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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

lenten bhakti

today is ash wednesday. in the christian calendar, it marks the start of lent, a 40-day period of fasting and devotion that leads up to holy week and easter sunday.

after my friend mary mentioned during last night's IM chat that she was busy checking ash wednesday services at churches near her office, i countered that i really didn't care to walk around town with people pointing out that i had somehow gotten some smudge on my forehead.

JONI!!!!!, she replied. i could almost see her wagging her finger at me, much like the nuns did whenever they didn't approve of something i said or did.

even then, i guess i wasn't a very good catholic...

but since there will be many opportunities for me to practice some form of devotion, or bhakti, this weekend, i suppose i can tie the whole lent/yoga thing into a pleasing package of music and meditation.

and i won't even have to get my forehead dirty :)

Mantra, Mudra & Meditation with Samantha Mehra & Spring Gross
Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, Venice
Saturday, Feb 28th 12:30-3:30pm
Cost: $35

Explore the aspects of bhakti yoga. Allow your practice to deepen by opening your heart, expressing your voice, and connecting to your true self.
In this workshop the focus is to unlock the body's wisdom. Through learning various techiques in Pranayama we will access our vital energy source.
With restorative asana, including mudras, we open the chakras. Understanding placement of breath and sound with mantras and kirtan, lead us to freeing our natural voice with confidence, ease, and playfulness. As the collective consciousness of change is present, let your voice be heard.

Rainforest Alliance Benefit: The Sacred Language
Kula, 1231 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
Saturday, Feb 28th 8:00pm
Cost: $15, a third of the proceeds go to Rainforest Alliance

Reid DeFever performs world music from all 4 sacred language CDs in an organic fusion of rhythm, vibration and inspiration.
Floor style seating, please bring a pillow to be comfortable.
Entrance to Kula is through parking lot at rear of building. Please do not park in our neighbors' parking lots... we wish to preserve our excellent relationships!

Ecstatic Chanting with Steve Ross
Maha Yoga, Brentwood
Saturday, Feb 28th 8:00pm
Cost: By donation

We invite you to join us for a blissful evening of chanting.
The evening will open your heart, still your mind and lead you to a state of profound euphoria.
Wear comfortable clothing, bring a cushion to sit on and enjoy.

The LA Kirtan Collective presents: Chant for Peace - A Night of Sacred Music
Power Yoga West, Santa Monica
Saturday, Feb 28th 8:30-11:55pm
Cost: Suggested Donation $12

"The LA Kirtan Collective" features a host of different Kirtan artists and musicians: Joey Lugassy, Zat Baraka, Spring, Daniel Stewart, Ambika, and Special Guest Richard Horowitz. Also: Patrick Richey on Tabla, guitarist MoMo Rocking, and percussionist Matthew Hufschmidt.
Expect to sing and be moved into motion.
We open to a deep experience of inner peace and world peace. Join us for this beautiful upbeat and meditative environment.
Bring a comfy pillow and blanket.