Guided Meditations & Chanting

Jon Seskevich RN, BSN, BA, CHTP is a certified stress management instructor and healing touch practitioner. Since 1987, this pioneer in holistic nursing has successfully integrated therapies that build resiliency at one of the world’s foremost medical centers in Durham, NC.

This popular speaker and winner of a Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina, Alumnus of the Year and Friends of Nursing awards, presents the science and art of healing: improving physical functioning and quality of life.

These insights come from a career of study, clinical practice and research in stress management. His hospital work has been assisting people to cope with major life changes. These include illness, loss and “waiting and not knowing.” This recording is shared from his heart in his well-loved, soothing, relaxing voice.

From a review: As a nurse and someone who has both worked and traveled in high-stress environments, I’ve found Jon’s CD to be wonderfully informative. His extensive background in resiliency training is an asset, as are his many years of practical experience. While this CD will be helpful to anyone seeking to develop mental resiliency, it is particularly useful for health care providers. Here, in audio format, is a possible approach to better a stress-life balance. Best of all, these adaptive techniques are tested and taught by one who has worked and continues to work in the ever-changing field of caregiving.

So very pleased to announce the release of Body Relaxation with Hammered Dulcimer! My voice is recorded with the relaxing, soothing, sounds of the Hammered Dulcimer with Helen Wolfson.

Spontaneously collaborating one afternoon in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Duke Hospital; we did a guided relaxation with a patient and her mom that yielded fantastic feedback and encouragement to make a recording. Here it is. Helen playing her hammered dulcimer and I speak from a place of deep heart rest, and meditation. We have weaved together voice and music, that relaxes, the body, and calms the mind. Do not listen to this recording while driving. Best to look at this as one long track!

Across many spiritual traditions, singing repetitive sacred phrases is used as a way to quiet the mind, open the heart and connect to a power greater than ourselves. Here with Jon and Friends of the Universal Chanting group, we have traditional examples of Hindu, Buddhist, Native American and Christian chants and group singing for you to enjoy.

Also on this CD Jon shows how music from one culture (old-time fiddle banjo tunes) can be incorporated with sacred phrases (Christian and Hindu here) for a unique transcendental experience. Also good tunes for dancing or cleaning the house!

The first tune is a unique English translation of an ancient Hindi prayer that helps us in the West know better the meaning of the words of the Hanuman Chalisa. The last track of Chanting is Universal is the same chant only with the Hindi words in a very fast rap style!

“BlueGrass Kirtan” — a CD featuring Jon Seskevich and fiddle great AC Bushnell combining ancient sacred words in Sanskrit, Latin, and Tibetan chanted with old-time American Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes. There are 11 cuts on the album, and they are all fantastic!

What Happens When You Mix Kirtan and Bluegrass Music?
BlueGrass Kirtan!

BlueGrass Kirtan is ancient sacred words in Sanskrit, Latin, and Tibetan chanted with old-time American Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes. It is chanting that will knock your socks off!

“Mantra chanting can be an extension of shaking your ass or raising your voice in joyful exultation, with no fundamentalist associations. It’s sheer joy to sing, a good way to loosen one’s heart in the world.” — Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)

This poem by the renowned beat poet skeleton Allen Ginsberg has delighted and inspired me as a veritable foreshadowing of the spirit and experience of BlueGrass Kirtan.

Jon notes: Living in the Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, I have enjoyed old-time/bluegrass jam sessions. Listening to the melody of tunes as they repeated in a regular pattern, in my mind, heart, and soul, I began to “hear” a mantra that fit the melody and rhythm. These were the same mantras I had learned during my time of study in the 70’s and 80’s with Ram Dass, noted spiritual teacher, friend of chanting and author of the book Be Here Now.

In 2006, I went to a concert to hear fiddle great AC Bushnell playing with Stillhouse Bottom Band. Afterwards AC and I chatted, discussed this concept and began a fun musical and spiritual collaboration that has culminated in this album! AC who has many rich years of playing, recording, and performing, has brought together wonderfully talented North Carolina musicians for this East-West project. They highlight their skills and artistry with traditional bluegrass instrumental breaks woven throughout the pieces.