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Find new inspiration at Summer Kirtan Camp

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I need to stop everything that I’m doing and take some time to look inside for new inspiration — for my devotional practice, for my life, for my music, for my relationships. Actually, I need to do this every day but, big surprise, I don’t! You know, life gets to moving so fast, the soccer ball is flying, my body is crying, my practice is dying!!!! Well, not really. Our spiritual life never “dies,” but sometimes we need to give it a bit more attention. Actually, I have to say that my family life — my wife and my not-so-little boy — and my interaction with this divine manifestation we call “the world” is just as much a part of my devotional practice as chanting Japa and singing the Holy Names. The essence of our so-called “spiritual journey” is so much bigger than we can ever really understand, but we do know that every part of our personal mandala needs to be nurtured and nourished. And we all know that it’s a lot easier to forget the internal reality than it is to forget the external one. So we go on retreats and vacations and hopefully get back in touch with ourselves and with nature and, finally, with love…

Twice a year, for the last 12 years, Nubia and I, with wonderful help from a variety of drummers and co-teachers, have been hosting Kirtan Camps. Although we give our all to the beautiful people who come, the experience is a much needed spiritual bath for us as well — a time to let go of everything external and dive into the remembrance of God, Goddess and Guru, and of the Divine relationship at the heart of our lives.

This year’s Summer Kirtan Camp is at Harbin Hot Springs in 8 days, starting on August 12th.
I realize it may be a bit late for you to make plans to come to Northern California right now, but there are still a few open spots. Pack your bags and jump on board. The Bhakti Train is leaving for parts unknown!!!!!!

ANNUAL 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 ~~~~~~~~~~

Harbin Conference Center Harbin Garden Harbin Pool Harbin Spring Pool

Where: Harbin Hotsprings
Middletown, CA
Website: http://www.harbin.org
Price:
BHAKTI BIRD $1,950 after March 31st.

RETREAT INCLUDES:
Camping (bring your own camp supplies and tent) + using Harbin Facilities for 5 nights – 6 days
3 daily meals + snacks
2 daily Kirtan – music and practice with Jai Uttal & Daniel Paul
2 daily harmonium sessions with Daniel Tucker
1 daily rhythm session with Daniel Paul
1 daily Bhakti- Hatha Yoga with Nubia Teixeira

The last evening of the retreat will culminate with a Kirtan Gala led by the participants.

Deposit of $800.00 not refundable after July 20th. Remainder due on August 1st.
Contact nubiacoruja@gmail.com

OTHER HOUSING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE. YOU CAN BOOK A TENT CABIN, DORMITORY, ROOM, OR PRIVATE CABIN FOR THAT PERIOD THROUGH HARBIN. If you would like to book a different type of room at Harbin, you can reserve with Harbin. Options are here.

Cancellation Policy:
CANCELLATION POLICY on EARLY BIRD PRICE: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable. Fee is non-refundable after July 20th.
CANCELLATION POLICY on Bhakti Bird Price: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable – 50% of remainder refundable if cancellation is done by July 20th. Fee is non-refundable after August 1st.





For more information call Nubia at 415-963-3551
Email: registration@jaiuttal.com or nubiacoruja@gmail.com

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Reserve your spot for Kirtan & Yoga in Costa Rica

Dear Friends,

Greetings! I know it may be odd to start thinking about next winter as we approach the beautiful days and nights of summer, but I wanted to send out a note about our winter Bhakti Camp in Costa Rica so you all can begin to make plans.

We had an amazing time last year. Blue Spirit is a gorgeous retreat center (great food, accommodations, spacious yoga/kirtan room, swimming pool, gentle beach), and with Nubia, Vish (The Mayapuris!), myself and all the ‘kirtan campers,’ the Bhakti fire was burning bright!!! We’ve being doing this retreat for the past 11 years, and, for some inexplicable reason, it just gets better and better. Singing Kirtan, listening to and telling stories, practicing yoga, swimming in the ocean and pool, dancing, setting intentions for the New Year….  It’s a rare opportunity to invite in the new cycle and deepen our connection with nature and the divine within and around us.

Please check it out and take advantage of the Early Bird special if you register soon. Space is limited.

That’s it for now. Sending out prayers for health and happiness to you all.

Love and peace,

P.S. Have you heard my new album yet? Return to Shiva Station!!!!!

