Peace graphic

Contemplation Chant

by Sophia Songhealer

Section 1: Bass
Om Mani Padme Hum, ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ

Tibetan Buddhist Mantra; Sanskrit, originally from India

We will be using the Sanskrit pronunciation: Om Mani Padme Hum

English approximations:
Om: the Jewel in the Lotus
Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus
The Jewel is in the Lotus

From Wikipedia: The first word Aum/Om is a sacred syllable found in Indian religions. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme is the “lotus flower” (the Buddhist sacred flower), and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment.

Info on the mantra’s pronunciation from Dharma Haven: The mantra originated in India; as it moved from India into Tibet, the pronunciation changed because some of the sounds in the Indian Sanskrit language were hard for Tibetans to pronounce.
Tibetan pronunciation: Om Mani Peme Hung, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་

Section 2: Tenor
La Illaha, Il Allahu, arabic text 3
Muslim, Arabic
Translation: There is no God but God

From Wahiduddin’s Web: The Arabic phrase lā ilāha illā allāh is one of major pillars of the Muslim faith. This sacred phrase is a part of the basic Muslim statement of faith, it is a part of the call to prayer that echoes across the country-side five times a day throughout the Muslim world, it is chanted as a central part of virtually every Sufi gathering, and it appears in two verses of the glorious Qur’ān. The four individual words in the phrase lā ilāha illā allāh, have the following meanings:
lā = no, not, none, neither
ilāha = a god, deity, object of worship
illā = but, except (illā is a contraction of in-lā, literally if not)
allāh = allāh

Section 3: Alto
Shalom, Shanti
Shalom: Jewish, Hebrew שׁלום
Shanti: Hindu, Sanskrit शान्ति
Translation for both: Peace

From FIRM: Many are familiar with the Hebrew word shalom (שׁלום) or “peace.” The common western definition of peace is the absence of conflict or war — but in Hebrew it means so much more. “Shalom” is taken from the root word shalam, which means, “to be safe in mind, body, or estate.” It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back — to generously re-pay something in some way. [It is also commonly used as a greeting: hello or goodbye.]
From Wikipedia: Shanti, Santhi or Shanthi (Sanskrit: शान्तिः, śāntiḥ, Hindi: शम, śam: ‘be calm’) means peace, rest, calmness, tranquility, or bliss. One definition is: inner peace, a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress.
Unknown Source: Shanti (Śānti) simply means “peace”. It’s a beautiful meaning and also a very beautiful sound. The shanti is repeated three times, as are many chants in Buddhism. In Buddhism as well as in Hinduism the threefold Shanti is generally interpreted as meaning the Threefold Peace in body, speech, and mind (i.e. peace in the entirety of one’s being).

Section 4: Soprano
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Christian, Latin
Translation: Glory to God in the highest

From Wikipedia: Gloria in excelsis Deo is an example of the psalmi idiotici (“private psalms”, i.e. compositions by individuals in imitation of the biblical Psalter) that were popular in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The Gloria has been and still is sung to a wide variety of melodies. Modern scholars have catalogued well over two hundred of them used in the medieval church. [This melody comes from the Christmas carol Angels We Have Heard on High by James Chadwick and an unnamed French composer, 1862.]


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The community singing version differs significantly from Sophia Songhealer’s original, posted below. She has given her blessing for the song to be used this way.