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The Art and Practice of Kirtan Camp

Kirtan is the calling, the crying, the reaching across infinite space — digging into the heart’s deepest well to touch and be touched by the Divine Presence. Kirtan is part of an ancient form of Yoga known as Bhakti, or the Yoga of Devotion. It is the practice of singing over and over the many names of God and the Goddess, the multi-colored manifestations of the One. It is said that there is no difference between the name and that which is being named, and as the words roll off our lips in song, the Infinite is invoked, invited, made manifest in our hearts.

Kirtan is for all people. There are no experts, no beginners. The practice itself is the teacher, guiding us to ourselves. Kirtan allows us to enter into a mystery world — a world where all the logic of our minds, all the conditioning and learning are left outside. And in this mystery, we create a temple inside of our hearts, a place of refuge, a place of love, a place of just being.

In this workshop Jai and Daniel will share some of the many tools they use in their Kirtan practice, such as a beginning understanding of Indian music and rhythm, so that the participants can leave with the feeling that they, too, can dive into this world of Bhakti on their own, that any of us can lead and sing and share our hearts with others.

Subjects to be covered in this training:

*Kirtan*
As the essential practice of Bhakti, Kirtan will be the main focus of this training. We will spend many hours singing together, taking turns leading, sharing melodies, and sharing our hearts.

*Bhakti Yoga*
Understanding the path of Bhakti and Kirtan, as a journey of surrender; an offering of one’s entire being to the the Divine will.

*Mantras*
Experiencing the invocational power of the ancient Sanskrit syllables and names in ecstatic song and silent contemplation.

*Gods and Goddesses*
An exploration of the energies embodied by the different deities of Hinduism. Understanding the spiritual beings on the mythological, archetypal and deeply personal levels.

*Ramayana*
Studying and reciting the multi-leveled epic adventures of Ram, Sita and Hanuman; and how this story relates to our daily lives.

*Saints*
Drinking from the waters of Bhakti by reflecting upon the lives of some of the saints of modern India, particularly Neem Karoli Baba.

*Vocal Training*
Opening the voice and learning to love the sound that comes from our bodies.

*Rhythm*
Beginning to understand the rhythms associated with Kirtan; the rhythms of trance, the rhythms of ecstasy, the rhythms of contemplation.

*Learning Harmonium*
Gaining a begining understanding of the rudiments of harmonium and kartals (finger cymbals) for accompaning Kirtans.

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