ORDER NOW:
iTunes
Amazon
JaiUttal.com

 

Saturday, December 27, 2014 – Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year’s Bhakti Retreat ~ Kirtan & Yoga

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
$1,950 per person single occupancy

Eco Cottage with Shared Bath-House & 2 Twin beds
$2,050 per person double occupancy only

Hermitage Twin with Private Bath & 2 Twin beds
$2,150 per person double occupancy only

Hermitage Single/ Couple w/ Private Bath & Queen size bed
$3,100 per pers single occupancy / $2,250 per person double occupancy for couples

Nature Suite with A/C, Private Bath & King or 2 Twin beds
$3,150 per person single occupancy / $2,350 per person double occupancy

Mountain View Room with A/C, Private Bath, King size bed OR 2 Twin beds
$3,450 per person single occupancy / $2,550 per person double occupancy

Ocean View Room with A/C, Private Bath, King size bed OR 2 Twin beds
$3,450 per person single occupancy / $2,750 per person double occupancy

Superior Room with A/C, Superior Ocean views, Private Bath, King size bed
$4,150 per person single occupancy / $2,850 per person double occupancy

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

CANCELLATION POLICY
• Deposit of $800 is non-refundable.
• 50% of remainder, if cancelation is done by November 1.
• Non-refundable after November 1.

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Listen to “Hari Guna Gao”

Here’s a link to stream the album version of “Hari Guna Gao” from my new album Return to Shiva Station. Enjoy and please share!

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Return to Shiva Station Out Now

Hi everyone.

Well, today’s the day!!!

My new CD Return to Shiva Station: Kailash Connection officially enters the material world. Reserve your seat on the train to the heavenly realms of Sri Hari, courtesy of Lord Shiva himself by simply ordering the album

No, seriously…. That sounds super goofy and pretentious, but I truly hope you enjoy the new CD. Please spread the word, and if you do like it, please post some good reviews on the online shops.

ORDER NOW:
iTunes
Amazon
JaiUttal.com


Track List
1. Guru Brahma
2. Shiva Station (Namah Shivaya)
3. Hari Guna Gao
4. Calling You
5. Malkouns (Night On The Ganges)
6. Rama Raghava
7. Bhajore
8. Corner
9. Sita Ram
10. Jaya Jagadambe (She Who Tears Apart Thought)
11. Never Turn Away

Here’s a short “home-movie” version of one of my favorites from Return to Shiva Station entitled “Guru Brahma”… We filmed it last night, one take before bed. It gives a bit of the flavor of the album – all acoustic, intimate versions of the songs from the original Shiva Station, which was released fifteen years ago.

The new album features my friend and teacher, Jose Neto, a true master of the nylon string guitar, weaving in and around my own guitar and banjo, as well as Ben Leinbach on bass and percussion (and co-production), Prajna Vieira singing, Timothy White on sitar (the first of all my albums to have sitar!) and Yoed Nir on cello. A small but powerful ensemble.

That’s it for now. I hope you all really love Return to Shiva Station: Kailash Connection!!!!!!

Warm wishes, and lots of love,



P.S. If you’ve been thinking about signing up for our Summer Kirtan Camp this year, now’s the time! We’re offering a little window of discounted rate if you sign up now and pay in full:
$1,600.00 if you sign up by March 31st.
$1,950.00 after March 31st.
Hope you’ll join us!

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Video of “Hari Guna Gao”

Hi friends, I recorded a video of “Hari Guna Gao” acoustic in my home for you. This song is very special to me because it always makes me think of my dear friend Don Cherry, who passed away as I was writing for Shiva Station. A version like this one will be on my new album Return to Shiva Station coming March 25.

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Free download from new album Return to Shiva Station

Dear Friends,

The artistic temperament is always looking forward toward new levels of refinement, new colors and moods of expression, new ways to manifest and communicate the deepest feelings of the heart. The soul of the Bhakta (one endeavoring to walk the yogic path of devotion) is also always looking forward toward meeting the Beloved, experiencing the play of love, seeing His beautiful face, somehow discovering the key to divine love and service in this world. When combined, devotion and art create an inner world of turbulent longing, of passionate experience, of deep emotion. Read the life stories of the poet saints of India and you’ll know what I mean. (Please don’t think I’m comparing myself to those amazing beings! But they are my inspiration.)

When I was first asked to “remake” my album, Shiva Station, my response was, “No way! I can’t go backwards—that was then, and this is now! At this moment, I have so many new songs coursing through me.” I was very resistant, to say the least. My sweet little ego can sometimes speak very loudly. But after thinking about it for a while, I began to see the idea through fresh eyes. I reflected that the thread woven through all of my music, from my very first album, Footprints, to my last Kirtan Kids project is God’s names, and a deep, non-verbal longing for divine grace. Why not revisit my music from fifteen years ago to discover what, if anything, was timeless in each song? So I accepted the challenge.

Returning to this album wasn’t always a comfortable process, not that recording an album ever is. You know how every melody is filled with memories? Well, many of those memories were pretty harsh. Imagine going through a box of photos from a period of your life when you were very unhappy and out of balance. While I had the same devotional practices and feelings in those days, I also felt I was struggling just to be alive, to keep my head above the raging sea. Nonetheless, I dived in and lo and behold, the process turned out to be deeply healing and inspiring—both musically and spiritually. Through each of these songs I was able to reconnect with my soul, my Guru, my Beloved, remembering how desperately they were sung fifteen years ago and resinging them with a new mood of gentleness, surrender, and acceptance.

