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What does it mean to “Walk in Devotion?”


Dear Bhaktas, 

Walking in devotion is just how it sounds — putting one foot in front of the other with the intention to walk with grace and love with each and every step. 

Even for a sadhu on a remote mountain top, finding and watering the seeds of divine love can feel like a journey of a thousand lifetimes. But how much more so in the midst of our busy modern lives, with their seemingly endless demands and challenges? At times it seems like maintaining a devotional and loving attitude is a super-human and almost impossible task.

However, with simple baby steps, plus the guidance of the ancient ones, we can re-learn to let God (or Goddess) be our personal ‘Super Hero’, surrendering to His grace, however it manifests, day after day. 

I’m so excited to announce that my new online experience Everyday Bhakti is open for registration. You can read more about the course here. The live virtual journey begins on October 25th and you can sign up anytime. 

When you register for the course you will also receive a special gift – an unreleased track from my upcoming album – Roots, Rock, Rama! AND a PDF verse on the nectar of Bhakti (all waiting for you in the classroom right now!

I look forward to seeing you in the course!

Love and peace,

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The Untold Story

Friday night Kirtan at San Quentin Prison was a completely mind-blowing experience. I’ve tried to describe it to several people, but I’ve found that words have failed me.

I’ve been going into the prison on and off for about three years, along with my Bhakti brother and sister Radhanath Das and Kilimba, and we’ve always had very uplifting, albeit somewhat draining, kirtans there. The guys are so hungry for spirit, love, connection and hope. Usually around 15 men sing, one or two even dance, and the rest of the inmates watch us with very serious faces. It’s impossible to know what they’re thinking.

However something different happened this past Friday. Perhaps because there was a very gentle and sensitive film crew with us, recording the event for the Mantra Movie. Perhaps because, this time, we were joined by Ben Leinbach on bass AND drums and Prajna Vieira singing her heart out. Perhaps it was the stars — but definitely a miracle happened.  About halfway through the kirtan, Radhanath started dancing with his Mridanga, as he usually does. But this time, one by one, inspired by the rhythm and the mantra, all the guys got up and began dancing together — black, white, Hispanic, Indian — and singing at the top of their lungs “RADHE RADHE RADHE,” bathing in bliss. The eyes of these very tough guys, many of them in prison for life sentences, were radiating love and joy and light. It was simply awe inspiring. How did this happen?

As we were packing up our equipment one of the incarcerated bhaktas came up to me with tears in his eyes saying, “This is the untold story!!! Please, please tell it to the world. Men of all races, spending their lives behind these prison walls, can and DO sing, dance and pray together as brothers. Please tell it to everyone! This is our ‘House of Healing’….”

We left the prison walking on air, amazed at the mystery of God’s grace.

Love and peace,

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Join Nubia & me for Bhakti & Kirtan in Mexico

ANNOUNCING BHAKTI BLISS SOUL CELEBRATION
Bhakti & Kirtan in Mexico with
Jai Uttal, Nubia Teixeira & Visvambhar Seth
December 23 – 30, 2016

Come join us in paradise for an ecstatic heart-filled holiday retreat, an inner journey of devotional exploration, powerful emotions and deep practice. Through singing, dancing, breathing, asana, stunning nature and many more surprises let us journey together in our endless quest for spirit to the infinite land of love. In your free moments, relax in your personal cabaña, hand-built of all natural materials, complete with private bath, outdoor showers and exceptional views of the ocean and jungle canopy. Dine on exquisite meals designed to recalibrate your body while sitting in the exquisite open air dining room. Lounge by the pool, adventure to the beach or nap hours away in a comfortable hammock – this week will truly be a way to recalibrate and set intentions for the New Year!
Learn more about our Winter Kirtan Camp here.

Love and peace,

P.S. Watch what happens when Nubia and I try to make a video together…

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Get access to exclusive content — join me on Patreon!

