The practice itself is the teacher,
guiding us to ourselves.
WHAT IS KIRTAN?
Kirtan is call-and-response chanting involving mantras or hymns. There are no masters of kirtan, no experts, no teachers, no advanced students, no beginners. The practice itself is the teacher, guiding us to ourselves.
To learn to chant, you need only close your eyes, and practice following the sounds, without worrying about how you sound. Kirtan teaches itself by allowing us to enter into a mystery world — a world where all the logic of our minds, all the conditioning and learning are left outside — and we allow ourselves to expand into the mystery.
And in this mystery, we create a temple inside of our hearts, a place of refuge, a place of love, a place of being, a place of sanctity… whatever we need.
HOW DO WE CHANT?
We just start.
We chant gently, and when we lose our place or get lost in thoughts, or in our emotions, we realize it, and use our will to come back. Again and again. We become more accustomed to being present. We come back to chanting the words.
It’s hard. That’s what practice is. But it will change us.
You chant and chant, and you think nothing is happening. But then one day there is a realization, and everything changes. Your heart cracks open.
It’s not about feeling some way or another. It’s just about doing the practice. These practices work in the background and shows us where we are still attached. We want the immediate hit, but this is a system that works on us throughout lifetimes.
YOGA OF THE HEART
Kirtan is part of an ancient form of Yoga known as Bhakti, or the Yoga of Devotion. The Sanskrit word Bhakti comes from the root "bhaj," which translates as “to adore or worship the divine.” This divine energy can be whatever you choose for it to be, something that is deeply personal and sacred to you.
Bhakti yoga, just like any other form of yoga, is a path to self-realization and an experience of harmony and oneness with everything, shedding judgment and separation. The path of bhakti yoga cultivates an inner sense of calm and infuses joy, bliss, peace, and knowledge deep into the seat of the soul.
Do you want to surround yourself with others who are searching for deeper meaning and authentic connections in their lives, too? Then meet us for a Community Kirtan Friday evenings at 5 pm at Black Cat Yoga.
We keep it pretty simple with a harmonium and a drum, shakers, bells, and tambourines for everyone to join in. We also have chant books with words and translations. This is a very casual and welcoming environment for all. And it's free! Bring your voice, your open mind, and your open heart. And let’s walk the path of love and devotion together.
We try to meet as often as we can on Friday evenings, but some weeks we are unable to. Please check the MindBody schedule before arriving to ensure we are gathering that night.
The beauty of kirtan reveals itself when all voices merge into One to create a unified vibrational sound healing experience for all.
If you feel like singing, SING.
If you feel like dancing, DANCE.
May gratitude be the beacon that guides us all to that place where meaning, truth and love exist.
Hari Om Tat Sat
YOGA SUTRA 1.23
Ishvara pranidhana provides a pathway through the obstacles of our ego toward our divine nature—grace, peace, unconditional love, clarity, and freedom.