Meditation, Kirtan and Yoga
Join us for our nightly meditations, Sunday services and kirtan chanting sessions. Discover the serenity within that leads to awareness of the ever present Divine Self. These events are open to the public and free of charge.
Meditation is held at Song of the Morning every Tuesday –Saturday from 8-9pm. Prayer and chants written by Paramahansa Yogananda are followed by a period of silent meditation. Basic instruction is incorporated to help newcomers feel welcome. Guests are invited to visit our facilities and walk to our shrines, which are also conducive to personal reflection and meditation.
Meditation increases the mind’s ability to concentrate, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and improves memory. Over time, meditation helps to quiet the mind’s chatter and unite us with our own true nature. Click here to learn the basics of meditation.
Sunday Service takes place every Sunday from 11am-12:15pm. The service includes Yogananda’s chants, a service reading taken from the Self Realization Fellowship advanced lessons, and a short meditation. Click here to learn more about the Self Realization Fellowship lessons.
Kirtan is the art of group chanting in the devotional and musical tradition of India. Often the chants are done in a call-and-response fashion. The musical phrases come from the ragas of Indian music; the lyrics are usually in Sanskrit or Hindi. The subject matter of the lyrics is devotional in nature, often speaking of Universal Spirit, Krishna, Rama, Ma (Divine Mother), Ganesha or Guru. Kirtan has been practiced for hundreds (if not thousands) of years in India.
The sounds and the meanings of the sacred words in Sanskrit are said to have multifarious beneficial effects on the mind, body and spirit. The positive attributes of kirtan lyrics and the heartfelt singing brings a spirit of joy and a raised consciousness to each participating singer and to the group as a whole. Kirtan can be said to be a kind of pranayama (Yogic technique of breathing and life-force control). The repetitious, deeply felt singing encourages rhythmic breathing, balance and equanimity. Kirtan is recognized by many eminent spiritual teachers as a helpful devotional practice which can be an enhancement or even an alternative to more exacting forms of spiritual discipline. It’s also a lot of fun!
Our on-site Kirtan band, Whispers of OM, has performed at yoga studios and festivals throughout Northern Lower Michigan and here at Song of the Morning. The instruments are those used in traditional Indian music: harmonium, mridanga, tablas, bells and cymbals. Kirtan bands do not perform so much as facilitate the chanting experience for the entire group. A beautiful voice is not essential to kirtan. Kirtan is more about singing from the heart than from the vocal cords. And merely listening attentively to the devotional music may uplift, inspire and even heal the listener at some level. Krishna Das says, "Chanting is a way of deepening the moment, of deepening our connection with ourselves, the world around us, and other beings -- it opens the inner eye of the heart." We hope you'll join us in raising the energy and collective consciousness through kirtan.