Today was another wonderful day for the Japa Weekend. As Mahatma Prabhu instructed, Japa Weekend does not just mean the 10am - 6 pm time period that you are at the seminar/workshop, no it is actually the whole weekend that you must commit to so that you can get full benefit.
By the blessings of Krishna's devotees I was able to wake up before my alarm clock at 4am which is quite rare. Namely both waking up before the clock, and me setting the clock at four. The night before I finished writing the previous small blog at 11:15pm. I usually get to bed around this time or later due to baby Visakha restlessness. So needless to say setting the clock for that time was a little intimidating. But by grace of all of the devotees somehow or other I woke up refreshed around 3:45. I was able to make it to the temple at 4:30 just in time for the mangala artik which was nicely sung by Mahatma Prabhu. We then sang and meditated upon Tulasi devi, Krishna's dear devotee, offered our obeisances to the devotees and on to chanting. Chanting was more focused then usual, attempting to keep in mind that it is not a process it is a relationship. Our chanting should not be like the proposal of an unwilling groom in an arranged marriage but rather a loving appeal reestablish a lost relationship.
Today workshop was great, many different exercises helped us with internal and external issues in chanting, helping us with the tools to progress. If one wants some results, good japa, one must then step out of their comfort zone and not just do the same habit. Even physical actions, which was touched on briefly, such as not letting the eyes wander, keeping one's back erect, reading mantra, was shone to have great impact on our mind. Thus allowing ourselves to hear the Holy Names with less clutter.
His Holiness Giriraja Swami led us in a discussion on appreciating the holy name as Mahatma Prabhu helped us chant with intention. So much can be said, but it is pass 11pm again, lets see if can again get your blessings to be up my 3:45am .
Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das