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:


Anonymous said...

What an interesting blog! I'd never heard of Kirtan before, but it sounds intriguing. As a spiritual practise can it be done at home as well?

Thank you.


Kirtaniya said...

Thank you! I'm glad you like it.

Yes, of course, you can do it at home. You can chant by yourself, or with others. The more the merrier.

Some chant in unison, but this type of chanting is usually done with someone leading the chant, and all others respond. This creates a powerful dynamic. But you can also do it alone.

Try it out and see what you think.

The recordings on the blog and the podcast is there to support anyone in their own practice (and show that you don't need to be a great singer to chant:).

Good luck!

Kancana-valli dd said...

It is wonderful to see such an eloquent and interesting description of the joys and importance of Kirtan. It really is very refreshing!As a practitioner of Kirtan myself I sometimes forget how powerful and cleansing it can be. I look forward to reading more such inspiring posts... :)

Kirtaniya said...

Our deepest pleasure:)