I come from a very strict Indian Classical music background. However, I LOVE singing Kirtans and sharing my music, singing together, feeling the love flow. Singing Kirtans is extremely meditative, rejuvenates and relieves stress. I always believe that all good things need to be shared and sharing Kirtans with other multiplies its positive effects.
I organize a Kirtan MeetUp group in Simi Valley, CA.
I will be sharing my thoughts on Kirtans in this page.
We all know that Meditation offers innumerable benefits for your body, mind and spirit. The rest you gain in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep. The deeper your rest, the more dynamic your activity is. There are physical benefits of Meditation as well. Meditation has been known to lower High Blood Pressure, lowers blood lactate, thus reducing anxiety attacks and increases energy level. However, Meditation doesn’t come easy for many people. And that’s where kirtan- an ancient call and response style music helps. Kirtan music is one of the oldest scared traditions of the world that originated in India. Using ancient Sanskrit mantras, the kirtan calls upon sacred energies which serve to quiet the mind, remove obstacles, and bring us back to the center of our being.
Kirtans have short “Mantras” or couplets. These mantras are repeated over and over. Typically the lead singer starts singing the Mantra slowly and builds in up to a higher tempo. By focusing on the rhythm and by singing these versus people experience freedom from stress. Often times people who participate, clap in rhythm while singing, close their eyes to concentrate and at the end of a Mantra sigh and enjoy the newly found bliss and enjoy the silence. Kirtan involves singing but it goes beyond ones singing abilities. It is not about the “Art” of singing but about “Heart” of singing. Everyone can participate, regardless of age or cultural background. The purpose of this music is to get us out of our heads and into our hearts. Typically, the songs can last for 20-30 minutes each with a few moments of silence in between each song so you can soak it all up. The longer songs allow for deeper experience of the effects, and with the simple, repetitive lyrics (it’s a chant, after all!) we really don’t have to think much about the words.People often say they feel “buzzed” for days following such a chanting experience.
So what gives us that buzz? Something about the kirtan experience goes beyond the music itself, goes to a deeper experience of vibration. We all resonate at different frequencies, and these frequencies change according to what we are doing and thinking. So when we are all doing the same thing-chanting, breathing, and moving to the same rhythms-our vibrations begin to synchronize and the resulting experience is very powerful. The laws of vibration help us out here, because vibrations align themselves to stronger vibrations, so even if you’re having a truly rotten day, it may be difficult to hold onto those feelings during the chant experience. If you were only to sit in the room without participating, the idea is that you could still feel the shift. Something happens-the energy begins to activate the spirit that exists within us all.
In fact, because the ancient Sanskrit lyrics are not familiar to many of us Westerners, these words take us away from the mind’s constant chatter a little easier. The powerful healing and transformational energies of these ancient chants can help to reconnect us to the Ever-Present and Eternal Being that lies within us all. All the mantras, melodies, and instruments of kirtan are designed to lead us toward this meditative state.
During our Kirtan MeetUps we all sit together on floor like we do back in India. There are a few chairs for those who prefer. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed. Most of us spend the day in our heads, running here and there, thinking about where we have to be and what we have to do next. The kirtan gives us a time to come back to our center. And when this happens, beautiful things begin to unfold. Feelings of inspiration, peace, and a sense of connectedness are common experiences.
Here is what people say about their Kirtan experience with us:
“What a magical evening. The love there tonight was almost palpable.” – Patrick Newton
“Thank you Kamini! Fantastic evening. Thank you beautiful people who brought such good food and great energy! ” -Missy Arellano
If you wish to join our group, here is the link: http://www.meetup.com/SimiValleyKirtan/
All our Kirtan MeetUps are FREE and open !
Quiet Your Mind, Feel Your Self!
Kirtan helps the mind become quiet, and when the mind quiets, we can begin to perceive the mystical things, the sacred experiences, that are around us always. In the silence between the songs, when the song stops, you can feel something. And that something is you. There is no greater experience than the experience of one’s Self. And that vibration is always within you, that vibration is you. That’s the beauty of any chant experience-with little or no effort we can experience and enjoy the vibrations of peace, energy, healing and inspiration that are always within us.