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Joshua Ray Smith
Kirtan Leader

Joshua knows that he knows nothing. His first experience with the yogic voice of Divine Wisdom was the wind. The breath and prāṇa of the earth. This divine breath was found in the wandering adventures of an eight-year old cowboy, through the Red Desert of a very windy Wyoming. His world was the never-ending horizon of absolute open sky and endless wild expanding landscape. This was his classroom. Joshua’s first teacher in spiritual practice, what he would later come to realize was Yoga, was the Land herself. 


Joshua’s professional background is as an artist. Joshua earned his MFA From Cranbrook Academy of Art, in 2005. A studio fine arts degree, with focus in Craft and Metalsmithing. He has served as Assistant Professor of Art, as well as Adjunct Professor, and Lecturer, in the systems of academia through several large and small Universities.

Stepping away from the relentless self-inflation of academics, Joshua fell into and discovered Yoga. Joshua’s first experiences in the asana and healing philosophy of Yoga, started with the practice of Yoga as part of recovery from alcoholism. In the practice of Yoga, he discovered doors and windows into the processing and healing of life trauma behind alcoholism. Joshua continues to focus on Yoga and Kirtan as a powerful healing remedy for the trauma and hardship found in living the shared human condition. 

As Joshua falls deeper through the paths and limbs of Yoga, he finds source to everything in- Sound vibration. Everything originates as sound, the voice, the “word”. 

Joshua first found Yogic practice, and introduction to the Grace in mantra, through the Sivananda Vedanta tradition. Particularly with Swami Sankarananda of Divine Grace Yoga Ashram. From these influences, Joshua maintains a practice that is a beautiful combination of Yoga, Vedic ritual with mantra, and indigenous Lakota ceremony of fire, earth, and sound vibration in the heartbeat of our mother, the land.  

Joshua works with sound as a sound healing practitioner and operates a studio- designing and making sound healing instruments and new healing designs in the frequency of sound and light.

Joshua comes to the practice of singing Kirtan, not as a musician or a singer. But (quoting Krishna Das) as another “miserable asshole” seeking and finding Grace in the chanting of “The Name”. Whatever Joshua lacks in formal vocal training and the performance of music, he makes up with in heart and compassion. Joshua is driven with a burning compassion to unite an open-minded community, and to light the divine fire for love, within each open-heart of that community. 

Knowing the absolute healing power in the frequency of our own voices, and the divinely exponential healing power of that frequency shared in the heart-community, Joshua hopes to heal where we have gone wrong by “seeing” each other as “being” each other. Finding each other as sisters and brothers together, in the shared family of this precious human existence. Working through, and working out. our ancestral family trauma, heartbeat by heartbeat.

Joshua, knowing that he knows nothing, quotes- Goswami Tulsidas in his introduction to the Hanuman Chalisa- “Taking the pollen-like dust of my Guru’s lotus feet to polish the mirror of my heart, I can now sing the pure splendor of the Great Spirit, and the Divine Intelligence holding all the Universe. I don’t know anything, so I remember you- Son of the Wind. Grant me strength, intelligence, and wisdom. Please remove my sorrows, pain, and imperfections”


Ahó Mitákuye oyás’iŋ

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