Well, it’s 2016, and I want to wish you all every blessing for the coming year. I hope and pray that it can be a year of peace and sanity in this crazy world. Sometimes I feel like we’re in ancient times, the era in which Ravana and his demons were taking over the world. During those dark years, the yogis and yoginis were deeply committed to their various sadhanas as a way to keep the demons at bay, and to do their best to protect all that was good in the world. Finally, Lord Rama appeared to enact his divine ‘lila’, his mission to rid the universe of evil and usher in a golden age of light. This reminds me of something my Indian mother once said to me: “Practice and wait for grace!” As we sing, meditate, dance, and help each other in small and big ways, we are like the yogis of old doing our little bit for world peace and healing. Let’s double and triple our devotion and deep intentions in this New Year!!!!
My family and I just returned from a totally wonderful Kirtan-Bhakti Camp in Costa Rica. Wow, what a place to retreat, practice yoga, chant God’s names, swim and surf. The nature there is so beyond beautiful. Every evening our whole group was able to dive into the warm, balmy ocean and watch the sun set! The kirtans with Visvambhar were ecstatic and the yoga classes with Nubia were completely healing. And our little tribe of aspiring Bhaktas was so sweet and full of heart…. Plus watching Ezra surf, I’m speechless seeing how wonderfully our boy is growing in the atmosphere of devotion.
I have a lot of projects bubbling in the new year. I’ve been keeping it under wraps, but my new album is progressing beautifully. I have more songs than can ever fit on a CD and I’m so thrilled with the contributions of my great musical brothers. Ben Leinbach, Jose Neto, Gaura Vani, Mark Gorman, Seve Postell, Dave Allen, Peter Apfelbaum, Vish of the Mayapuris, new friends in the Mumbai recording scene (viva Bollywood!). The list goes on…. And my musical sisters will come later. Many of the songs are the ones you’ve been hearing for several years at all the yoga and kirtan festivals, plus a few completely new ones. Rock, Reggae, Samba, Indian Raga; they’re all in the stew. Stay tuned.
The next project that I’m completely psyched about is my first online course, Awakening Bhakti. For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to share my music and experiences without flying all over the world. This course is perhaps a way to meet you all from my home. Join me for four interactive (yes!) sessions with a lot of midweek perks and gifts (and a few assignments…).
Dive into the vast ocean of Bhakti Yoga through singing, Japa, prayer, offering, laughing and crying. Awaken and nourish the seed of devotion within yourself in this four week online course. Share, explore and open your heart through mantra, song and Divine remembrance. The course begins March 1. Find out more and register here.
I think it’s a good time to remind you of our Summer Kirtan Camp in August with my beloved Nubia and our eternal brother, co-teacher and tabla player, Daniel Paul. This time, after our beloved Harbin Hot Springs burned down, we’re hosting a non-residential camp in Fairfax, California, just a 3 minute walk from my home. We did 10 years of non-residential Summer Kirtan Camps and, believe me, they are really wonderful.
ANNUAL NON-RESIDENTIAL SUMMER BHAKTI KIRTAN CAMP!
Jai Uttal and assistant teachers Daniel Paul and Nubia Teixeira
Our 13th Summer Kirtan Camp will be held at Roco Fairfax, a beautiful dance/performing arts studio that will become JAI’S HOUSE OF BHAKTI for this week in August.
You will enjoy good company while dedicating hours of singing kirtan and learning the skills to share this ancient practice with others.
About the training:
This training is for those who aspire to lead Kirtan; those who wish to enhance their Yoga teaching with chanting; and those who simply wish to immerse themselves in the vast ocean of Bhakti.
In this workshop we will share some of the many tools that we use in our Bhakti practices. Our hope is that everyone will leave this retreat with the inner experience and knowledge that we are all able to dive into this world of devotion and sing and share our hearts with others.
Subjects to be covered:
Kirtan – As the essential practice of Bhakti, Kirtan will be the main focus of this training.
Bhakti Yoga – Understanding the path of Bhakti as a journey of surrender and offering of one’s entire being to the the Divine will.
Mantras – Experiencing the invocational power of the ancient Sanskrit syllables and names in ecstatic song and silent contemplation.
Gods and Goddesses – An exploration of the energies embodied by the different deities of Hinduism.
Ramayana – Studying and reciting the multi-leveled epic adventures of Ram, Sita and Hanuman; and how this story relates to our daily lives.
Saints – Reflecting upon the lives of some of the saints of modern India, particularly Neem Karoli Baba.
Vocal Training – Opening the voice and learning to love the sound that comes from our bodies.
Rhythm – Beginning to understand the rhythms associated with Kirtan.
Learning Harmonium – Gaining a beginning understanding of the rudiments of harmonium for accompanying Kirtans.
~~~~~~~~~~ Hari Om ~~~~~~~~~~
Where: Roco Fairfax Studio
56 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, CA 94930
Non refundable deposit of: $800.00
Early Bird Price: $1,250.00 if paid in full by March 20, 2016
Regular Price: $1,400.00 after March 20, 2016
Deposit of $800 is non-refundable.
50% of remainder refundable if cancellation is done by June 20.
Fee is non-refundable after June 20.
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
And, of course, I have so many events coming up, both small and large, listed below.
Please join me!
Sending love and peace to you all and to everyone!