I had been in some conflict over the last couple of weeks as to whether I should go to the Women's March on Washington this coming Saturday. An emotional part of me really wanted to go. The less reactive part of me really did not. I am very tired of divisiveness and gender separation and, generally speaking, I feel more comfortable being a part of causes that are pro-humanity, rather than pro a specific race or gender. I am also totally against everything that Donald Trump stands for, which from my perspective are antagonism, misogyny, racism, bullying, posturing, self-aggrandizement and intolerance- with the frightening potential to take all of those "qualities" (or lack thereof) to the nth degree. The prayer is that there are truly enough checks and balances in place that he is unable to bring us all down with him in the next four years.
The inspiration came quickly a few mornings ago when I was practicing a Hare Krishna chant- something that resonated through me and which produced no conflict. Have a kirtan- for people who either can't or choose not to go to Washington but wish to be a part of creating the change they want to see and to be. Singing together is one of the most beautiful and powerful ways of creating community, something we need now more than ever. It is a scary time. What I know for myself is that I need to remember to choose love every chance that I get and singing, playing and listening to music are one of the easiest ways for me to change my emotional state.
Kirtan is a practice from the tradition of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion and the path of the heart. Through singing Sanskrit mantras that have been chanted throughout the ages and across the far reaches of time we invoke the attributes of the many gods and goddesses. As we chant, feelings and emotions are drawn forth from our innermost places and we become the chant- we become the change we want to see.
So there is a potent heart-rending aspect to kirtan, as well as the very basic tendency that we have as human beings to be easily swept away by sound and music and planted gently down in a place of stillness and surrender. It's one of the reasons it is so attractive to us. From the perspective of someone who uses sound as a tool for healing and balancing on a very pragmatic level, there is much to be said about what happens to our physiology when we chant or sing for extended periods. Chanting recharges the brain and is a restorative for the nervous system. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, releases stress and boosts the immune system.
We all have special gifts, our personal attributes and talents which we nurture and share in our own unique way. I realized as I received this inspiration to host and lead a kirtan that, as a sound healer, I have a gift to share and in my immediate community is where I felt that I could be of the most service and have the greatest impact. There is tremendous upheaval on a global scale and some difficult emotions are coming up for many of us on a deep personal level. My intention for this kirtan is to create a space through the sharing of sound and music where perhaps a few other people can also find some peace within themselves in the midst of tumultuous times.
Click on this link to read more about the science of mantras- http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/demystifying-yoga/mantras-explained-mantra-to-transformation/
And if you don't feel like reading, just enjoy the beautiful mantra posted below!
To find out more about Friday evenings kirtan please click here http://www.wholisticsound.com/new-events/2017/1/20/kirtan-power-chants-for-healing-change-and-transformation