New to Kirtan? Open your heart with call and response chanting

IMG_1917
Kirtan and Gong Bath

What is kirtan chanting?  It’s a tool, like meditation or yoga, that helps us enter a meditative space and open our hearts.  Anyone who enjoys the yummy feeling of chanting Om at the beginning and end of many yoga practices might want to explore that yummy feeling a little further.

So why does chanting feel so yummy?  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 it, if you’ve been listening to gossip, the news, people complaining about the Syracuse weather, or your own “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.

We also do this “tuning in” at the beginning of each Kundalini Yoga class by chanting what’s called the Adi Mantra – Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo – which essentially achieves the same result.

During a kirtan chanting event, a kirtan “walla” or leader chants and the attendees respond, in much the same way as you might have played “be my echo” as a child.  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.  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 helps us 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.

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, but also, you might 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?  Check my Kirtan page to find out when the next event in Syracuse is scheduled.  If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me.  Or follow my facebook page to be notified of chanting events as they come up.

Light and peace,

LivAvtar Kaur

 

One thought on “New to Kirtan? Open your heart with call and response chanting

Leave a Reply