Chanting, Kirtan, Mantra and Bhajan
Chant is the repetition of words or sounds for spiritual awakening. Chanting can help to cultivate inner peace and a clearer sense of the present moment as distracting thoughts subside. The words of a chant may be mantras, hymns, spiritual texts, or primal words like OM or AUM. Chants can also include the many names of God, as understood by various spiritual traditions. Other sounds used in chant can be as simple as the sound of the breath, or as complex as musical composition. Chant is used by some to enter into mystical and altered states of consciousness including trances and the sense of being separate from others. The chants composed by Jarek Czechowicz, often presented in the form of a chanting satsang, are intended to accompany or express awakening out of the thinking state of consciousness and out of altered states of consciousness, to reveal and express the natural state of being in which these other states arise.
Chants and Songs for Awakening
The use of chanting and spiritual music for awakening has a long history. According to Daniel Brown PhD, teachers in the early traditions of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism used poem songs called dohas to sing students into awakening. In early 20th Century India, Nisargadatta Maharaj, a teacher of non-duality and a contemporary of Ramana Maharshi, is reported to have said, "Those who think they know come to the talks, those who know come to the bhajans (chants)". Music for awakening can be subtle and sublime or cathartic and ecstatic. It can be simple or complex. The important thing is that it is imbued with love, not only emotional love but a more profound unconditional love.
Kirtan is a form of chant that originated with Indian devotional spiritual traditions, particularly the Hindu religion and also the non-religious Yoga tradition. Since the introduction of Yoga to the West, around the early twentieth century, Kirtan is widely practised by Bhakti Yogis as a heart opening expression of love, hence the term devotional chanting. Jarek's contemporary kirtan chants draw on Sanskrit words and mantras that are often woven in with English words, or repeated in English and are sometimes extended into song forms that include additional verses. These longer compositions are often known as chant songs or heart songs, reflecting the devotional orgins of the songs.
The easiest and most ancient form of mantra chanting is chanting the primal sound OM or AUM which can be chanted with or without attributing any meaning to the sound. More sophisticated mantra chants often include some form of meaning, or levels of meaning, that become more obvious at different stages of spiritual evolution.
The term bhajan refers to all styles of Indian devotional songs that are based in the Indian system of music that uses ragas as the basis of the songs' scales, and talas as the basis of songs' rhythms. In this strict sense Jarek's chants are not bhajans however people who enjoy singing bhajans may find Jarek's chants to be an enjoyable and uplifting experience and a suitable addition to their regular spiritual activities.
What is Chanting with Jarek?
Jarek composes original chants using uplifting words and melodies that are easy to learn. Chanting with Jarek is a contemporary yet timeless manifestation of the Yoga of Sound. Jarek's chants reflect the ancient wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions whose most profound teachings point beyond the appearance of separation. The chants use original English mantras and ancient Sanskrit mantras. They sometimes include names of well known spiritual figures and deities such as Buddha, Shiva, Rama, Krishna, Jesus or Mother Mary.
The format of events may vary to underline certain subtle spiritual perspectives like inner peace, awareness, consciousness, equanimity, meditation, while other events will focus on karma yoga, seva or community service. Event formats include peace music, chanting meditations, sacred singing circles, sacred sound circles, singing meditations, mantra meditations or mantra chanting. No matter which of these forms an event takes its main objective is to support and express awakening rather than any particular dogma.
What will I experience?
Many people have reported feeling a wonderful sense of community in singing with others. Others have described it as being very healing. You might experience the feeling of primal peace and love, or a deep inner stillness during the brief periods of silence between the chants.
How will it help me?
Reconnect more deeply with yourself, your community and with nature. Enhance your general well being. Open yourself more fully to the divine and sacred and discover it to be in the here and now. You might also experience blissful states, trance states, ecstatic states, heightened states of consciousness or simply a deep peaceful stillness.
Is it religious?
No, these events are non-denominational, non-dogmatic and not linked to any particular tradition. Jarek's chants are very open and universal which is why Jarek is often invited to offer music and chanting at various spiritual events and interfaith events.
Chanting with Jarek is suitable for anyone of any age who is able to participate quietly during silent periods of the program. Those who prefer not to sing, are welcome to immerse themselves in the celestial and healing atmosphere of the chanting.
Where and When
Chanting is included in a number of Jarek's events including Peace Music, Chanting Satsang and Chanting Concerts. Subscribe to the newsletter to be kept informed of upcoming programs. Special events include New Year's Eve and Winter Solstice
Learn more about Chanting with Jarek Czechowicz
Read about Chanting Now
Read more about Kirtan
Watch chanting videos
Learn some of the mantras and lyrics in Jarek's chants