By Ramananda Das (Richard Brookens) - Enlightened Practice Magazine Column, March/April '05
Saturday, March 26, 2005. Karmapalooza is an event that is such a great opportunity for us all, on so many levels, that I urge you to take part in as many ways as possible, and to help publicize the day-long event in any way you can. Not only is this a charity fundraising event for The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), but it is also a coming together of the yoga community, and a Karma Yoga Kirtan with two of the best Kirtan (devotional call and response chanting) leaders to be found. All the proceeds will be donated to the charity. This promises to be a happening that will not only help fund a worthy cause, but will also empower the South Florida yoga community and, very likely, change the lives of many individuals by combining Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. The location is the beautiful Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort on Sunny Isles Beach just east of Aventura in North Miami Beach. Poolside and beach locations will be used for the events during the day (indoor rainy day space is available), and the events in the evening will be held in a spacious room in the Hotel.
The day will start with a Sun Salutation-A-Thon at 9 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. You can start whenever you get there, but 108 Salutations is being recommended as the maximum. This is not a competitive crowd. Each participant can get a sponsor form to list the amount pledged per Sun Salutation (or a specific amount) from www.karmapalooza.com or check with your local studio to see if they have forms. Currently, 22 studios are listed as sponsors. If you can't find one, just make sure to get the sponsor's full name and phone number, with area code; pledge amount (flat or per Sun Salutation); and email address. You can fill it out when you get there.
At 6:30 p.m., Reverend Tom Kelley, who was deeply involved for 25 years in meditation and humanitarian service as a monk in Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Swami Order and now travels the world as an inspirational speaker and teacher of Raja Yoga, will give an insightful lecture on Karma Yoga. Durga Das (David Newman) (www.davidnewmanmusic.com) will lead a Kirtan beginning at 7:30 p.m., featuring his own unique style of weaving folk rock with traditional Indian Kirtan chants, while sharing his insights through personal stories. Read the review of his most recent CD, Lotus Feet: Kirtan Revolution, in this issue of Enlightened Practice Magazine.
Bhagavan Das, one of the great masters of Kirtan, will begin lift off at 9 p.m. He has been on the Western yoga scene since the 1960s, after returning from India and being featured in Ram Das's book, Be Here Now. His autobiography, It's Here Now (Are You?), is a must read for Western yogis. His recent CD, Now, was produced by Mike D. of the Beastie Boys and blends Eastern Devotional chants with Western pop and world beat grooves. His live Kirtans consistently lift peoples spirits to a higher state of consciousness. Read the review of his recently issued live 3 CD Sunset Kirtan in this issue of Enlightened Practice Magazine. In addition to Karmapalooza, Bhagavan Das will be leading Kirtans at Kashi Ashram in Sebastian, FL, on March 5th, and at Yoga Warehouse on March 24th at 7 p.m.
Richard Brookens (Ramananda Das) (www.yellowbellmusic.com) will be accompanying Bhagavan Das on tablas, clay pot, and Balinese gong at Yoga Warehouse on March 24th (7 p.m.). He will also accompany Durga Das (7:30 p.m.) and Bhagavan Das (9 p.m.) at Karmapalooza on March 26th .
Last year, the Make a Wish Foundation was chosen as the charity to benefit from the yoga community's efforts. This year, the series of natural disasters around the world and in Florida has inspired them to choose The Nature Conservancy as the organization to receive the funds generated. The Nature Conservancy will use the money in the state of Florida to address an environmental situation that needs our help. A trip later in the year is planned to go to see what was done with the funds. Serpentine in Concert: 'An Evening of Para Shakti Bhakti'
This extraordinary vocalist has found devotional music a happy home for her creative talents. Celebrating the release of her new Sanskrit Mantra CD, Serpentine (www.serpentine8.com) will perform a special concert on Saturday, April 29th, 8:00 p.m. at Yoga Warehouse, 508 SW Flagler, in Ft.Lauderdale. Accompanying her on Tablas, Udu (Clay Pot), and Flute will be the gifted Ramananda Das (Richard Brookens). Tickets: $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Yoga Warehouse, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Angela Fischetti: Kirtan Tour
Angela Fischetti (http://www.songsofjoyanddevotionbyangelafischetti.com), South Florida Kirtan artist and yoga teacher, has been on a tour of South Florida yoga studios offering songs of joy and devotion from her first CD, ENTER THE LIGHT. On Saturday, March 19th, at 7:00 p.m., she will be at Yogarosa, 110 North Federal Highway, #304, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009; 954-456-6077.
Ramananda Das (Richard Brookens) is certified in Sivananda and Kundalini Yoga. He currently teaches Yoga at Barry University in Miami Shores, Spa Atlantis in Pompano, and Yoga Connection in Plantation. He also plays woodwinds (saxophones, flutes, and clarinets) and hand percussion (tablas, clay pot, et al), and regularly performs professionally in the local area. He has also performed throughout the United States, the Carribbean, and in Panang, Malaysia, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Europe. He has released two CDs of original World Fusion Music, and three meditation/relaxation CDs on his Yellow Bell label. Contact him, listen to free samples from his CDs, and view pictures of some of his performances and World instruments at www.yellowbellmusic.com.
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