What is kirtan?
Kirtan is a heart-opening mantra practice from Bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion – and can be a deeply transformative experience for many people. A form of active meditation, in kirtan we come together as a group to sing sacred mantras, with a focus on the heart centre and the associated feelings of love, devotion and connection. Chanting mantras can help unlock the places where we have become rigid, opening us to a depth of feeling which we sometimes struggle to connect with in the hustle and bustle of modern life.
The repetition of mantras can also help still the mind, enabling us to become less identified with our thoughts and emotions and to feel the presence of something greater beneath. This state of openness enables us to connect with whatever we each hold highest and to experience ourselves as part of the Divine web of life.
Ultimately, trying to describe kirtan to those who have never experienced it is like trying to describe water to someone who has never had a drink. Words, and even videos, can be inadequate in conveying the powerful energy created during a live kirtan – you have to try it yourself to experience the effects. No singing or chanting experience is necessary – complete beginners are welcome. We sing for the first hour and a half then finish with tea and sweet treats for the last half an hour.
What to bring
*Cushions, meditation stools or whatever you need to be comfortable sitting on the floor – chairs will be available for those who need them.
*Bottle of water
*An open mind and willingness to join in
*Friends and family
*Cash if you would like to buy a CD (£12) – £2 from every CD sold goes to Amnesty International