Chanting the Holy Name

There is no vow like chanting the holy name, no knowledge superior to it, no meditation which comes anywhere near it, and it gives the highest result. No penance is equal to it, and nothing is as potent or powerful as the holy name. Chanting is the greatest act of piety and the supreme refuge. Even the words of the Vedas do not possess sufficient power to describe its magnitude. Chanting is the highest path to liberation, peace and eternal life. It is the pinnacle of devotion, the heart’s joyous proclivity and attraction and the best form of remembrance of the Supreme Lord. The holy name has appeared solely for the benefit of the living entities as their lord and master, their supreme worshipable object and their spiritual guide and mentor.
– Adi Purāna –

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Sarasota Community Kirtan Donates $1,000 to All Faiths Food Bank

Yesterday, thanks to the mindfulness and generosity of those who chant with us at Unity of Sarasota on Friday nights, we made a donation of $1,000 to the All Faiths Food Bank, who provide food to economically challenged people of Sarasota and Desoto counties. Since we started last year, we have raised and contributed over $2,100 and as we always donate when gift matching is in effect, the net benefit to All Faiths is $4,200! I am humbled and grateful to have the absolute privilege of singing the Divine Names with you all. Thank you and may God bless you.  Finally, I offer a heartfelt thanks and big hugs to Jen Canfield and her team at the Call & Response Foundation.  Their support and encouragement is a blessing and an inspiration.  Jai Hanuman, Jai Jai Sita Ram. ~ JB

Please Join us for the Annual New Years Eve Community Kirtan & Pot Luck Dinner at Garden of the Heart Yoga (Tuttle & Ringling Blvd., Sarastoa)

For this year’s event we are bringing back the pot luck dinner and also starting and ending earlier in case people wish to attend another function or simply chill at home. The format will be pure, interfaith community kirtan with all encouraged to lead a chant or read something of a spiritual nature. We will kick off with the pot luck at 6:00 pm and chant until 9 – 9:30. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian dish to share and please include a small card or sign to indicate which it is. This event is free of charge but we will be accepting donations, which are optional, for Garden of the Heart’s Karma Yoga program, which provides free yoga to the autistic, veterans, people with Parkinson’s and to those in recovery. Thanks and I hope to see you there! jb

Sarasota Weekly Community Kirtan Donates $600 to All Faiths Food Bank

On November 28, I  made a donation to the All Faiths Food Bank for $600, representing the contributions offered since early September at our weekly Unity kirtan. Given the dollar-for-dollar matching that was offered by the Gates Foundation that day, “Giving Tuesday,” our donation was raised to $1,200!!! That will buy lots of food for local families in need. Thank you all for your generosity and compassion. I am beyond grateful to be part of this community of beautiful souls who teach me day by day that what matters most is how much we give and how much we love. Blessings to all. ️jb  🕉️❤️

Sarasota Weekly Community Kirtan

Please come and join us as we chant the Divine names – in gratitude for our blessings and in prayer for those in need. Chanting has a way of connecting us to each other and to the Truth that dwells within each of us: pure Divine love. 7pm – 9pm, every Friday at Unity of Sarasota, 3023 Proctor Road, Sarasota. Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram.

Our kirtan practice is grounded in Bhakti Yoga, frequently defined as the yoga of devotion. More importantly, perhaps, is the Seva (aka “service”) aspect of Bhakti, where we offer our efforts to help others as a prayer to our chosen Divinity. Ultimately, that’s what these weekly kirtans are about, an opportunity to express gratitude in song and to share our blessings with those in need. These events are free of charge and we will be accepting donations, which are optional, for the benefit of the All Faiths Food Bank, which provides much needed food to the economically challenged people of Sarasota and Desoto counties.

 

Sarasota Weekly Kirtan at Unity is Back!

I am happy to let you know that our Friday night interfaith kirtan at Unity of Sarasota returned on September 8 and it was a very sweet night spent chanting the Divine names while asking for protection from the approaching Hurricane Irma.  So, on this coming Friday night, September 15, from 7 until 9pm, we will sing in gratitude for avoiding the worst of the storm and will send out blessings to those who haven’t been so lucky.  Please join us as we join our voices in prayer and practice.  Sri Guru Charanam.

Our kirtan practice is grounded in Bhakti Yoga, frequently defined as the yoga of devotion. More importantly, perhaps, is the Seva (aka “service”) aspect of Bhakti, where we offer our efforts to help others as a prayer to our chosen Divinity. Ultimately, that’s what these weekly kirtans are about, an opportunity to express gratitude in song and to share our blessings with those in need. These events are free of charge and we will be accepting donations, which are optional, for the benefit of the All Faiths Food Bank, which provides much needed food to the economically challenged people of Sarasota and Desoto counties.

Please know that the only requirement is a beating heart and a voice! If you don’t wish to sing, come anyway and listen and / or clap along!!! Please note that this is a community effort and we strongly encourage all to consider introducing and leading chants. Musical ability is not required as this is not music but prayer in song. We also encourage chanting that is light hearted, joyous and ecstatic!!! Please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/SRQKirtan or our website at https://www.srqkirtan.wordpress.com/.

The SRQ Community Kirtan is supported by the funding and mission of the Call and Response Foundation (www.callandresponsefoundation.org). Call and Response collaborates with local grassroots organizers to host affordable weekly kirtan events. The Sarasota kirtan community is vibrant, joyous and growing. Please join us…..and bring your friends. Chant and be happy!!!!

Bhakti in Action!

Holy smokes!!! Great crowd at Unity of SRQ tonight for our weekly kirtan. We created amazing vibrations of sound, devotion and love. Above it all and part of it all, we raised $176.00 for the All Faiths Food Bank!!! Thank you all for your generosity and for sharing your hearts and voices. Thanks as well to Stevananda and Tej for leading beautiful chants and to Hukam for his rock solid drumming and support. I love you all and feel so very blessed for our SRQ kirtan community. And, last but certainly not least, thanks to Jen Canfield and the generous souls who fund the Call & Response Foundation for facilitating the creation of our weekly SRQ kirtan group…..and for paying the rent!!!  Jai Hanuman, Jai Sita Ram!!!