Recording of our new mantra album Temple Moon has been quite an epic journey for Terry Oldfield and myself. This album of sacred chants with soaring flutes was recorded over the past year here in our Australian Studio with Terry’s genius ear for detail at the helm. It is designed as a perfect subliminal accompaniment for your yoga practice calling us to awaken to the truth of being. We have faced quite a few challenges during it’s recording with Terry losing an eye to Melanoma and my mothers passing from bowel cancer. We have become richer from both experiences as Terry shares in his recent blog: A Blessing in Diguise. We head off on September 12th to “Temple Moon Europe” tour to share our love in concerts and workshops.
Terry and I both enjoy ancient languages. Sanskrit, meaning ‘perfected’ or ‘refined’, is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of of all attested human languages, known as ‘the mother of all languages,’. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family. The oldest form of Sanskrit is Vedic Sanskrit that dates back to the 2nd millennium BCE. This album is predominately in Sanskrit.
The first mantra Mangalam, is also the name of our property in Australia. Mangalam means Auspicious and is chanted in many Hindu ceremonies for auspiciousness. It is a mantra to Vishnu, one of the three main divine deities (Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu) that symbolises preservation of the universe. It brings good luck and reminds us of the gift and auspiciousness of being alive.
As I sang Hallelujah in the recording studio, I imagined church bells chiming from an English stone village churchyard with roosters crowing and birds tweeting in the distance. Terry has conjured up my mental image into the music so perfectly that it really feels as if you’re there. We have linked the celebration of Hallelujah (Swaha) with the Buddhist Heart Sutra Gate Gate (meaning Gone Gone) so these ancient echos can come together in the temple of the heart.
“Gone, Gone, Gone beyond Gone utterly beyond. Oh what an Awakening”. Gate Gate, Para Gate is very powerfully calling us to go beyond the traps of duality into the non-dual experience or oneness of being. Swaha, the last word in this mantra is akin to Hallelujah celebrating the moving to the other shore, the shore beyond suffering where we melt into non-duality of being as one. Singing this mantra reminds us to let go of our ego’s attachment to suffering and separation and melt into being.
So Ham Shivoham is a favourite mantra of mine on this album. I imagine monks chanting SO HAM, SHIVO HAM… So Ham is a yoga mantra that can become a deep contemplation of the truth in the words of I am (So) That (Ham). This is the place for which we are all yearning, to meet together in peace, in oneness, the place where all is one, without disharmony, war or disagreement. In this contemplation is the ultimate realisation of non-dual oneness and peace that is the ultimate goal of Yoga or Union with all that is.
The Guru Stotra (an ode or lyric poem) is an ancient text between Shiva and Uma (Shakti).We open this track with the wind whipping over the Himalayan mountain range and the calling of Buddhist horns or dung-chen. My heart has been captured by this ancient Stotra since my early years and this recording, together with the mystical reverence of the flute played so beautifully by Terry is a dream fulfilled.
The Sanskrit verses point towards the awakening of wisdom, the dispelling of darkness and the removal of ignorance by the Guru, who is the True-Self in all Beings. The Guru, being pure consciousness itself, is that place which is pure and clear of all judgement, karma and difference and where we are all one. This is that which is beyond the physical manifestation of any teacher ( or physical guru) but is equally there within us all, if one cares to awaken to this. This beautiful stotra is that awakening to a place of melting of all differences. The Guru within and without, beyond all limited concepts or objects.
Terry singing Sri Ram Jaya Ram is deeply touching. This ancient well loved mantra honours Sri Rama, an incarnation of divine love. It is said his name is so charged with the power of his love for humankind that it can transform our ignorance into a sublime love.
Aum Tare Tutare Ture Swaha is a beautiful buddhist mantra to overcome hardship and deliver us from suffering into true freedom. Green Tara is the Goddess of Compassion to all beings..offering kindness, love and sweetness…
We offer this album from our hearts and would love to hear back from you upon listening. Please leave your messages on this blog. NAMASTE..