A Journey of Surrender & Heart Opening: Sharing the Essence of Bhakti Yoga.
By: Moa Moon
How and why did we start on this path?
Me and my partner Miles have traveled the world for many years now and music and singing have been a huge part of our journey.
Together we have taken part of many gatherings, ceremonies and festivals where music and sacred songs as prayers have been one of the main fundamental transformative energies uniting the energy between people, and between people and other living beings, earth and spirit.
We have collected, learned and shared songs from all over the world and one of our biggest joys and passions is to sing together with others to spread a vibration of love and healing.
Being greatly inspired by the already existing song circles and Kirtan community from our travels, and especially from the international community in Guatemala, where we spend a lot of our time, we realized that we want to keep spreading this way of life and of heart opening unison.
Kirtan and singing sacred songs had such a positive life changing impact on us and called us to start sharing our own Kirtan ceremonies.
And in myself I found sooo much healing when going from the false belief in myself that “I can not sing” to letting go and not having to care what others might think of my voice since we are ALL singing our hearts out and just letting it flow, not holding back. It was like something big cracked open in my heart and it felt so good that I just had to keep singing…
We begun holding Kirtan and cacao ceremonies in Guatemala last year, in our garden, and we had a very beautiful response and a lot of people joining us.
How has the Kirtans helped us and others grow? Why are we sharing this medicine?
For us it became a very sacred and fun and beautiful journey of learning and growing and sharing and giving and receiving in a wonderful way.
We also feel very strongly the importance of encouraging us all to sing together, because Kirtan is not at all about a one man’s show or a performance it is about us all creating a frequency together.
And also about sending out that collective frequency of love and gratitude and devotion out into the universe as a prayer for all beings.
It is also about embracing our Self and where we are in this moment , whether we are happy or sad, to surrender to this form of heart opening practice will allow us to let all things come up. I have had some of the most healing by allowing my sadness or pain to come through me while singing my heart out without any restrictions, and I have also had some of my most joyous moments of getting completely lost in the ‘Bhav’ ( the energetic vibration cultivated through the devotional chanting).
There is so much healing, release, surrender, and connection to all of creation and to our Self that can be cultivated and celebrated and cherished and nourished through this form of prayer that Kirtan is.
And the more we connect to the Divine inside us, the more of the Divine light we have to share and give out to others as well.
And the reminder to be GRATEFUL for all we do have in our lives, and to have been given the gift of being a spirit in a human body in this very interesting and awakening times, is something that Bhakti Yoga - whether it’s by singing, praying, creating ritual and ceremony, making a painting or other ways to honor our lives and communicate with the Divine inside us and around us - have taught me about. And we can let our practices in our daily lives, the way we live, keep reminding us to live with gratitude.
So feeling how greatly we have been impacted by Bhakti Yoga has been a very big inspiration to want to keep sharing these ceremonies as much as we can as we keep traveling through the world.
Where are we sharing this medicine?
Currently we, me and my partner Miles, are holding Kirtan and cacao ceremonies every week in the town of Pisac in the Andean mountains of Peru.
Not knowing how big the circles were going to be or how well it was going to be hitting off here, we trusted our calling to do it and already on our first ceremony we had about 35 people joining us, and it has been growing every week since then.
With the sacred medicine of cacao and its heart opening properties and an eagerness to share joy celebration and our voices we had a very beautiful response and felt a big YES from Spirit that we are welcome here to share this.
We have now been offering these sacred heart devotional circles weekly for many months here, and will keep doing so until we leave.
What is our vision of continuing to spread this?
From here we will continue on spreading the essence of community song circles and to encourage more people to open their voices and hearts.
Our intention is to take it with us everywhere we go as much as we can as this is our passion and one of our karmic offerings in life.
I feel that part of my mission on my yogic path, and in life, is to help spread this message of healing and devotion through Bhakti Yoga and sacred ceremonies.
How the Kirtans have helped inspire me to live with more sacred awareness:
For me it feels important to encourage others to find their own ways of connecting to their hearts and to the Divine. There are so many ways to pay gratitude to life and to make everyday life more sacred, from small simple things like taking the time to bless our food and give thanks before we eat or give gratitude for clean drinking water before we drink, or creating an altar in our living space as a way to connect to whatever part of the Divine that we resonate with.
Playing music, painting, dancing, writing, gardening, cleaning, doing anything creative can be a sacred prayer to the Divine if we make it so.
We can choose to create sacred ritual where we give thanks in different ways, around the moon cycles for example or working with the elements or maybe with the invocation of different deities or energies we feel called to work with.
I personally feel that the more I have been opening my world to Bhakti Yoga in the form of singing and chanting, it has also kept me more inspired to cultivate the sacredness around other things in my life.
Singing together as a family has also made me realize how much being together and sharing more and more of these kind of healing gatherings in groups mean to me and how important it is for us all to keep coming together in these ways. It feels important to nourish the connection to others and to share circles like these - song circles, healing circles, heart sharing circles, food sharing circles, dancing circles, womens circles, mens circles.. whatever ways of gathering as soul family, as a tribe who are here to support each other and who wants to reach out to more and more people to be able to feel apart of this ever expanding family of awakening and light.
So I have definitely felt a great impact on my life and a bigger openness to the Divine since I have practiced this form of Bhakti Yoga which Kirtan is.
How are the Kirtans, these sacred gatherings, influencing the community?
We received many positive responses from the people coming to our kirtans, but I think I did not fully understand the extent of how much it is contributing to the community until I started really asking people about it and that got me inspired to make small interviews where people are free to express how the kirtans have impacted them.
Hearing people speak from the heart and express what it means to them to practice this form of sacred singing together has been very insightful for me and has helped me greatly to gain even more understanding of how healing this practice is and of how much it brings the community together. And that makes me even more happy and inspired to keep going, keep co creating these kirtans.
Our final Kirtan in Pisac turned out to be our biggest one we have ever done with around 110 people and the Bhav was incredible!
I asked the people I interviewed 2 questions about our Kirtans:
Would you say that the kirtans have influenced you in a positive way, and if so in which way?
What is something you will carry with you in your life from these experiences?
With so much gratitude and honor we look forward to keep sharing these devotional practices with you all and to keep spreading a message of Love and Light,
Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May All Beings Be Happy and Free
Moa Moon, July 2017
Moa Moon is a graduate of Kula's 200 & 300 HR Yoga Teacher Trainings. She is full of love and songs to fill the air! ollow her and Milo on their Facebook page: Kirtan In The Valley With Milo & Moa!