Chants in the Desert

Yesterday NPR interviewed two monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert in Abiquiu, New Mexico, concerning the Gregorian Chants that are part of the fabric of their lives.

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

The occasion was the release of a CD of their music, “Blessings, Peace, and Harmony.”  Brother Christian Leisy explained that an email from Sony arrived proposing the recording.  “We thought at first it was spam,” he said, “but apparently someone at Sony felt the world wasn’t getting any better, and they wanted to work with a community that might focus on some of the peace elements.”

Chanting does exactly this.  Abbot Phillip Lawrence explained that scientific studies of the effects of contemplative chanting match those of meditative practice:  relaxation, stress reduction, lowered blood pressure and a general sense of wellbeing.

I bought my first album of Gregorian Chants in high school.  Even though I was usually given to rock n roll, there were times when I was drawn to this seemingly strange music with the power to draw me outside of ordinary concerns.  I’ve collected other music like it since then.  Abbot Lawrence understands the power of different types of contemplative music.  He stayed for a time in a Tibetan monastery and found that the deep chanting that is part of that spiritual discipline has the same power as the music he is familiar with.

I highly recommend the interview and the song samples to anyone interested in contemplative music:  http://www.npr.org/2012/05/27/153707577/deep-in-the-desert-monks-make-transcendent-music

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Music, Spirituality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Chants in the Desert

  1. Rosi says:

    I have a CD of Gregorian chants I put on when I’m struggling with my writing. It really is inspiration and calming. Maybe it’s time for me to get another one. Thanks for the tip on this.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s