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What is it like to participate in Kirtan?

Kirtan chanting is a tool, like meditation or yoga, that helps us enter a meditative space and open our hearts. Anyone who enjoys the wonderful opening, cleansing vibration of chanting Om at the beginning and end of many yoga practices might want to explore that feeling a little further.

So why does chanting feel so good? Chanting Om or any mantra tunes us into the frequency of that mantra, and since the sound of Om is the seed sound of the universe, when we chant Om we raise our own frequency to that of the universe itself. We tap into the infinite creative force of all things.

Think about this ... if you’ve been listening to gossip, the news, people complaining about the British weather, or focusing on your“to do” list all day, when you sit on your mat at the beginning of yoga class and chant Om it’s as if you’ve “changed the channel” of your frequency from all that “chatter” to calm and centered within a matter of moments.

During a kirtan chanting event, a kirtan “wallah” or leader chants and the attendees respond. The word “kirtan” means “to repeat” but it also means “divine song”. So with kirtan we are repeating songs of the divine that provide.

These divine songs or chants are sometimes in English but more often in the vibrational languages of Sanskrit and Gurmukhi. Vibrational languages are super important because by reciting them we unlock the state of consciousness that the sage or yogi was feeling when that chant was born and the subtle connections that are present in each letter and syllable of the Sanskrit alphabet. Each chant or mantra is like a pathway that leads us to a state of consciousness that can help us deal with change or navigate difficult situations in our lives.

Here’s an example: Ganesh is the elephant headed diety who represents the ability to overcomes obstacles. So by chanting to Ganesh at the beginning of a kirtan we are unlocking the energy within us to clear any obstacles that might inhibit our experience during the kirtan.

If you’ve never chanted at a kirtan event, or even if you have, take a moment to think about what it might feel like to be in that situation and notice what comes up for you.

Now imagine chanting to Ganesh at the beginning of a kirtan, and knowing that others in the room might feel the same challenges as you. Imagine projecting your voice out so it supports and blends with those around you.

Landa's sessions are particularly accessible for a western audience as she creates her own devotional songs, blending traditional sanskrit mantras with english words that reflect the meanings and energy of the mantras.

Through repeating the mantra and vibrating together you begin to feel connected to the others in the room and you find the confidence within to overcome the obstacles you feel at the kirtan. You might also find this energy expanding into other areas of your life.

In essence, kirtan introduces us to another way to mediate as a group and connect to the higher collective consciousness. We find focus in repeating the mantras over and over plus we become one with the sound and the vibration and enter a meditative space together that opens our hearts.

There are many other benefits of chanting so why not join to experience them for yourself?

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 Landa Love 2020