I sincerely hope that you, the listener, will enjoy the results of this process. I’m consistently humbled and honored when people tell me that my music has helped them through their life’s challenges. With Return to Shiva Station, may our journey together through this strange and wondrous world continue in love, joy, and grace.

Love and peace,

P.S. Here’s a free download of “Hari Guna Gao” from Return To Shiva Station, coming March 25 worldwide on CD and digital. Preview and pre-order the album here.

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Free Download for the Holidays

Dear friends,

It’s winter here in Northern California and I’m bundled up, sitting on the couch and looking at our first real Christmas tree. Wow, my lucky son gets to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali and all the Hindu holidays…. Lots of gift-giving in this house. (Are we too consumeristic? Well, yeah, of course! But it’s worth it seeing my kid smile!). I was asked to tell a story at Ezra’s school Winter Celebration today and I’m trying to decide which one I can fit into ten minutes. Ramayana? Mahabharata? Tom and Jerry? The Hobbit! My mind is a jumbled junk shop of old and new songs and tales….

Anyway, as I was thinking and daydreaming, my fingers fiddling away at GarageBand on my iPad (The blessing/addiction/gift/curse of creativity never stops!), Nubia came up to me and said “Wouldn’t it be great to give a Holiday gift to your fans?” I said “Yeah, but what?” And she said, with that cute and sometimes too-smart little smile, “Look down at your fingers! You can send them all a song!!!!!”

So here it is. Just a simple little couch potato production with one of the great, ancient Sanskrit Mantras.

Download “Om Namo Bhagavate” here

Maybe I’ll do a whole album on my iPad GarageBand app someday, but, for now, I hope you all enjoy this one, and I hope and pray for a New Year of peace and universal love and good health and happiness to all!

Lots of love,

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Diving Into The Waters of Bhakti Yoga

Jai Uttal with assistant teachers Daniel Paul, Daniel Tucker and Nubia Teixeira.

From August 12th to 17th 2014 at Harbin Hot Springs, California

Dear friends,
After 10 years of offering a non-residential Summer Kirtan Camp, and witnessing the widely spreading ripples of our rich, open-hearted Bhakti community, we’ve decided to create our first Residential Summer Kirtan Camp at beautiful Harbin Hot Springs.

When we initially started our Kirtan Camps, this beautiful practice seemed to be the exclusive province of the bigger ‘stars,’ at least in the West. In India, of course, almost everyone sings a bit of kirtan on a daily basis. If I ever had a ‘mission,’ I guess it would be to help people understand that we ALL ‘have what it takes’ to start our own intimate, personal chanting practice; to take the whole thing out of the celebrity realm and bring it into our homes. Well, ten years later, I see it happening: families singing together; small gatherings in Yoga studios everywhere; and great community events like Bhaktifest, Moksha, Pranafest, Omega Ecstatic Chant, etc etc etc…..

So, back to next summer…..The first time I ever went to Harbin was to perform with my band, The Pagan Love Orchestra. Walking to the natural hot springs I saw a sight I would never forget: tame deer milling around, warming themselves near the pools. Wow! That’s pretty amazing. Over the years I’ve gone there a whole bunch of times, sometime to sing, sometime to simply soak, and I’ve always left feeling a renewed sense of peace and health. The space we will use for our camp is the Conference Hall, a beautiful building tucked in a private sanctuary reserved just for our group. We’ll have our own private warm swimming pool, bucolic camping ground, catering and kitchen and, although it’s quite separate from the rest of Harbin, we will be walking distance to the hot springs. Enjoy good company, good food, warm days and starry nights PLUS hours and hours of singing kirtan and learning the skills to share this ancient practice with others. Nubia will be offering daily Yoga and movement classes, Daniel Tucker will be teaching harmonium and Daniel Paul will guide us through the intricacies of rhythm and Kirtan accompaniment. A wonderful ‘Bhakti-full’ time will be had by all!!!!

One important note: Camping spaces are included in our overall price, but for those who aren’t into camping, Harbin has a very wide variety of different accommodations. However, these book pretty far in advance, so if you’re interested in coming, contact Harbin and book your rooms SOON!

Lastly, may we all have a blessed holiday season and a New Year filled with light and grace.

Warm wishes and lots of love,


Tuesday, August 12 – Sunday, August 17, 2014

ANNUAL 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 ~~~~~~~~~~

Harbin Conference Center Harbin Garden Harbin Pool Harbin Spring Pool

Where: Harbin Hotsprings
Middletown, CA
Website: http://www.harbin.org
Price:
BHAKTI BIRD $1,950 after March 31st.

