Kirtan Camps and Other Joys…..
I love an ecstatic evening of Kirtan, where many people get together and shout out their love and longing for God. But what I love even more is a retreat of three to ten days, where we get to dive much more deeply into the ancient process of devotion, known as Bhakti. Our relationship with our fellow ‘bhaktas’ also deepens and we become so much more vulnerable and open to spirit and love. And the mantras keep churning and churning and yearning and burning into the core of our beings.
A few nights ago I returned from the Omega Spring Ecstatic Chant weekend. What an event!!!! So much soul, so many emotions… Of course, we were all deeply remembering our brother Shyamdas, who was always so present there and that gave the joy a bittersweet quality. But joy it was!!! And I got to witness, once again, how the practice of chanting God’s names transforms the saddest of emotions into a triumphant bliss… This weekend was another example of how valuable the ‘retreat’ can be. Stepping outside the activities of our ‘normal’ lives allows us to focus our attention to those parts of our beings that are usually ignored. And we all can help each other so much when we’re together in ‘Bhakti’ without distractions.
I have several retreats and camps coming up that I’d like to share with you all.
First on the agenda is our 11th annual Summer Kirtan Camp, in San Anselmo, California. This non-residential retreat continuously surprises me. Eleven years ago, when Nubia suggested we do this, I was quite skeptical. Who would come? What would I teach? Well, it became immediately clear that we were all teaching each other and that our Gurus and guides were overseeing the whole shebang. And our extended family has been growing and growing. Summer camp has the wonderful addition of Daniel Tucker teaching beginning harmonium lessons every day. So, if you’ve been waiting and wanting to get your harmonium on, please join us. And then, of course, it’s me, Daniel Paul, Nubia (my wife) and Ezra Gopal (my son) guiding the rest of the camp.
11th ANNUAL NON-RESIDENTIAL SUMMER BHAKTI KIRTAN CAMP!
Jai Uttal and co-teachers Daniel Paul, Nubia Teixeira, and Daniel Tucker.
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: San Francisco Theological Seminary
San Anselmo, Northern California
Early Bird: $1250.00 if paid in full by June 1.
Bhakti Bird: $1400.00 after June 1.
Deposit of $600 (non-refundable) due by July 20.
Deposit of $600 is non-refundable.
50% of remainder, if cancellation is done by July 1.
100% Non-refundable after August 1.
In December we will be hosting our 10th annual Winter Kirtan Camp at Blue Spirit Retreat in Costa Rica. This lovely retreat center/resort is one of Omega Institute’s International centers. Right on the beach, nestled into he jungle, this paradise is an amazing place to really let go and be guided by nature and mantra and the sweet tropical breezes into a deep space of devotional feelings. And the swimming pool is simply off the charts! This winter Nubia and I will be joined by Visvambhar Seth from the Mayapuris and his beloved wife Vrinda AND their soon-to-be-born-newborn baby. What a party this will be. And to top it off, Nubia will be sharing her unique brand of ‘BhaktiNova Heartflow Yoga.’ Come and bring in the New Year with us.
Rasa Lila ~ Yoga & Kirtan Camp
Jai Uttal & Nubia Teixeira with guest teacher Visvambhar of the Mayapuris
Where: Blue Spirit Costa Rica
Guiones sur, Playa Guiones
Details: Bring in the New Year in a wave of prayer and song with the joy-filled and healing practices of chanting and Yoga! We will deeply explore these ancient devotional expressions, weaving together our hearts and voices in celebration and invocation of the Divine.
Bhakti Yoga is the path of personal relationship with Spirit, with God, with Goddess; a relationship that includes all the flavors and moods of the human heart. In the journey of Bhakti our emotions become the fuel to reconnect us with the Divine and, in so doing, to find healing and wholeness within ourselves.
Join Nubia Teixeira and Jai Uttal for a week of Bhakti Yoga. We will explore how the body, the heart, and the mind support and complement each other in our journey towards the realm of infinite love and grace. Nubia will lead the asana and pranayama sessions, which will anchor us in our bodies and open us to the meditative practice of calling to the divine. Jai and Vish will lead us in the ancient practice of Kirtan, or chanting, the heart and soul of devotional yoga. Together they will guide us in a heart- opening adventure through breath, movement and sacred sound, blending these traditions in a deep and playful way.
Prices starting from $1,850.00
For more information, contact Nubia: firstname.lastname@example.org
So that’s the scoop about my upcoming retreats… This is just a list of the longer ones. There are many shorter gatherings, weekend workshops, and tours in the works and listed on my website.
Thanks for reading, and much love to you all,