The power of mantra and chants Ancient mystics from around the globe, as well as modern scientists, agree that everything is in a state of vibration, thus emitting sound. In the Tibetan mantrayana tradition, which is very much alive today, not only the words, but every sound made and every letter of the alphabet is looked upon as a sacred symbol. Every syllable carries a certain frequency. Mantras, in the tantric tradition, are seen as vessels of spiritual power beyond human comprehension. They are means for activating and invoking the dormant spiritual forces within the mind, through which we are capable of directing our own destiny. In the Bible it is written: "In the beginning was the Word". This tells us that the first sign of life was audible expression, or sound. Pythagoras believed in the "Music of the spheres", the idea that all of reality vibrates according to mathematical laws. New science holds that every atom provides a particular sound on account of it's movement and vibration. Each atom sings it's own song, and the sound creates with each movement dense or subtle forms. Mantras have a purifying and refining effect, thus raising the consciousness of both the chanter and the listener, elevating them to the experience of ever higher states of mind. Etymologically, mantra means that which protects the mind. Therefore recitation of a mantra not only protects, but helps, develops, and matures the mind of the person who recites it and meditates upon it's meaning. 1) Praises to the Eight Noble Ones. This prayer known as Tashi Tsigpa was written by Lama Mipham and is a condensed version of the Mangalam Sutra. It is recited to invoke the blessings of the eight great Buddhas, bodhisattvas, goddesses and guardians, and is typically recited before embarking on any venture. It is especially effective for gaining success in any endeavor. 2) Vajrasattva Mantra Vajrasattva represents the intrinsic beginningless purity of all the Buddhas. Through the practice of the Vajrasattva mantra, one purifies oneself of accumulated negative karma in various manners and on various levels. However, truly effective purification takes place only when we realize the fact that to begin with, we were never really impure, because our essential nature is that of primordial purity. 3) Mahamudra Instruction Mahamudra literally means "The great seal of absolute reality". It is the union of emptiness and luminosity. According to this teaching, all the phenomena of Samsara and Nirvana are innately permeated by this truth and this truth alone. Hence one is incapable of finding any phenomenon that is exempt from this fundamental truth. This specific Mahamudra Prayer comprises the five-fold pith instructions formulated and taught by Jikten Sumgon. 4) Prajnaparamita Mantra Among the vast corpus of scriptures pertaining to the Buddha's revolutionary discourse on the topic of transcendental wisdom, the Heart Sutra is the shortest version. It is perhaps the most widely known and frequently chanted sutra in many Buddhist traditions. The Prajnaparamita mantra is the essence of the meaning of all these discourses. 5) Padmasambhava Invocation Affectionately addressed by Tibetans as Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava (The Lotus Born) is the ideal tantric guru, mystic and sage from India. He is known to have visited Tibet under the patronage of a Tibetan king in the eight century. He constructed the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery and introduced Tantric Buddhism. Foremost of all, he is the embodiment of mystical occult power and magic dedicated to the welfare of all beings. With this prayer we offer our devotional homage and invoke his spiritual power upon us, so that we are completely protected from all obstacles and hindrances. 6) Chenrezig Mantra Four-armed Chenrezig remains the most widely known meditational deity, and it's associated six syllable mantra is the most popularly practiced mantra in the whole of Tibetan spiritual life. Compassion is one of the most important aspects of the enlightened mind and Chenrezig is regarded as the personification of the love and compassion of all the Buddhas, fused together into a single entity. 7) Offering to the Dharmapalas The function of dharmapala - the Dharma protectors - is to defend the Law of Dharma, as taught by the Buddha and the disciples who commit themselves by implementing it. In general, dharmapalas are worshipped in various ways by devotees for the purpose of averting obstacles that prevent them from progressing further on the path of Dharma as well as to foster the necessary conditions for their practice. 8) Maha-karuna Dharani This rather long mantra or dharani is related to the archetypal deity popularly known as the Thousand-armed Chenrezig. The eleven heads of this exceptionally powerful form symbolize the omnipresent quality of compassion in all directions. The thousand arms symbolize the natural expression of compassion in the act of readily using one's hands in a thousand beneficial ways. The thousand eyes, i.e. one in the centre of each palm, symbolize the wisdom that lies behind each and every compassionate act. 9) Supplication to Yang Chenma Goddess Yang Chenma (in Tibetan) or Sarasvati (in Sanskrit) is the embodiment of the creative energy of music, art, culture, poetry, knowledge and wisdom. With this prayer we pay homage and summon her spiritual presence before us, and supplicate her to bestow upon us the power of her enlightened creative energy. Yang chen ma - Mother of Sound Lama Changchub - vocals, nga (tibetan drum), bells, (small drum) Tal Coleman - bansuri, tibetan bells, voices Fernando Sallum - keyboards, shruti Box, tibetan bells, effects, voices Special Guests: Chandra Lacombe - kalimba, udu, voices Giitam - voices Sigmund Vatvedt - dileruba Eduardo Agni - glass Paulucci - voices, didgeridoo and crystal singing bowl Margareth Tarach - design CD-cover.