"Kirtan is the back door to the divine because it's such an easy way to go inside" ~ Ragani
Kirtan is a form of bhakti ~ the yoga of devotion; jnana ~ the yoga of wisdom; and mantra ~ the yoga of sound. An ancient tradition that comes to our western world from India, HeartSong Kirtan is an invitation to still the mind, free the heart, uplift your spirit, and connect with the Divine through sacred song, mantras and chant in call-response and/or sing-along style. Kirtan embraces all paths. Whether one comes to kirtan for a sense of community, the joy of devotion, or the pure love of singing, something will change inside of you as one becomes peaceful and has a direct experience of the stillness inside and one’s inner divine nature.
Accomplished, professional musicians and vocalists of many years, Jeri Nirbhao Kaur Birdsall, Victor James Dougherty, and Clark Jamison share a heart-centered vision through their love, passion and gift of song and music and Bhakti yoga to support the healing and transformation of humanity through communal song and dance. HeartSong Kirtan has been blessed with numerous opportunities to perform with several acclaimed kirtan artists including Dave Stringer, Saul David Raye, and Yvette Om.
Jeri Birdsall ~ Music is Jeri’s passion and soul. It has inspired her all her life and evokes her deepest expressions of the heart. Jeri's opportunities for professional performances have been varied over her adult years but music remains a constant in her life. She has been blessed to be surrounded by professional musicians and artists through her husband and children. While serving as “Aquarian Shamanic Songstress” at Venus Rising Association for Transformation in NC, Jeri heard the personal call of kirtan and has been leading kirtans ever since. Her relationship with kirtan is reciprocal - as she leads kirtan, kirtan leads her onward. Kirtan and chanting reminds her to go within, to listen to her soul's calling, to follow her passion, offering her “heart’s song” and extending an invitation to others to also go within, listen and follow their passion and soul's calling to live authentically from their heart's song.
Blending the traditions of many diverse paths with many years of practical, personal psycho~spiritual healing, training, certifications, and dual-ministry ordinations through interdenominational “churches without walls”, Jeri also offers a unique and heart-centered intuitive synthesis of energetic, vibrational, and shamanic healing, spiritual counseling & mentoring through her private healing practice known as "HeartSong Pathways."
Learning to dance the spiral path of life of both shadow and light with consciousness and growing through the continuous cycles of change in her own life, Jeri brings a depth of love, heart, wisdom and experience to her music and healing work with others and to all her relationships. She does this in her own unique, intuitive, creative, synthesized way through leading kirtan and through private healing sessions (in person, by phone, or remotely), as well as facilitating healing circles, ceremonies, group workshops, Goddess gatherings, Shamanic Breathworks™, 12 step shamanic recovery & discovery groups, mentoring and more.
Victor James Dougherty ~ Deeply humbled by a series of fierce life challenges, and even more grateful for the intervention of grace, since 2002, Victor has embarked on a conscious journey of unfolding his soul.
Victor has tremendous experience in guitar & vocal performance grounded in 18 years of playing at fairs, festivals, special events, and nightclubs around the midwest, fronting in numerous bands which have graced festivals from Cincinnati to Denver including Shenanigans, which main-staged at the prestigious Walnut Valley Music Festival. Since his spiritual awakening, however, Victor has taken his musical background and gifts to another level – one that is not, as in his earlier years, about performance and entertainment but rather about inspiration and transformation.
His latest music and lyrics testify to his own path. They record the story of a journey, in which Victor, like many of us, must go into the darkness to discover his true gift to the world. They also represent what Peruvian-American author Carlos Casteneda referred to as a “path with heart,” a term that was later popularized by Buddhist author Jack Kornfield. Victor’s songs also celebrate the life of the increasing minority who veer from the stability of the status quo and, as the title of one of his latest songs indicates, those who live life "on the fringe."
Victor's journey is "pathless" – one that is not prescribed by any particular religion or spiritual teacher but rather, the unique path that only his life will take. Victor’s spiritual journey has been influenced by teachers such as Gangaji, Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, Krishnamurti, Pema Chodron. Spiritual communities and individuals that have embraced Victor’s work include Unity churches, Centers for Spiritual Living, Pathless Lands Center for Mindfulness and Meditation, spiritual festivals, other non-denominational churches and communities, and more. www.victorjamesdougherty.com
Clark Jamison ~ Clark Jamison is a percussionist who plays, records and teaches the hand drums of India, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He currently performs with Heartsong Kirtan, Jai Spirit, Lana Marie & the Sonic Mystics, "Fortnight" and "Ras Mandala". He has studied tabla with Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California, and has accompanied nationally-known kirtan artists Dave Stringer, Saul David Raye, Karnamrita Dasi, Yvette Om, and Daphne Tse, as well as Swami Shantamrita of the Amritanandamayi Order and Brother Devananda of the Self-Realization Fellowship Order.
His playing can be heard internationally, on recordings by Brazilian artist Tomaz Lima and South Korean "Harpist K", as well as with local artists such as The New Amsterdams, Kirk Rundstrom, Darrell Lea, and more.
Clark is also a two-time winner of the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship's Miscellaneous Acoustic Instrument Contest.
“We follow a path through the heart and into the Presence.
When we get to the Presence through the heart . . .
yum, yum, yum!”
~ Ram Dass