Kirtan with Bradford Smith
The ultimate Kirtan experience is when everyone is contributing to the creative energy. Thus, everyone is encouraged to sing and be part of creating the experience, making everyone part of the band. To help ground the experience Brad and Mike draw on their (past life :) experiences playing in rock bands to lay down a musical foundation for everyone to sing along with. Each individual chant is a musical journey that inspires you to drop your inhibitions and become part of the creative process. There is an improvisational nature to every chant, we never really know how it will develop and finally end. We perform chants recorded by Krishna Das, Dave Stringer, Jai Uttal, Russel Paul, Lawrence Laughing, Bhagavan Das, with a few old standards and even some originals.
What is Kirtan
Call and response singing
Join the band, contribute to the group energy, the more you give the more you receive.
Songs are in unfamiliar straaange languages, this allows the mind to let go of ego thoughts and focus on the now.
Your consciousness contributes to the vibe for everyone.
Dancing a valid part.
Reach a meditative state that feels good.
Ultimately what else can you desire?
In Kirtan we sing together to create a higher vibration through the combined power of the group. Like all music the consciousness of the performer is communicated through the music. We sing together and inspire each other to express and experience our highest nature.
The true meditative state is no-thought. Kirtan is a way to help slow the mind to reach no-thought. By escaping the chatter of the ego mind we can reach the ultimate goal of experiencing our highest nature.
Kirtan is a form of yoga. Yoga translated from Sanskrit means to yoke or join with our highest nature to ultimately have a direct experience of this oneness. The popular form of yoga or asana yoga is only a part of complete process of YOGA. Asana is important because it helps us to know our bodies, to possess the health and stamina to sit still. This stillness allows us to meditate to reach the ultimate goal of experiencing our highest nature.
Kirtan, also referred to as Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. A devotion where we recognize everything is god or good, and we strive to find it highest expression. In kirtan singing and dancing is used to focus the mind to slow down and experience our highest nature.
Originating in early 16th century India, a spiritual rebellion lead by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu popularized Kirtan as a practice for finding spiritual connection for the common man.
Kirtan is usually sung in Sanskrit but any language can be used. Interestingly when we sing in a foreign language our minds can let go of control and express our highest vibrations. Many of our Chants are from the ancient Vedic mantras in the language of Sanskrit. These mantras express principles that help to explain and understand life. Allowing us to find peace in constant change and help in dealing with our desires. Sanskrit was developed by the ancient yogis who heard through meditation the sounds for the words. At subtle levels the Sanskrit phonemes relate to the body’s energy currents which lie deep within the interior of the humans.
Ultimately kirtan connects us to the mystic knowledge of the ancients, empowering us to know our highest nature.
Links to more info on Kirtan