Monday, 22 January 2007

Last kirtan

Janak (who leads jam sessions in London) came to Oxford yesterday, and led a most beautiful kirtan:

Radhe Radhe Govinda - Govinda Radhe

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


It feels right, at the beginning of a new year, to think of clearing the decks, throwing out unnecessary clutter and unwanted habits, and starting clean and fresh. However things worked out for us in the old year, whatever dissatisfactions we may have with our situation, we have the chance now to review our lives and make plans for improvement.

This 'clearing out' extends to our bodies as well. Have you noticed, at this time of year, all the talk of Detox programmes? In the media it is the topic of the moment . Having binged at Christmas, now is the time (they say) to clear the system of nasty toxins which clog it up and bog it down, and may cause future disease. We should go jogging, or do a grape fast, or book into a health spa.

But search as you might, it would be hard to find advice on how to clean the mind of the nasty things which clog it up and which fester there. As the mind is known to have a powerful effect on the body, this is surely a good place to start. Negative impressions we take into our minds stay there and become a heavy load; deep, unwanted habits affect our abilities at work and in relationships and make us dissatisfied and unhappy.

Until we begin to clean the mind, we often don't even realise how dirty it is - like cleaning our windows at home. We get used to them being dirty, but when we clean them, then we really notice how much light comes in, and how clear and bright the colours are outside.

So our advice for detoxing the mind is to take a course of kirtan - chanting! Tried and tested over thousands of years by yogis and mystics, there is no surer, nor speedier method of deep-cleaning; for the spiritual chants are not only antiseptic, but also "prophylactic" - they will protect us from getting dirty again. As we chant, our original buoyancy and joyfulness will emerge, and spread to every aspect of our lives.

And the best thing is, that unlike detox diets, kirtan is sweet, yet you can have as much of it as you like. So if you want to lose the weight of anxiety and fight the flab of dullness, come and chant at the Oxford "Health Spa" and try it out, with the rest of us!

Next Kirtan is on Sunday, 21st January @ 4pm, Friends Meeting House, 43 St. Giles. For more info, email:

Removing Dust

I found this post about kirtan on a blog. It's an interesting observation on the experience of chanting by an eclectic Christian seeker.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Kirtan video!

We finally managed to get a video up on the blog! This one is from October, during the month of Damodar (Kartik) according to the Indian moon calender. Gopal has just sung the beautiful Damodarashtakam and continues with the Hare Krishna mantra. Magic!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Kula Shaker

I found this little gem by Kula Shaker - Govinda. Kirtan in a slightly different way than we do it. But only slightly different...