News

The sound of selflessness

PURE SOUND: The Gyoto Monks of Tibet are coming to the Star Court Theatre on Sunday.
PURE SOUND: The Gyoto Monks of Tibet are coming to the Star Court Theatre on Sunday.

EVERY year a group of Gyotu Monks from Tibet comes to Australia to conduct public rituals and ceremonies throughout the country. When they're not travelling, they are based at a serene property in the hills of Rosebank where they carry out their Buddhist practices in much the same way as they would in the monasteries of Dharamsala (although I'm not sure they get to ride mountain bikes around the dirt roads when they're at home).

The practice includes several hours of chanting or harmonic throat singing each day. It's a sound that has intrigued audiences across the world and last year an album of their singing called Pure Sounds (recorded in the Northern Rivers) was nominated for a Grammy Award.

This Sunday, October 7, the monks will be at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore to perform their mesmorising chants before a screening of a documentary, also called Pure Sounds, that looks at the lives of the monks, and particularly at the history and practice of harmonic chanting.

The Echo visited the monks this week as they were preparing for their morning singing.

Through their translator Sonam Rigzin, Tashi Gyaltso told me eight parts of the vocal chords had to be activated to achieve the sound over a three octave range.

"It creates power...You have to visualise the sound coming from the guts," he said.

The chanting is underpinned by 2500 pages of text that the monks learn from a young age, when they begin chanting three to four hours a day. On some occasions they will chant for up to 18 hours a day for five days straight.

Asked why the chanting had such a wide appeal to Westerners, senior monk Gen Lama said, "it is the sound of letting go of the ego."

"It resonates pure consciousness and encapsulates all living beings," he said.

Pure Sounds is narrated by Toni Collette and the screening and singing is in Lismore from 5pm this Sunday.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Last moon walker Gene Cernan has died, aged 82

History-maker and NASA moon mission pilot Gene Cernan has died aged 82.

HISTORY-MAKER and NASA moon mission pilot Gene Cernan has died.

Naked man steals cart before arrest

NSW police at coffs harbour boat ramp, arrest , gun, shots, handcuffs

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Alleged trespasser to front court after 'erratic' escapade

Man threatens bank teller with blood-filled syringe

Police are investigating a bank robbery at Ballina.

Police are appealing for help after a terrifying daylight robbery.

Local Partners

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Fincal Verdict: Rent or Buy?

Housing generic.

Australia's love affair with property seems to know no end

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!