The Arms of Love: A Very Special Kirtan

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Last night I was held by the arms of love. So many hearts breathing together, led by Phil McWilliams. During the course of the evening, he and his fellow musicians led us through a joyful experience of what it means to be a family. Family, that is a powerful word. I never thought I would find my group of chosen friends. And last night they were all there in a mosaic of music.

We began with breath work led by Phil. It was awesome to hear a roomful of people breathing together in rhythm. I confess to dropping out sooner than most. I hadn’t done this before and my mouth became dry. I popped in a cough drop and just settled in to listen. What I heard was love.

The music coming out of this group, The BhaktaBand, is beyond words. They are just where I am these days. Their business is blowing the mind. By grace and an evening of disciplined surrendered work, they shook the old rafters of “The E Church” in Candler Park. The percussionists, Scott and Larry, delivered the goods. Scott seemed to be everywhere, bells on his ankles and drum in hand. He walked among us like some strange and wonderful visitor, stopping to give people individual doses of energy. Wow. I loved it.

After it was over, and the church was still in one piece, we all visited and talked about the power of the evening. “I am gonna have a hard time writing about this, because it was beyond words.” Heads nodded in agreement. It was all about love and the music brought the walls between people down. It brought down the walls in my own heart. It seemed to be a proclamation of joy.

This group of musicians exude such joy. They do it for love. They do it for community. And I, for one, deeply appreciate each one of them. They are so modest about what they do. I have been so long in a strange land that when I found this family, I knew them for what they were, a way out of isolation and a way into the heart. We all need that.

Vicki Woodyard

One Comment

  1. Vicki, that is so beautiful! I love kirtan and long to find a group near me. My experience is only through retreat in other places and I can’t travel as easily as I once could… We all deserve to be held in the arms of love and I am filled with joy that you have found yours. Blessings in each moment. ❤️


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