Sing Your Heart Open. Sing Kirtan.
Kirtan is call-and-response chanting performed in India’s devotional traditions, sometimes called Bhaki Yoga, or the practicing of devotion. Kirtan practice involves chanting the names of the divine in song or hymn like a mantra. Kirtan is traditionally sung to the accompaniment of instruments like the harmonium, two-headed mradanga drum, and/or kartal hand cymbals.
Over New Years I did a Kirtan Camp, of sorts, with Gaura Vani in Costa Rica. It was the cleanest and clearest celebrating of a new year maybe ever for me as we joined another kirtan group with Jai Uttal to sing in and ring in 2010. Connecting one voice with the voices of others, makes one singular powerful, uplifting, freeing common voice. The feeling attached can be rapturous even though it may sound hard to believe.
I encourage anyone looking to feel inspired to try singing a little (or a lot) but not in the interest of performance. Try a kirtan sometime and let loose to the power that is evoked when sacred mantra is sung. Kirtan is popping up more and more all over the Bay Area and in many cities around the globe. Gaura Vani and Jai Uttal and David Stringer are all great fun to sing with.
This weekend I will be singing kirtan with Sean Johnson from New Orleans at Laughing Lotus. Join me if you are interested. And you don’t have to ever have tried sometime like this to enjoy it. There’s a certain mysterious resonance to it all, especially if you suspend your disbelief.
And if nothing else, it sure feels good to use your voice and SING YOUR HEART OUT.
Get together and sing,