Hey friends, welcome to Patreon.

jai1bw

What is Patreon? Well, it’s a very new and great experiment based on very ancient models of royal patronage. I’ll never forget listening with awe to my music guru, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, relating his memories of being a court musician to one of the kings of Rajasthan. Without financial concerns, he was able to play and practice and compose music day in and day out. He recalled it as one of the best and most creative times in a life filled with amazing experiences.

Of course, those days are long gone, at least in the Western world. So many artists of all kinds struggle to provide for themselves and their families in even the most basic ways. And now, with the incredible success of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, which pay almost nothing to the artists, recorded music has lost its economic value and musicians can only make a living on the road. (It seems kind of crazy, but, thanks to two wonderful patrons, I am finally able to make a new double CD of music that I’ve wanted and needed to record for ages!!) So Patreon is attempting to rebalance the equation by creating a wonderful and very new platform for fans to help the artists that they love.

About seven years ago, I did a Kickstarter campaign to help me make a music video for one of the songs from Thunder Love. I was so amazed and happy and thrilled to see how all my fans came together, and in a week and we had the funding to create a beautiful video. Since then, Kickstarter and other crowd-funding platforms have become very popular, which is awesome, but I find that I am a bit overwhelmed by all the campaigns, and I had the feeling that I wanted to do something different. With the Kickstarter campaign we created a video and then, suddenly, I had no money again and needed to be constantly on the road, away from my family, with my health suffering.

Enter Patreon!!! I am asking you to go back to the medieval times of India where kings were patrons to the artists that they loved. Please, be my kings and queens!!! I’ll share with you about eight ‘things’ a month — home movies of me singing new songs or old songs, unreleased rough mixes or demos, backstage video blogs from a gig, just me talking to you about my experiences, and many other fun possibilities. In return I’m asking for a little bit of support each month. With Patreon, it can be as little as $1 a month or up to a million, and there’ll be perks for each level of donation. This could very possibly be a whole new and wonderful approach to sharing art and to supporting the artists that we love. I’ve already pledged a monthly contribution to several musicians and groups that I thought were cool and needed help. Of course, it’s a work in progress and I invite you to write to me and ask me questions, and let’s just see what happens. The music industry is now completely outdated, so let’s bypass and go friend-to-friend, fan-to-artist, heart-to-heart. Let’s give it a try, ok?

Join me on Patreon here!

Love and peace,

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Online course starts tomorrow! Sign up now.

Hi friends,

My first online course, Awakening Bhakti, STARTS TOMORROW, March 1!

REGISTER HERE

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.
 
At the end of this course your wide open heart will be able to:
•    Sing a simple kirtan, with or without instrumental accompaniment.
•    Create a personal Bhakti practice at home.
•    Experience the joy and nectar of repeating God’s names.
•    Have a basic understanding of the Hindu text ‘Ramayana.”

Join me online tomorrow by signing up here!

Love and peace,

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Sign up for my online course, Awakening Bhakti, beginning March 1

Hi friends,

Well, we have eleven days until the launching of my first online course, Awakening Bhakti on March 1. Jessica Durivage, who has created the online “university” Where Is My Guru and who is hosting me, suggested that we do an Instagram Challenge called “Seeds of Bhakti” to create more awareness about the course. I was, as usual, a bit skeptical and not so into the concept of a “challenge.” But I went along with Jess and gave it a try. WOW! The pictures and deeply personal posts that our participants shared were beyond inspiring. I was so moved by this challenge and I only hope that what I share in the online course will be as profound. I always find in our Kirtan Camps that EVERYONE who attends has so much to share, and that we all become the teachers AND the students. I hope and trust that this will also be the case online.

Last week, Kasey Luber (BigHappyDay) came over and filmed a five episode version of me (re)telling the Ramayana — the story of God’s journey on Earth as Rama; Goddess’s journey as Sita; and Lord Shiva, the ultimate devotee’s journey as the Monkey God Hanuman. It’s a tale of passion, longing, divine love, war, and, ultimately, the victory of good over evil. It’s the story of the AVATAR, and His LILA, or cosmic play. These episodes are some of the many perks and gifts that will be sent midweek to all the course participants. I think you’ll really enjoy them. So if you’re interested check out WhereIsMyGuru.com and sign up soon…..

