Each morning I chant for anything between 10 and 30 mins depending on the time I have available, it sets me up for my quiet more mindful meditation time.
Kirtan is a type of devotional chanting from India. My introduction was through the work of Krishna Das, an American who combines the ancient chants with his particular style of music and voice. When he visited Edinburgh a few years ago I attended his concert and was smitten.
Kitzie Stern of New World Kirtan – Calming Chants for a Crazy World describes it as follows, on her website:
“Based on ancient chants, it has the ability to quiet the mind if listened to with intention. Everyone experiences kirtan differently, and it doesn’t have to be a religious experience. You can think of it as a sing-along. A kirtan concert is not your typical concert either. Everyone sits on the floor, although chairs are usually available. The performers are accessible, in fact there’s not much of a distinction between performers & audience. The wallah (leader) sings the mantra, and the audience sings it back. A single chant can go on for up to forty minutes. As you sing with each other you experience a deep connection with the musicians, the other audience members and yourself. And when the music stops, your mind is quiet.”
All the chants I sing are in sanskrit and though I have read the translations I don’t remember them in any detail except to know that they mostly about honouring that which is great than I am, and that is enough for me.
It took me a while to get over myself and to sing freely regardless of what others may think, and believe me my children in particular thought I’d gone mad. Now they seem to just accept, ” Oh that’s Mum chanting,” and leave it at that.
06 Aydohya Vasi_Rama Rama and this is from
Krishna Das’s album Breath of the Heart