08.12.2019 This blog will be about my journey to find my voice in Kirtan. I'd like to think that it will eventually be a video blog. But,
I have much more clarity when I write rather than talking on and on in front of a camera. So, writing it is...for now.
I am very new to Kirtan. I discovered Kirtan through Michael Cohen about a year or so ago. Purely by accident, I found his music on Sound Cloud. I knew nothing at all about Kirtan. Had never even heard the word Kirtan.
I was so moved by Michel's music that during that first year, I only listened to Michael Cohen's music.
When I attempted to find more Kirtan I just wasn't feelin' it. So, I stuck with Michael.
Michael Cohen has a Kirtan Leadership program which I was immediately interested in but was reluctant to commit to the time and money. I just set it mentally set it aside and went on doing whatever was drawing my attention at that time.
Well, a little over a year passed and I felt drawn to the course again. When I looked at his website I found that Michael Cohen was going to have an online introduction course. I could commit to that. The cost was easily within my reach and it was a short course. No major commitment.
During the introductory course I fell in love with harmonium and Kirtan.
I plunged in. Practiced daily. Found a bit of my voice. Felt my "True" calling. And told Michael Cohen I wanted to become a Kirtan Leader.
As I started to become more familiar with the harmonium and learn a couple of chants and later some songs I hit a wall. Learning a brand new song, that I'd never heard and learning to play a new instrument was a huge challenge for me. I started to get frustrated with the instrument and singing.
But, a huge source of frustration was , I didn't have enough foundation in what the chants, deities, and stories meant. I had zero Spiritual background in Kirtan.
I would need to take a step back.
For two reasons:
1 - Learning new songs and a new instrument at the same time was too much for me.
2 - Singing Kirtan with no Spiritual understanding as a foundation made me feel empty. Like a fraud.
So, I took a break from lessons with Mike and decided to learn more about playing the harmonium first. Mastering the instrument.
I am now taking lessons online at Bhakti Breakfast Club I can learn at my own pace and start from the very basics. As a total non-musician. I'm two weeks in now and I feel much more relaxed.
Bhakti Breakfast Club also has a few lessons on voice and sessions with Jai Uttal and Krishna Das. I am hoping to gain more understanding of the chants, mantras and the Kirtan music through these master storytellers.
But, what about the Spiritual side of Kirtan?
Well, so far, my Spiritual developement includes a daily personal Kirtan practice. Mike Cohen's introductory course and Girish's book, Musis and Mantras helped me build my personal practice. (I will post that at a later time)
I am open to Divine guidance to lead me to what is next. My role is not to try to figure out what to do next or try to manipulate my "Path". Not to dig on the internet and FIND the right person, place or thing. But, to practice Kirtan daily and Reiki (more about that later too) and see what transpires.
Gotta have Faith!
Love & Joy