Just got home from the David Newman kirtan at Gilbert Yoga and my heart is open, my mind clear and I am buzzed with energy… all of which are good except that it is 11:30 pm! No worries though, I am enjoying a quiet house and some reflection on the evening.
Singing our minds into submission
To those unfamiliar with yoga, a kirtan could be described as a “yoga concert”, but it is so much more. It is the practice of bhakti yoga, a call and response chanting practice. A relationship is built between the musician and his audience, as he experiments with tempo, volume and syllabic emphasis and we all play along. David Newman (Durga Das) explained that the meaning of the words does not matter, but rather it is their vibration that affects us so much. At one point in the evening, he asked us if we were ready to continue “singing our minds into submission”. I think that one phrase really sums up what we do when we chant and sing at a kirtan. It is similar to an asana practice where we focus so much on the breath and physical alignment, that our mind has no choice but to calm down, but in the case of kirtan, we are absorbed in the music and vibrations.
One of my favorite chants
David sang just a bit on one of my favorites, “He Maha Lakshmi”. Here is a link to the He Maha Lakshmi video… the lighting is not good, but it sounds great. The written introduction on the video also has a great description of kirtan.
Thinking of Mom
One of the most powerful parts of the night for me was when David played one of his new songs, “Thinking of You”. In it, he asks you to bring someone into your mind as he is singing, “We’re all thinking of you”. Watch the video of “Thinking of You” here. Of course, my Mom was right there in my heart and my mind’s eye. Many of you know that my mother is battling with adrenal cancer, a rare, aggressive cancer. There were tears and a gigantic lump in my throat. Mom, I am thinking of you.