Songs of Peace, Grace, and Awakening

Barbara HuntAesthetic, Art & Creativity, Creative, Spiritual, The Creative Furnace, Values, Video Leave a Comment

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Barbara J Hunt and Creative Furnace host Steve Banks have a lot in common: both live in the south-west of England, both are song writers whose songs are deeply influenced by their psycho-spiritual journeys, including immersion in Integral spirituality. Both have written songs where the earth speaks to humanity and songs combining text from a number of spiritual traditions. And both have danced ‘5 Rhythms’ with Gabriel Roth herself, in Battersea, London!

They talk about Barbara’s spiritual journey – from a Catholic childhood, to Buddhism, to Sufism and Integral spirituality and her special focus on the power of forgiveness – and how that journey is interwoven with her song writing. Their conversation is sparked by listening to three of Barbara’s powerful, integrally-inspired songs: ‘Wake Up’ – where the earth speaks to humanity; ‘Song For International Peace’, which combines text from different spiritual traditions; and ‘Amazing Grace (Evolved Version)’, Barbara’s deeply moving re-interpretation of the spiritual classic. Powerful texts saturated in the great beauty of Barbara’s voice.

They discuss the different effect of minor (melancholy) and major (happy) keys in songs, how pain and joy are both part of ‘One Taste’, and how no-one shows us the grace in ‘taking our diamond to the pawn shop (but that don’t make it junk)’ like the master of melancholy, Leonard Cohen. They imagine what stories and songs will look like when those involved have gone through a process of forgiveness. Romeo and Juliet 2.0: where the Montagues and Capulets let go of their mutual resentments. What then…? Well, Romeo and Juliet get married, for a start…

They talk about Sufi whirling and Gabriel Roth’s ‘Five Rhythms’, the effect of listening to music in the setting of a silent meditation retreat, and how an Integral retreat would combine the power of music and dance with silence and stillness. You can listen to more of Barbara’s songs on Spotify, and on YouTube.

We hope you enjoy the discussion!

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Barbara Hunt

About Barbara Hunt

Barbara J. Hunt is an author, facilitator, coach, and forgiveness specialist. She has many years’ experience in transformational change and leadership training and is a co-founder of Leading Beyond Ego. Her private practice serves individuals and groups nationally and internationally, both on-line and in person. She is also one of the core team of therapists at Vital Detox, a deliberately developmental organisation and the UK’s leading health retreat specialising in emotional and physical wellbeing.

Stephen Banks

About Stephen Banks

Steve is deeply immersed in Ken Wilber’s ‘Integral’ theory and has presented at the Integral European Conference. In 2013 Steve set out to compose a large-scale choral work giving expression to the Integral view of humanity and our place in the Kosmos. The result is ‘Blue Pearl: A One World Oratorio’, a ground-breaking, inspirational work which will have its world premiere on 14.5.22 in London and streamed online live and on demand. Ken Wilber has described the oratorio as a ‘A superb, exhilarating, magical piece of music.’ You can listen to a demo recording of Blue Pearl, and read more about it, at Steve’s website, As a violinist, drummer and singer, Steve has performed classical, folk, and world music with ensembles as diverse as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Carnival Band. He has been writing and arranging songs for 30 years. Alongside music, the other main stream of Steve’s life has been a rich and varied journey of psycho-spiritual healing and exploration. This included training as a Psychosynthesis counsellor, which he went on to apply in leadership development. He has been practicing meditation in the Buddhist tradition for many years.