Kirtana began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 11. On a spiritual path from a young age, Kirtana’s music reflects her own personal journey and spiritual evolution as she has shifted from transformation and healing, to concern for the planet, to the necessity for awakening to your true nature.
Kirtana’s meeting with her beloved teacher Gangaji in 1997 proved to be a pivotal moment in her life. Sparked by this life-altering encounter her music began to express more about love and self-recognition. Since then her music has been an ever-deepening expression of ‘falling into Self’’, or in her words, “a celebration of divine love and the truth of who we are”.
Fresh from her most recent tour of Australia, Kirtana says of her music: “I really have no conscious intention behind my music as it is coming through, other than to be a willing medium. I try to get out of the way to allow the ocean of Source to well up and express itself through this particular mind-stream as it will. When I ‘come back’ from the depths, I have no idea what, if anything, I will be holding in my hands – whether it will be a pearl or a piece of kelp. But I am thrilled if I can get even a tiny bit close to the impossible task of describing the indescribable, or reflecting on the beauty of this mystery.
As far as sharing my music with others – that perhaps involves a more conscious intention on my part than the receiving or creative aspect of my work, because I am not a ‘performer’ in the usual sense of the word. If anything, I’m an introvert; so for me, to publicly share with others what can feel so delicate, so intimate, has required at times, a more conscious intention to surrender to being used.
My own inner sense of dharma and the feedback I receive is, I guess, what inspires me to leave my cabin in the redwoods to take the stage. From my side, I am not trying to ‘teach’ anything. I am simply sharing my own process, perceptions, and heart. As long as people keep showing up to go with me on this journey and continue to find it enriching or confirming, I am happy to make myself available in this way.
I would say that what I offer is not so much musical entertainment, or positive New Age messages per se, or the dance-inducing reverie typical of many modern kirtan singers these days, but more an enlivenment of the stillness and love that is our true nature. It’s a quiet, experiential thing – a kind of musical satsang, reflecting an association with Truth.
In a live concert event, something beautiful can happen when everyone comes together and innocently lets their attention rest on who they are as awareness, as Love, for an hour or two. A very powerful stillness and deepening is often created that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
When asked about the future, her hopes and aspirations for herself, others, and this planet, Kirtana says; “I am increasingly aware that there is no difference between ‘inside and outside.’ For a long time, I thought it was enough that I accept responsibility for my thoughts, my emotions, my reactions to people and events, etc. But I stopped there. I assumed that other people were responsible for their thoughts, their emotions, their reactions, and so on.
But as my experience and definition of the Self has expanded, so has my sense of responsibility, to include the world. If it is all Self here, as I know it to be, then everything happening in my immediate environment, or in the ‘world’ – is happening inside me.
I am encouraged by the quickening that appears to be taking place on the planet, the increasingly obvious signs that consciousness is waking up to itself. We all have a role in that – a responsibility to see our patterns, our vasanas, our limitations, our wounds, our knots in personality as they appear. The unwinding of a knot in me contributes to your harmony. And every healing in you, contributes to my wellbeing.
I am all for making political, social, environmental changes in the world. But sometimes we can become obsessed with fixing the world as if that were where the ultimate problem lies, or as if ‘the world’ were completely separate from who we are. Ultimately, our work is always and only on ourselves. Our greatest contribution to world peace will always be our own inner peace.
So while I do entertain plans for the future, which includes various projects such as another recording, a potential book, even a return to Australia – my only real aspiration is to keep ‘seeing’ and surrendering more deeply to the Mystery, and to be used in the service of That.”
This article appeared in Vol 4 Issue 37 of The Art of Healing