NEWS: Prayer, Poetry, and the Sounds of Sacred Energy

Whether religious or non-religious, most Americans, according Krista Tippett, claim that they pray. Recently, many have rediscovered various contemplative traditions and even non-religious prayer. Anoushka Shankar, daughter of musician Ravi Shankar, recalls her own approach to Sanskrit chants and prayers in her music. She considers this a connection to nature, in contradistinction to Western theistic approaches. Sound, according to Shankar, is equally valuable. She points out that certain vibrations and sound-patterns are imbued with power and may affect or create meaning. Chanting helps one access the primordial, allowing the practitioner to transcend the mundane and experience universal sacred energy. Tippett also considers Stephen Mitchell’s approach to poetic, non-religious prayer and theologian Roberta Bondi’s considerations about potential theological misunderstandings about prayer—that we need not adopt a formula of structure. We simply need to show up and make an attempt. Listen here.

Related articles:

The Sanskrit Epics By John Brockington From The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism

Sound and American Religions By Isaac A. Weiner, University of North Carolina (Vol. 4, July 2009) Religion Compass

anusvāra From The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems

Poetry By HAROLD SCHWEIZER From Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory

Changing Status in India’s Marginal Music Communities By Zoe Sherinian, University of Oklahoma (Vol. 4, June 2009) Religion Compass

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