It's here!! Wellsprings of Life: Quaker Wisdom in Chant. A new collection of soul nourishing chants, filled with spiritual encouragement at a much needed time.
"Paulette Meier’s chants open a door to the pearls of transformative wisdom waiting to be discovered in the Quaker mystical tradition. This new album sparkles with the message of joy and steadfastness, even in the midst of troubled seas. Concepts as subtle and challenging as inner stillness, non-attachment, and the indwelling Christ Spirit come powerfully alive through these mystical chants. One can drink these chants in, almost like an elixir of hope!" -- Cynthia Bourgeault, author & teacher of the Christian and Contemplative Wisdom Traditions
“Early Quaker writings have a poetic quality, and Paulette Meier shows that there is music in them as well. In this second album, she has composed chants from texts spanning three centuries of contemplative Quaker wisdom.Embellished with instrumentation and harmony, they become verses of mindfulness to grace one’s day, offering nurture for the soul. - - --Michael Birkel, Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Earlham School of Religion and author of numerous writings on Quaker spirituality.
"Through haunting melodies and stirring harmonies, Paulette’s vibrant chants transport me again and again into the realms of deep comfort and peace described by Quaker mystics." --Anne Bernard Becker, Contemplative writer and minister. "The profound spiritual experience of the early Quakers was expressed in simple and poetic words that can move us even today. That simplicity and directness are conveyed very well in this musical rendition by Paulette Meier. Her songs inspire us to chant along, allowing the words to sink in and make the experience our own." — Rex Ambler, Theologian, author and retreat leader in Quaker spiritual practice. (Lancashire, England.)
"These inspired words of early Friends, set to music, open our hearts to take in and remember the wise wisdom they express. If you listen to them, and, better yet, sing or chant them, you'll find them spontaneously rising up within you as guidance and accompaniment in times of need, helping you understand how the Spirit is at work in you. — Marcelle Martin, author and Quaker educator
"For many years I have used chants as a key resource for my own contemplative practice and for spiritual deepening experiences that I have supported with multigenerational and interfaith groups. Paulette’s new album recuperates some of the most crucial Quaker teaching and invites Friends and others to explore the deep roots of mysticism. These chants are a call and a celebration of the living Spirit manifested within and beyond our human condition." — Francisco Burgos, Education Coordinator and Incoming director of Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center
This new collection of 19 chants, all composed from words of Quaker leaders, came about as a result of two communities coming together: Quakers and practitioners of the contemplative Christian Wisdom Tradition. My introduction to this Wisdom Tradition, which emphasizes inner spiritual transformation, came by way of reading the works of Cynthia Bourgeault, a teacher, leader and modern day mystic, and I saw how closely Quakerism resonated with it. Our paths eventually brought us together, leading retreats and workshops on these two streams. The work with Cynthia exposed me more to the practice of chanting as a spiritual practice, and I wanted the songs on this album to be chants that people could sing together or alone. Thus the songs, unlike Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong, have more regular rhythms and instrumentation, and each song is repeated many times, in chant style. I am thrilled that two fine Wisdom Community musicians. Andrew Breitenberg and Nick Weiland, joined me in the production, and encouraged me in so many ways to make it happen! And I'm super grateful to Northeast Wisdom for administering the fundraising campaign and to all those who have contributed so generously to allow this new recording to happen! Please see below for more details about how this all came to be! --- Paulette
Cynthia, Marcelle, Nick, Paulette and Andrew (behind the piano!) at Pendle Hill, May 2019.
These new chants were primarily composed in conjunction with two "Quaker Wisdom Schools" held at 2017 and 2019 at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center near Philadelphia.Marcelle Martin, a Quaker educator, joined Paulette and contemplative Christian author and leader Cynthia Bourgeault in co-leading the sessions. Paulette created new chants based in large part on the inspiring texts that Marcelle selected for her teachings on Quaker spirituality. At the 2019 Wisdom School, a mix of 80+ Quakers and Wisdom Community members joined in singing the new chants together, aided by the soulful and often spirited accompaniment of Andrew and Nick. By the end of the week, participants decided to start a pledge drive to make sure the songs could get recorded. Administrative support was generously provided by Northeast Wisdom, an organization that supports the work of Cynthia Bourgeault and the Wisdom Community in expanding and deepening contemplative Christian practice for spiritual transformation (You can learn more about their organization at: https://northeastwisdom.org/) For more information please contact Paulette directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.