Taking the Denver Chant Fest Bhakti and Love into our Daily Lives

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by Erin Mathiason

My words alone are inadequate to summarize the Denver Chant Fest. The photographs (posted here and on the Denver Chant Fest Facebook page) show the bliss, the community, the love and the bhav of the event in a way that “success,” “incredible” and “awesome” simply cannot reach. The photographs, along with the words of participants and presenters as posted on the Denver Chant Fest Facebook page, capture the feelings and the moments. Lyn Wheaton writes “…Best Fest I have been to so far (and I have been to many)…Feeling euphoric, what an experience!” Larkin Flora calls the event “mind blowing.” Kirtan wallah C.c. White shares “Ultimate Bliss, and a much needed ‘Sweet Kirtan Release’ at ‘Denver Chant Festival’. Such beautiful souls, full of love, opening their arms wide, shimmering and so ready to divinely give! Thanks Denver, Colorado, Thanks Dakini, Thanks to Everyone!”

You might think that after a late set with Jai Uttal and C.C. White on Saturday night that Chant Festers would be slow to get back to the venue on Sunday. The auditorium was to capacity, however, for the 8:00 a.m. class with favorite Denver and Boulder teachers Patrick Harrington, Tricia Heimbach, Mike Konrad, Shannon Paige and Livia Shapiro, with DJ Solomoon providing the grooves. Govindas and Radha followed with their “Kirtan Vinyasa Flow,” accompanied by Boulder’s own The Pushpams. Author, spiritual teacher and mystic Kamala Easton, PhD offered “Embodying the Goddess Kali” and drew in a substantial crowd for this last in the Wellness Class series. The bliss of final kirtan with Saul David Raye cannot adequately be described. I missed Raye’s post fest class “The Power of the Heart: Yoga and Bhakti Immersion” so I am excited that I’ll get to hear it on a “New World Kirtan” podcast, along with listening again to the Denver Chant Fest kirtans (Thank you Kitzie Stern!).

So now that Denver Chant Fest is over, how do we take it into our daily lives? I would encourage you to move this community forward by being a part of your yoga community. This goes beyond taking class. Participate in seva projects like fundraisers at your local yoga studio or Off the Mat Into the World (and there are more!). Attend Friday Night Yoga Club, Yoga Rocks the Park and the Hanuman festival. Support local kirtan. Many of the musicians on stage at Denver Chant Fest perform regularly in Denver and Boulder. Keep supporting the Denver Chant Fest vendors. Share your dreams and inspirations with the Denver Chant Fest community by posting them on the Denver Chant Fest Facebook page (or comment on this blog).

In his closing remarks, Erik Vienneau reminded us that he and Dakini did not let doubt and fear get in the way of their big dream to create the event. And, as he said, they are only two. What would happen if all 500 or so of us Chant Festers lived from that same place of love? Think what we can create! Like me, I’m sure you’ve been to vibration-raising events before (but perhaps not of this magnitude!) and then moved right back into your head, into your daily life as it was before, with little or no transformation. Our post-Chant Fest work is to take this bhakti, this love, into the world as our own dream, no matter how big.