The Japa Workshop
A Weekend For Breakthroughs in Japa
“Now I have the tools to chant the way my heart yearns”
– Bhakti-lila devi dasi, California
The Japa Workshop is a special opportunity to improve your japa. You’ll get to focus on areas where your japa most needs improvement; you’ll be given tools to improve your chanting that you can immediately apply; and you will increase your attraction to chanting, making your chanting more of an “I get to chant” experience than an “I have to chant” chore.
The workshop provides a place for you to deal with your shortcomings in chanting, reveal them to other devotees in confidence, and work on them in a supportive and guided environment. The workshop offers an ideal opportunity for you to make significant improvements in your japa – improvements that you might not make on your own.
The value of the retreats/workshops is immeasurable. It has helped my spiritual life more than anything else. If you are considering attending a retreat/workshop just know it is the best choice you can make in this life.
– Rasa Acharya das (Gurukuli) Washington, DC
Why a Japa Workshop?
We all know we can chant better rounds. For most of us, “normal” japa is not as good as we know it could be – or as good as it should be. The Japa Workshop was developed to deal with this reality. It is a weekend to work on one thing only: your relationship with the Holy Name.
One of the objectives of the workshop is to alter bad japa habits. We offer you tools – the good habits – that will make it easier and more natural to chant better rounds. These tools will also help you continue improving your japa long after the workshop is over. The reality is that bad japa habits can stay with us for life if we don’t deal with them. In other words, bad chanting tends to produce more bad chanting unless we do something about it.
What Can You Expect?
Participants commonly report that they:
- Discover where their chanting is most deficient and work on those areas;
- Experience an increased and more spontaneous taste for chanting;
- Gain new tools and techniques that immediately improve their chanting;
- Feel Krsna’s presence more fully in His Names;
- Develop deep and honest relationships with other participants.
- Take their japa more seriously after the workshop
Another thing you can expect is to be more Krsna conscious. Chanting quality rounds makes a big difference in your spiritual life.
A thoroughly motivating weekend. A turning point in my devotional life.
– Madhuri, Toronto
The workshop provides a special opportunity to both evaluate your japa and learn from others how to improve. You will get many new realizations about the holy name and become inspired to make japa more of a priority in your life.
The Japa Workshop is a place where you will make breakthroughs in your japa.
This kind of work is a wonderful addition to the many festivals we have in Alachua. The festivals we have are exciting and enlivening, and a wonderful opportunity to be with devotees. But the workshop is different in that it is a contemplative time for self-evaluation. It is a time for internal reflection about our relationship with the Holy Name.
It is a unique offering in ISKCON.
This (workshop) was a huge turning point in my life.
– Meena, Bangalore
Who Should Attend?
If you are thinking of attending the five day japa retreat, should you come to the workshop? Yes. If you have attended a retreat, should you come to the workshop? Yes. If you are not planning to attend a retreat, should you come to the workshop? Yes.
The workshop was developed to both stand on its own as a complete program and at the same time augment The Japa Retreat. The workshop provides an effective and easily accessible way to work on your japa (there are no retreats currently scheduled for Alachua). If you have attended a retreat, this is a wonderful way to go deeper with your japa. If you plan to attend a retreat in the future, the workshop will help you make noticeable improvements in your chanting now. Plus, it will build a foundation that will help you get more out of the retreat.
If you are unable to attend a retreat, the workshop is a way to gain essential tools and insights that will take your chanting to the next level.
I wish I had learned what you gave me years ago so I could have been doing better justice to Krsna’s names. Prema, Mumbai
The goals of the workshop are:
- To learn and apply techniques and attitudes in your daily japa that enable you to become more absorbed in your chanting.
- To gain a greater taste for chanting so that japa becomes what you want to do rather than what you have to do.
- To have deeper and more profound experiences with the holy name on a consistent basis.
- To gain a greater appreciation for the holy name and its central importance in the practice of bhakti.
- To experience that “there is nothing but the holy name in all the fourteen worlds.”
- To organize your life and priorities in a way that supports good japa.
- To create a mindset (and thus a habit) of consistently improving your japa throughout your life.
What Are the Ideal Hours of the Workshop?
- Friday Evening 7 to 9.
- Saturday 10 to 6.
- Sunday 10 to 5. Includes lunch.
(Shorter hours can be arrange when absolutely required.)
Japa Retreats are held at a retreat center or similar facility and last for at least 4 1/2 days.