RETREAT INCLUDES:
Camping (bring your own camp supplies and tent) + using Harbin Facilities for 5 nights – 6 days
3 daily meals + snacks
2 daily Kirtan – music and practice with Jai Uttal & Daniel Paul
2 daily harmonium sessions with Daniel Tucker
1 daily rhythm session with Daniel Paul
1 daily Bhakti- Hatha Yoga with Nubia Teixeira

The last evening of the retreat will culminate with a Kirtan Gala led by the participants.

Deposit of $800.00 not refundable after July 20th. Remainder due on August 1st.
Contact nubiacoruja@gmail.com

OTHER HOUSING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE. YOU CAN BOOK A TENT CABIN, DORMITORY, ROOM, OR PRIVATE CABIN FOR THAT PERIOD THROUGH HARBIN. If you would like to book a different type of room at Harbin, you can reserve with Harbin. Options are here.

Cancellation Policy:
CANCELLATION POLICY on EARLY BIRD PRICE: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable. Fee is non-refundable after July 20th.
CANCELLATION POLICY on Bhakti Bird Price: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable – 50% of remainder refundable if cancellation is done by July 20th. Fee is non-refundable after August 1st.





For more information call Nubia at 415-963-3551
Email: registration@jaiuttal.com or nubiacoruja@gmail.com

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Special Ramayana storytelling sessions ~ Now available in the Bhakti Breakfast Club!

Hey Everybody,

Well, this has been coming for a long time – I’ve finally filmed my telling of the Ramayana, the great epic story of Ram, Sita and Hanuman. Many of you have heard me do this at Kirtan Camps and workshops around the world. It’s always a deep experience of remembrance and devotion for me, and I love seeing an audience of adult yogis and yoginis transformed into a group of sweet little kids…. These stories are an essential part of the Bhakti Yoga practice and have the power to reawaken a childlike wonder in us all, as well as a deep and ancient well of Bhakti. The Ramayana is particularly close to my heart, as my guru always loved hearing it sung, and encouraged us to explore its unfathomable depths…

We filmed the entire Ramayana in four consecutive one-hour sections, each with some kirtan. There was a really sweet studio audience packed into the small, hot and sweaty little studio. We all felt the energy get stronger and stronger through the day, as if Hanuman Himself had joined us and was listening to his primordial tale.. I hope this feeling comes across to you all when you’re watching and please, please sing along and feel like you’re right there with us.

Part 1 and Part 2 have just been released today, you can watch them now with a Bhakti Breakfast Club membership. Parts 3 and 4 will be added next month. Visit www.BhaktiBreakfastClub.com/jai to sign up. With a membership, you can watch all the other courses in the Bhakti Breakfast Club too, including harmonium lessons with Daniel Tucker, who teaches the harmonium classes at my kirtan camps, and upcoming tabla lessons with Daniel Paul they’re filming next month. If you’re a harmoniumer, you can learn lots of the songs from my “Kirtan!” album, and other live kirtans. And if y’all like the Ramayana courses, maybe we’ll film some more Bhakti story courses for you in the future!

Here’s a little clip – check it out!!

Lots of love,

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Update on “Shiva Station” Remake

Hey there, friends……

I hope this beautiful Spring day finds you all in good spirits. Life is so complicated and odd sometimes, isn’t it? But we can still try to keep our hearts and minds fresh, regardless of the challenges that cross our paths. Uh oh, sounding kind of ‘Hallmark’, aren’t I? Well, I’m just trying to remind myself!!!

Anyway, here I am, in between traveling and daddy-ing and husband-ing, working on a new album. Well, new and old at the same time. I’ve been recreating my CD Shiva Station for a 15th anniversary remake. But while the original was a completely rocking, band oriented project featuring the ‘Pagan Love Orchestra,’ this one is solo and acoustic, a very intimate take on a very extroverted BIG album. And it’s sure been challenging. First of all, trying to at least suggest all the orchestral parts on acoustic guitar and banjo really stretches me way beyond my limits, technically…. (Thank God for digital editing, I’m embarrassed to say.) But there’s more to it than that. As I revisit these lovely songs, I’m, of course, revisiting the moods and emotions of 15 years ago. You know how you feel when you listen to an old song that meant a lot to you in a completely different period of your life? Or when you go through a box of old photos? Well, this is sorta like that. And in those days my life was SOOOOOO different. The longings of my heart were pretty much the same, but my external circumstances were quite different and filled with a lot of sadness and anguish. I’m so thankful for the grace that has brought me to where I am today, and it’s healing but difficult to re-experience those feelings that birthed these songs… And rediscover them with the energy and joy the permeates my life now… Does that make any sense? I hope so.

I’m writing this quickly and I gotta go because I’m late for my recording session. Ben just texted me: “Where are you? I bought lunch!” So I’ll ‘see’ you all later.

Lots of love,

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