Toronto Kirtan Community

Toronto Kirtan Community
Kirtan Forever!

~ Connecting & Creating Community for Kirtan Lovers in Toronto and Beyond ~


ALL known kirtans are posted below on this website's Kirtan Calendar, on the left side above the list of links.

To receive a weekly newsletter listing kirtan events or to have your kirtan posted, please email torontokirtancommunity@gmail.com

On FaceBook: 'TorontoKirtanCommunity' group: I post the upcoming week's kirtans, as well as interesting articles, videos, photos, links about events and artists.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/torontokirtancommunity/

On Facebook's 'TorontoKirtanCommunity' page: links and information about kirtan and musicians are posted.
https://www.facebook.com/torontokirtancommunity

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tokirtan

YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCdOJgxIDP7dGYNeBmXk20A
and http://www.youtube.com/palukam


Kirtan opens the heart and stills the mind. It is the yoga practice of ecstatic chanting. Through repeating the Divine Names in Sanskrit, the mind is cleared of worry, doubt, fear and all limiting concepts. The joy of peace and infinite love is given to the practitioner, and transmitted through the world by chanting. This is the practice of bhakti yoga or the yoga of devotion. - contributed by Pat Sandford

“Music that is saturated with soul force is the real universal music, understandable by all hearts.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

“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 condition 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.” —Jai Uttal

"Chanting is a way of getting in touch with yourself. It's an opening of the heart and letting go of the mind and thoughts. It deepens the channel of grace, and it's a way of being present in the moment." -- Krishna Das

"You start doing chanting as technique. You start to sing ‘Shri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram.’ You start thinking it means, Honorable Ram, Hail Ram, Hail Hail Ram. Then after an hour you stop thinking about all of that and you are just singing it. You are realizing the aesthetic of the music and how beautiful it is. Then after a while it starts to go deeper until your heart is just singing, it’s singing from inside you. Then there’s a point where true bhakti starts- where dualism ends and you become like the chant. You are in a space where it’s not emotional anymore. It’s moved into the deeper, intuitive quality of love. Touching that love leaves you with trust in the method and trust in where the method takes you—trust in the Beloved and trust in how you get there." –Ram Dass

"If we know anything about a path at all, it's only because of the Great ones that have gone before us. Out of their love and kindness, they have left some footprints for us to follow. So, in the same way that they wish for us, we wish that all beings everywhere, including ourselves, be safe, be happy, have good health, and enough to eat. And may we all live at ease of heart with whatever comes to us in life."
- Kirtan closing prayer by Krishna Das


Sunday, February 28, 2010

~ A Love-Drenched Evening with Brenda McMorrow ~











Our very own Canadian lady of kirtan, Brenda McMorrow blessed the Yoga Sanctuary in Toronto last night with the beautiful sound of kirtan. From the deliciously sweet nectarful Om Anandamayi to a rocking hand-clapping Hare Krishna chant, we took a bhakti journey together, joining our voices and opening our hearts. We wish Brenda a safe and glorious journey next month when she takes her gift of kirtan to California.

We are SO PROUD of you, Brenda!!!
Namaste!

Friday, February 26, 2010

~ Live like you are singing kirtan ~


There is a moment, sometimes, in kirtan when I feel like I expand… as my voice reaches out to mingle with countless other voices, each of us chanting the same words, we inhale and exhale at the same time, the sound rises and falls… each of us listening intently to the sound, paying attention and subtly, almost unconsciously making tiny adjustments to harmonize ourselves with the sound and create a wave of perfect vibration….and everything else fades away, the worries, the problems and the struggles. For a moment or two, that sound, the chant, takes on a life of it’s own, directing, going where it wants to go, the participants following, tuned to it’s pathway, a cry that….soars, rises, louder, peaking until it softens, quietens and dies away… until the sound can only be felt reverberating on the inside….
What would the world be like where people lived side by side, conscious of their neighbours, adjusting their thoughts, and actions to gently harmonize with those around them? A world where people had a common focus of creating a beautiful sound, a peaceful co-existence where they could hear and sense the differences of others, and rise to meet them, flowing with them, supporting and embracing them in their sameness and in their differences…going with the flow, flowing with the go.... and in the process create a perfect vibrating harmony.
Can you imagine a world where people lived like they were singing kirtan all the time?
Om Shanti

Kirtan Yoga Blossoms in Toronto.


Kirtan opens the heart and stills the mind. It is the yoga practice of ecstatic chanting. Through repeating the Divine Names in Sanskrit, the mind is cleared of worry, doubt, fear and all limiting concepts. The joy of peace and infinite love is given to the practitioner, and transmitted through the world by chanting. This is the practice of bhakti yoga or the yoga of devotion.

A year ago, Toronto's kirtan yoga lovers consisted of small, fragmented groups of chanters around the city and it’s suburbs. Over the last few months, GTA kirtan lovers have been gathering and feverishly connecting both in person and online via mediums like Facebook's “Toronto Kirtan Community” group.

