This morning, I got a message promoting a Kirtan event in my area. What’s Kirtan? The message told me:
“Kirtan is an ancient form of meditation from India that involves singing in a call and response fashion. The songs that are sung in Kirtan are in Sanskrit and have a spiritual potency that cleanses us of all negative energies and all negative ways of thinking. Singing in Kirtan connects us to the spiritual platform and brings us a deep feeling of peace and happiness within and relief from all anxiety.”
It sounds groovy, eliminating all negative ways of thinking, and all anxiety. The thing about groovy is that it can quickly turn into getting stuck in a rut.
If other people want to tune out with Kirtan, they should be free to do so, so long as they can support their chanting and singing habit. As for myself, I’d rather not join in.
Anxiety and negativity can feel rotten at times, but I don’t want to be free of them. Anxiety brings important benefits. It alerts us to problems around us, focuses our minds toward solving the problems, and provides our bodies with the energies we need to make things better.
As for negative thinking, well, there are plenty of things in the world that I want to negate. To be negative is to say “No” to something. To have the judgment to say no at appropriate times is essential to the preservation of liberty and individuality. We need to make choices, to distinguish between what we want and what we don’t want, in order to achieve anything.
I want more from my existence than just to escape suffering. I want to be active, rather than simply sinking back into the cosmic wallpaper. Discovery and creation result in some stress and pain, but I think it’s well worth the sacrifice.
I’ll get release from anxiety and negativity when I’m dead. Until then, I choose to live as fully as I can.