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m going back into Ben’s recording studio today to record horns for my upcoming album ROOTS, ROCK, RAMA. Remember Peter Apfelbaum and Jeff Cressman from The Pagan Love Orchestra? They’re the horn section!!!!! I can’t wait.

Love you all and hope to see you online!!!!!!

Jay Jay Sita Ram!!! Jay Jay Hanuman!!!

Love and peace,

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Awakening Bhakti: my first online course!

Dear friends,

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.

Tuesday, August 9 – Sunday, August 14, 2016

ANNUAL NON-RESIDENTIAL SUMMER BHAKTI KIRTAN CAMP!

Jai Uttal and assistant teachers Daniel Paul and Nubia Teixeira

Summer Bhakti Kirtan CampJPG

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
Price:
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

Cancellation Policy:
Deposit of $800 is non-refundable.
50% of remainder refundable if cancellation is done by June 20.
Fee is non-refundable after June 20.

REGISTER HERE

More info: nubia@bhaktinova.com

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!
Hugs,

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Happy Love-Filled Peaceful Holidays

To all my friends and extended family:

HAPPY HAPPY LOVE-FILLED PEACEFUL HOLIDAYS. MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING GREAT BLESSINGS AND JOY TO ALL!!!

Jay Jay Radhe Shyam!!! Jay Jay Sita Ram!!!

Love,


PS. I’ll soon be heading to Costa Rica for Winter Kirtan Camp! If you’d like to join me, next chance will be at Summer Kirtan Camp in August. Find more about that here.

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Join us at our New Year’s Kirtan Camp!

Special early bird discount of $250 off if paid by Sept 1!
Rasa Lila ~ Yoga & Kirtan Camp

with Jai Uttal & Nubia Teixeira and Guest Teacher Visvambhar Sheth

New Year's Kirtan

Where: Blue Spirit
Costa Rica
Website: www.bluespiritcostarica.com
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.

More info on Nubia: www.bhaktinova.com
More info on Vish: www.mayapuris.com/about/visvambhar

Rates for Accommodations & Meals per Week (7 nights)

Platform Tent with Shared Bath-House, Queen size air mattress, linens provided
$2,050 per person single occupancy

Eco Cottage with Shared Bath-House & 2 Twin beds
$2,250 per person double occupancy only

Hermitage Twin with Private Bath & 2 Twin beds
$2,350 per person double occupancy only

Hermitage Single/ Couple w/ Private Bath & Queen size bed
$3,400 per pers single occupancy / $2,450 per person double occupancy for couples

Nature Suite with A/C, Private Bath & King or 2 Twin beds
$2,650 per person double occupancy only

Mountain View Room with A/C, Private Bath, King size bed OR 2 Twin beds
$4,050 per person single occupancy / $2,850 per person double occupancy

Ocean View Room with A/C, Private Bath, King size bed OR 2 Twin beds
$4,250 per person single occupancy / $3,050 per person double occupancy

Superior Room with A/C, Superior Ocean views, Private Bath, King size bed
$4,550 per person single occupancy / $3,250 per person double occupancy

PAYMENT
• Deposit of $800 is non-refundable to hold your spot
• Remainder due by October 1.





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2-Day Only Kirtan Camp Sale and New Jai Video

For two days only, we’re offering a special sale price on our Annual Summer Bhakti Yoga Kirtan Camp. Register before 11:59pm PDT on Tuesday, June 16 to save $250.

REGISTER HERE

Our Summer Kirtan Camp at Harbin Hot Springs this July is the perfect summer vacation — chanting, camping, soaking, asana-ing, dancing, hiking, eating, sharing, learning…… What could be better? And bring your kids!!!! Last year’s Kids Kirtan band was a highlight!

Enjoy this beautiful video of Jai talking about Chanting through the rough times in life.

See you there!!!!

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