Chanting as a Communal Spiritual Practice for Friends with Paulette Meier, Tony Martin

Jan 8-10, 2021

Friday 7:30pm to Sunday noon via Zoom

From time immemorial, people have sung and chanted together to lift spirits, to heal suffering, to unify souls, and to come closer to God. Sufi wisdom says that chant is the bridge between sound and silence. In this workshop, we will build and cross that bridge together. Drawing on chants from Paulette’s two albums, Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong and Wellsprings of Life, as well as chants from other sources and traditions, both ancient and modern, we will embody these spiritually supportive words in our deep memories. Since online chanting in real time is not possible, we will be listening to recordings with multiple voices for a fuller sound as we chant along at home. An opportunity for composing new chants from beloved texts will be provided and we may also make recordings of our own voices as well. Friends of all musical abilities are welcome!

Our bodies are naturally, perfectly made instruments that we don’t so much play as allow to be played by this mysterious life giving energy that animates us. We are made to sing – the way wolves and whales and frogs are made to sing. Together we will create musical vibrations to nourish and connect our spirits – with each other and with the divine within us. While zoom technology prevents hearing each other simultaneously, use of recordings with multiple voices will simulate the effect of joint live singing.

“Chanting is at the heart of all sacred traditions worldwide…. it is fundamentally a deep-immersion experience in the creative power of the universe itself. Because to make music, you must engage those three core elements out of which the earth was fashioned and through which all spiritual transformation happens: Breath – Vibration – Intentionality.”
    ~ Cynthia Bourgeault, from The Wisdom Jesus (p. 161-162)

To Register: Call for more information! 610-566-4507, ext. 137
Pendle Hill registration online here
If you are seeking financial assistance to participate in this program, please click the link above and follow instructions for the Pendle Hill Financial Assistance Application form.

Cost: Subsidized Fee: $85, Basic Fee: $100, Fee Plus: $115

Paulette Meier is a singer/songwriter, whose work as a peace educator led to her award-winning CD, Come Join the Circle, LessonSongs for Peacemaking, used in classrooms to inspire children in the ways of peace. A former artist-in-residence at Pendle Hill, Paulette was inspired to set early Quaker texts to song and record them in chant-like, a cappella style. The resulting CD, Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong, opens a window on Quaker spirituality and offers a meditative focus in spiritual practice. Her latest album, Wellsprings of Life: Quaker Wisdom in Chant, emerged from her heightened awareness of the power of chanting through her work with Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom Schools, She has since been leading chanting groups and is excited about Friends taking up this communal practice! For more information about Paulette and the chants visit

Since taking a Chanting workshop at the FGC Gathering in 2000, Tony Martin has been chanting as a spiritual practice and as a ministry. Together with his wife, Patsy, he has been leading two monthly chanting groups for nearly 20 years. In addition, he has led two chanting workshops at the Gathering. Tony has developed a repertoire of over 150 chants during this time, drawn from many different sources, including some original ones. Since March, when COVID put a stop to in-person chanting, Tony has been leading Zoom chanting sessions twice a month online. In addition to chants, Tony has composed music for singing passages from Thomas Kelly’s A Testament of Devotion, as well as psalms, poems of Hafiz, and other sacred writings.

Schedule: Ample breaks will be added to the sessions below!

Friday opening session 7:30pm-9pm

Saturday morning session 9:30am-11:30am (with a break mixed in)
Prompt shared at end of morning session for self work or reflection over lunch
1:30-3pm first afternoon session
3-4pm BREAK
4-5:30pm second afternoon session
5:30-7:30pm break for dinner
7:30pm-9pm evening session

Sunday 9:30am-noon closing session (with breaks mixed in)