Kirtan in Montclair NJ Message Board › Thank for coming last night!

Thank for coming last night!

Raghavendra
user 35046612
Montclair, NJ
Namaste!



Just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to Thank You for coming last night, if you did come :)



We had a great group of about 30-35 people. The energy was really good! Everyone was chanting and that IS what creates the magic during a Kirtan. We even had a 7 year old and his sister leading a chant! I would love to see some of those pictures. Share a link!



I hope you had as much fun as I did and left The Shala feeling as light as a feather!



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Thanks again and I look forward to meeting you again next month!
A former member
Post #: 1
I extend my deep gratitude to Raghavendra and all who participated in leading us along the path to bliss - that would include everyone who attended!

Icarus...I've found that drumming is instrumental (no pun intended) to the power of the process that is Nama Sankirtan. Your drumming prowess and intuitiveness are formidable. Thank you.

Twofold thanks to Debbie at Karuna Shala: for your welcoming spirit, as well as for providing space for the gathering!

On a personal note: Having moved to New Jersey this past January, I'm looking for opportunities to gather, as often as possible, with others who love kirtan (and/or ACIM). I lived for a decade in the Seattle metro area and the dominant practice there was that folks would host small, informal kirtan gatherings in their homes. All it takes is a couple of people and off we go into the beauty that is singing the Name...I have a harmonium and quite a few chants to share, garnered from various paths - Shivabalayogi, Yogananda, Krishna Das, etc. Some chants are in English, some Sanskrit.

While I'm not a musician in any sense of the imagination, I would be happy to freely share what I know about playing the harmonium with those who are interested. Also, all are welcome to the songs I've managed to figure out how to play. I know all too well how difficult it is to find kirtan sheet music. I can't read music notation anyway...so I simply write the notes in letter form above the lyrics as I figure them out. A simple system which I find works quite well.

A quick story for those who think, as I did, they cannot possibly learn to play harmonium: I attended a workshop in Seattle with Krishna Das back about 8 years ago. After he'd charmed us with stories of his guru Neem Karoli Baba, his experiences in Mother India, and carried us on his wings of chant into realms uncharted, he asked the attendees if there were any questions.

Before he could finish his request for questions, my hand shot into the air. I wanted so desperately to learn to play even a single Sanskrit chant, but I was completely useless when it came to playing harmonium or any other instrument.

So, I blurted out my questions: "Where can one find music notation for harmonium? Are you planning on releasing notation for your own songs so we can play your songs in our own private sadhana?"

Krishna Das stares into me...pauses...and in his inimitable way responds, "What? Do I look like somebody who knows how to write music?".

That was it. Wow. Shot down in flames.

But for some unfathomable reason, once my head ceased its spinning, I accepted his response, didn't judge him one bit. Didn't shrink from what seemed to be him blowing me off. I just sat with it. There was a message beyond the words he spoke to me. I knew it in my depths.

Afterwards, I drove to the ferry which took me back to the enchanted island in Puget Sound on which I was living at the time, flying high from the whole workshop experience (a great deal happened in those three hours, but I'll save you all from additional boredom).

I arrived home, gave my dogs some lovin', then sat down with my harmonium. Just sat there and waited, meditated. A version of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra began playing in my head. And slowly I began to find the melody on my harmonium! Bingo! Grace!

Aldous Huxley introduced me to a term for such happenings - "gratuitous grace". I love that.

The moral of the story as I take it for myself - what I believe to be impossible is impossible - until it's not. That is to say, nothing is impossible. I do my best to be sincere, compassionate, live an honest life, moment to moment. Everything else is up to the complete and utter mystery that is this grand universe.

Apologies for the rambling road of a post. I'll blame it on the lingering buzz of last evening's kirtan... ;*).


Blessings,

Rich
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