Sunday, August 31, 2008

KuliMela Reflections: The Japa Revolution

"My name is Bhakti lata. Several months ago I took a Japa Retreat and a Japa Workshop, and I was deeply affected by them. I have had a deep crisis of faith in chanting the holy name since. I am not particularly qualified or even inspired in my own japa, but I wanted to share my experience with all of you and to somehow keep growing.

"Srila Prabhupada once said that 90% of our progress in Krishna Consciousness can be determined by our relationship with the holy name. Ninety percent.

"So this workshop is about looking closer."

During the KuliMela Festival, I co-hosted two Japa Workshops, with first Govinda (Alachua), and then Manu Dasa. All I can say is: to teach is to learn. I connected deeply with the holy name through conducting others in their experience.

On Friday morning, after conducting the first Workshop, I walked over to the bhajan kutir. I felt incandescent, glowing with knowledge and experience of the holy name. In this mood, I settled into a bhajan that Jahnavi (England) was leading. I found myself singing the holy name for the call as well as the response. I just didn't want to stop singing. For the first time in many, many months, I connected with the holy name.

The following morning, I conducted the Workshop with Manu. Although I facilitated the activities, his insight and experience guided the workshop. We ran out of time and the next workshop needed our space, but the flow of realizations had just begun! And so we moved out onto the lawn beneath the trees and continued to share for another 45 minutes.

I do not claim that I am particularly qualified to give a workshop on japa, or even inspired to chant japa. I have no taste for the holy name on my own, but the grace of the Vaishnavas keep me in the fire of realization and inspiration.

¡Viva la Revolución!

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