discover your own natural and relaxed intonation of AUM. When the throat and mouth are relaxed the note tends to be of a lower pitch. Allow the duration to be set by your own natural breath, without overly filling the lungs. While sounding A the mouth begins to close producing U and then closes to produce M. There should be enough breath to make all three sections more or less equal duration. The three sections A-U-M represent an unbroken contiuum of sound. When you find your own most natural and relaxed way of intoning it then you will feel more inner peace when you chant it.
This is simplicity itself, but is often made out to be much more complicated. Counts, duration measurments and pitches are helpful supports for some people. Symbolic interpretations are pointers but one can easily get caught up in thinking and theorising instead of benefiting from the simple experience that leads to an increased sense of peace. It is from that point of peace that all questions about different interpretations are answered.
Jarek Czechowicz, April 2003
Photo left to right: Rev Paul Sanders, Jarek Czechowicz, Swami Samnyasananda
All things pertaining to spiritual progress in life depend upon peace.Hazrat Inayat Khan
Absence of turmoil is not real peace. Real peace is when you rise above the turmoil, and stay peaceful in the midst of it.Swami Satchidananda.
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.Dalai Lama
I have learned to allow the present moment to be and to accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. Thus I have found peace.Eckhart Tolle
First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.Thomas a' Kempis
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.Jesus of Nazareth, John 14:27
Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace.Lao Tzu
The following details wil vary from time to to time. These events are generally scheduled around twilight.
Item 1Ambient Music. Arriving participants are invited to relax and socialise while enjoying peaceful ambient music.
duration: 25 minutes
Item 2Welcome. Official welcome and a few important public announcements.
duration: 05 minutes
Item 3Call & Response chanting. Join in the call & response chanting by following the chant leader.
duration: 55 minutes
Item 4Responsive chanting / Ambient music / Special Offering .
duration: 5 minutes
duration: 30 minutes
Item 6AUM chanting for Wisdom . A cycle of short wisdom readings, each followed by unison AUM chanting followed in turn by meditative music.
duration: 25 minutes
Item 7AUM chanting for Peace. Each person chants AUM, OM, AMEN or AUMEN at their own pace and pitch, pausing occasionally as required to rest, listen or meditate. The overall effect is generally a continuously flowing chant. At some point the musicians will play intuitive improvisations. There is no need to copy the musicians, nor chant in tune or in with them. If you stop chanting for a while then feel free to start chanting again when ready. Please maintain the simple chanting of OM, AUM, AMEN, SHALOM or a similar primal or sacred sound. Please avoid harmonic singing, toning, or sound effects unless you're a member of the improvising ensemble. We rely on your goodwill and self-discipline to make this work.
duration: 20 minutes
Item 8Silent Meditation.
duration: 10 minutes
Item 9End. Closing Comments & notices.
duration: 05 minutes
Founder and Director, Peace Music
Reverend Paul Sanders
Minister and Zen Meditation Teacher at Augustine Centre, Hawthorn,(Melbourne)
Thanks to Reverand Paul Sanders for sharing his readings of ancient wisdom. www.augustine.org.au
Swami Samnyasananda Saraswati, Founder, Padma Yoga
Thanks to Swami Samnyasananda for sharing his knowledge on OM chanting, breathing and neurophysiology.
Venerable Lobsang Tendar
Thanks to Gyuto monk and chant-master, the Venerable Lobsang Tendar for sharing his traditional Tibetan chants.
Sri Bala Ratnam, Vibrational Breath Therapy (VBT)
Thanks to Sri Bala Ratnam for sharing his unique style of AUM chanting for health and longevity.
Thanks for their wonderful musicianship to:
Michael Livett - didgeridoo & voice
Brian Fisher - trumpet
Peter Haydon - bass guitar & clarinet
Peter Farmer - orchestral percussion
David James - alto flute
Christopher Young - bass clarinet
Christophe Genoux - saxaphone, clarinet
John Anderson - clarinet
Andrew East - clarinet
Shanti Dye - voice & acoustic guitar
Barbara Cousins - voice and harmonium
Gerard Williams - voice and hand drum
Tara Adams - voice
Rick Vanderburgh - voice
Gangadhar - tabla
Nick Randall – voice, guitar
Swami Samnyasananda Saraswati – voice, harmonium
Rick Alexander - classical guitar
"The Sunday Peace chanting & music had a loving resonance ... this is a beautiful, relaxed, meaningful manner to express the Deep Peace within us."
"magical music making ... I consider myself fortunate to have been present on Sunday."
"very well organised ... so much atmosphere ... awesome. Created a very relaxed feeling."
"I loved the music you played it was so inspiring and beautiful. Also the girl who sang had a beautiful voice and the guy who played the didgeridoo was marvellous."
"This way we will together bring about peace and healing."
"It sounded as though the [improvised] music had already been composed"
"I didn't just go deeper this time, [it felt like] I went to another planet!"
"It was like waves and you could get on any one. I'll be there for the next one."