This week, I received a question about the history of Global Chant, and so I thought I would share this information:
Global Chant started in 1996. Originally, it was called "Sanctuary Among Neighbors" and was simply a support group for people pursuing a spiritual path. We would meet weekly to meditate together, and very quickly our meditations evolved into chanting sessions. The reason was just that people enjoyed chanting so much.
In 2001, we adopted the name, "Global Chant," and focused exclusively on chanting. We made a commitment to embrace chanting and spiritual wisdom from all traditions without being affiliated exclusively with any one religion or spiritual tradition. This is what makes Global Chant relatively unique. Unlike other groups, we are completely unaffiliated. Our members include individuals who consider themselves to be practicing Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahai's, and pagans. Everyone feels equally welcome because we do not impose any kind of ideology on anyone. At our chanting circles, there are no sermons and certainly no prosyletizing--just intention-setting, chanting, quiet meditation, and plenty of hugs at the end.
After 2004, we began incorporating shamanic principles into our chanting circles. Today, our circles emphasize healing intention and are structured in many ways like traditional shamanic circles. We always set intention at the beginning of our circles, dedicating our chanting to the Earth as well as to specific people,places, and other entitites that we feel can benefit from the healing energy that we generate.
With the publication of "The Chanter's Guide: Sacred Chanting as a Shamanic Practice" in 2007, our chanting circle began to grow. Our original Wed night circle has outgrown two locations in three years, and we now have chanting circles that meet in five different locations throughout Tucson. Other chanting circles have also started in California, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and other parts of Arizona.
In Tucson, Global Chant has hosted an exhibit of Buddhist relics in December 2007 and the first of several WAVE1 events (involving one million people globally) in June 2008. Today, WAVE1 is a monthly full-moon event in which we generate love and joy through chanting, dance, rhythm, and other forms of divine play.