Wondering about Chanting and Chocolate, a FREE monthly program at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center?
Communal chanting is an ancient tradition found in many cultures throughout the world. Sometimes a word or phrase is repeated over and over, and sometimes a wordless melody is used.
Chant combines breath, sound and rhythm. A chant can feel ecstatic, or introspective, upbeat or yearning, evoke images from our past, or create a sense of nothingness that is calming and soothing.
In our Chanting and Chocolate gatherings, we generally chant wordless melodies from Jewish tradition dating from the mid-1800s to the present. Many people have noticed that these chants “sound” or “feel” Native American. This speaks to the universality of chant amongst communities around the world. Our chanting is not religious and we do not use liturgy, although many describe the experience as prayer-full and meaning-full.
We experiment with different speeds and rhythms and volumes, often with a suggested intention (called kavanah in the Jewish tradition),to guide our chant. Sometimes, the intention/kavanah is directed towards healing or compassion. Other times, participants are invited to focus on their own intention/kavanah
What is the point of chanting for us, and what can you expect? You can find lots of scientific and anecdotal studies on the internet describing the many benefits of chanting, especially of chanting in community. Participants in Chanting and Chocolate describe feeling calmer, more centered, peaceful, relaxed and the like. People notice an almost immediate sense of community, sitting in a circle chanting with a group that was a group of strangers. We don’t worry about our voices not being good enough. We have fun, we feel good, we breathe, we create sound and rhythm, we become a community.
And then….there’s chocolate.
We chant for about 60-75 minutes and then socialize while enjoying tasty treats.
Chanting and Chocolate is sponsored by a generous grant from the Lasko Family Foundation.
Spring sessions at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center:
Sunday March 22 at 7pm
Sunday April 19 at 3pm
May date TBD
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 North High Street
West Chester, PA 19380
FREE Sunday parking