The Healing Chant

According to sound healing pioneer Jill Purce, there is a profound sense of disenchantment in Western society. “I think this is because,” she says, “quite literally, there is no chant in our lives anymore. All the situations in which members of traditional cultures came together to chant have gradually been eroded away, so we feel disempowered and helpless in a desacralized world.”

One of the effects of chanting is the dissolution of boundaries. When this happens something new can take place in the psyche and body of a person. Chanting seems directly to stimulate the emission of certain chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins, which give rise to states of enhanced awareness, blissful calm, and other deep meditative states.

A specific chanting skill Purce teaches is Mongolian overtone chanting. This involves sounding a single note only, but by modulating all the resonant cavities, including the shape of the mouth, the chanter makes audible, high, bell-like sounds that float above the continuous bass note in a way, reminiscent of the music of the spheres and producing a state of extreme calm and clarity.

The voice is the key to spiritual transformation, she believes. “Because the sound of the voice is directly linked through the breath to the activities of the mind, through working with the voice we can learn to enter the state the Tibetans know as ‘rigpa’, the awareness that combines emptiness with clarity. This leads ultimately to illumination.”

Jill is conducting two Healing Voice events in October, her first appearances in New England since 2010. Visit for details.