Many of us, it seems, shared the same dream. We had a vision of creating a sacred place of resources and connection for all kirtan lovers in our vibrant city. Amongst us, we have a reservoir of knowledge and experience to introduce and guide new kirtan seekers, while re-fuelling our own "bhakti energy". Collectively, we can bring peace, light and love into our world! Our drive to do this work is fuelled by a desire to be a service to humanity and divinity, not as a business venture.

Apart from on-going, monthly community kirtans, our members organised a joyfully festive Holiday Kirtan in December, and are connecting with kirtan artists outside of Toronto to assist them with bringing their gift of chanting to our city. A group of us are also exploring the development of a Bhakti Outreach programme with the goal of bringing bhakti yoga to Toronto’s under-privileged. In January, TKC volunteers assisted the Hare Krishna Temple with the preparation and distribution of meals to Toronto’s homeless. Spiritual nourishment in the form of chanting was delivered along with the meals, of course!

Our Facebook group members can explore a wealth of kirtan information and links on the group page and receive a weekly newsletter with listings of all the upcoming chanting events in GTA. We are very excited about the future of kirtan and bhakti-yoga and where it will lead us in 2010. When we sing alone it is a single gift to the Divine. When we join together and share our energies in friendship and in kirtan, our community soars and dances tenfold with this same bhakti energy.

For information about chanting and kirtan events in Toronto:


or join the ‘Toronto Kirtan Community’ Facebook group page.

May chanting the Sacred Names bring Love and Peace to your Heart. Om Shanti!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toronto Kirtan Community Website is up and running!!













Welcome to the Toronto Kirtan Community Blog

ॐ ॐ ॐ

Kirtan opens the heart and stills the mind. It is the yoga practice of ecstatic chanting. Through repeating the divine names in Sanskrit, the mind is cleared of worry, doubt, fear and all limiting concepts. The joy of peace and infinite love is given to the practitioner, and transmitted through the world by chanting. The ancient Rishis (the Illumined Ones) could hear the sound vibration that translates into perfect creation. They used Sanskrit mantra to communicate that perfect consciousness. By singing kirtan, we raise our vibrational energy to its perfect potential. It feels like an expanding sense of lightness - a permeation of the being with luminosity. (You can actually see the aura of the body expand) The body is an instrument and kirtan is the gift that tunes the self to Bliss (ananda) This mantra technology clears the nadis (energy pathways) to allow the free flow of the Universal Life Force Energy, (Shakti,) which promotes vibrant health, longevity and buoyant joy!

ॐ ॐ ॐ

One of the paths of yoga is called Bhakti Yoga. It is the path of the Heart. The Spiritual Heart. It is one of these places inside that we can't necessarily see, but we surely can feel. Bhakti Yoga is working with the heart channel. Love. Acceptance. Surrender. Endless Surrender. Into something greater. One of the practices that amplifies the Heart channel is Kirtan. Singing the names of the Divine. Our voices connect our Hearts. All praising the One. We become an orchestra together. We feel that connection to each other. We know we are connected to something greater. In the feeling of gratitude, we celebrate the beauty of love!

ॐ ॐ ॐ

The Sanskrit words that we sing in these Kirtans are mantras, or divine names. A mantra can be thought of as a sonic embodiment of the supreme being who, through grace, takes infinite recognizable forms. When touched by the blessings of an enlightened master or the longing of a pure heart, these mantras become fully alive and have the power to carry us back to the One, the universal heart. These ancient words hold within them the very presence of the deity; they are prayers, they are vessels for our prayers, and they are that One to whom we are praying.

The chants don’t tell stories and aren’t actual sentences. Rather, they are like simple roadmaps to help the mind leap from mental remembrance into the deepest heart essence, where we actually meet and commune with that being who is the source of all. And, really, it’s okay if we don’t fully understand the translations or pronunciations. Through these simple Kirtans, we can communicate with our hearts, with our souls; we can cry, we can laugh, we can dance.

ॐ ॐ ॐ

"Chanting is a way of getting in touch with yourself. It's an opening of the heart and letting go of the mind and thoughts. It deepens the channel of grace, and it's a way of being present in the moment."

-Krishna Das


Place your burden
at the feet of the Lord of the Universe
who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
in the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
He will determine the future for you
and accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done
at the proper time. Don’t worry.
Abide in the heart and surrender your acts
to the divine.

- Ramana Maharshi



"If we know anything about a path at all, it's only because of the Great ones that have gone before us. Out of their love and kindness, they have left some footprints for us to follow. So, in the same way that they wish for us, we wish that all beings everywhere, including ourselves, be safe, be happy, have good health, and enough to eat. And may we all live at ease of heart with whatever comes to us in life."

- Kirtan closing prayer by Krishna Das

ॐ ॐ ॐ


लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु।


* LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU *


May ALL beings everywhere be happy, at peace & free from suffering