Tim Miller rides the Bhav at Bhakti Fest, lunches with KD

On Saturday, Tim Miller went the Bhakti Fest.

On Tuesday, he wrote about it.

Last week, I dropped a quick link to Tim’s blog post about the awesomeness of September and a surprising number of folks clicked through. So perhaps it is worth reminding everyone of Tim’s wonderful Tuesday pieces, and this week’s is on a subject matter I know a lot of our readers fancy. Here’s Tim on the Fest; here he is talking about Krishna Das‘ set:

My favorite was a hymn to the Divine Mother interspersed with the chorus from the old Journey song, “I Want to Know What Love is.”  I hung in there until 11, but knew I had a two and a half hour drive ahead of me and two classes to teach Sunday morning.  I left with a nice glow and an open heart that made the ride home much more pleasant.   I’m very glad I went.  My friends always told me it was my kind of vibe and they were right–I don’t know why it took me five years to get there.  If Bhakti Fest ever invites me to teach again I will say yes.

There are two other reasons you ought to take a look at his full piece. The first is the story retold from his lunch with KD, concerning Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass and the infamous hit of acid that Ram Dass once gave his teacher. Did the tab really have zero effect on the Indian guru? You’ll have to read it to find out.

The second illustrates the impact on people that Shyamdas had. We linked through to Namarupa’s special issue on him after he passed away in February.

I always hear good and bad things about Bhakti Fest (is there anything one doesn’t hear good and bad things about, though?). Tim paints a picture that shines through with all the good.

Posted by Steve

Krishna Das documentary trailer on iTunes, U.S. release date May 8

The Krishna Das documents, “One Track Heart” is featured today at the iTunes movie trailer page right here.

There’s also a U.S. release date: May 8. (That’s different from its tour of film festivals.) Still no specific screenings, but if you want to keep abreast, you can “like” KD’s Facebook page.

As a reminder, here’s the synopsis of the film:

In 1970, suburban teen Jeffrey Kagel walked away from the American dream of rock ’n’ roll stardom—turning down the lead singer slot in the band that would become Blue Oyster Cult. He sold all his possessions and moved from Long Island to the foothills of the Himalayas in search of happiness and a little-known saint named Neem Karoli Baba. One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das follows Kagel’s journey to India and back, his struggles with depression and drug abuse, and his eventual emergence as Krishna Das—the world-renowned spiritual teacher, chant master and Grammy-winning recording artist. With a score by Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis and Devadas, One Track Heart is the inspiring story of how one man’s journey continues to transform countless lives.

From our perspective, it’s sort of funny to see Neem Karoli Baba described as “little-known.” But pre-“Be Here Now”… the times they were a-different.

Posted by Steve

Namarupa publishes special issue in memory of Shyamdas

As we (and many others) reported back in January, bhakti guru Shyamdas passed away following a motorcycle accident in Goa. It happened on Jan. 19, just a bit before his 60th birthday.

Now, Namarupa — co-published by Eddie Stern and Robert Moses, who led our yatra — has published a special edition dedicated to Shyamdas’ memory.

The link to the issue is here. You should be able to download the PDF version. Are there are more resources, as well. (As a side note, if you haven’t taken a look around Namarupa, we’d encourage you to do so. It brings a wonderful diversity of thoughts and approaches to parts of the yoga practice.)

Included in the issue are pieces by Eddie; Mike Diamond (aka Mike D of the Beastie Boys); Shyamdas’ partner Allyson Kreim, who was injured in the motorcycle accident; and several articles Shyamdas wrote for Namarupa.

Here’s an excerpt from one of Shyamdas’ pieces:

Hari plays with thousands and somewhere along the way, I was called. The Director brought me two hours south of Delhi, to God’s playground, to the sacred lands of Vrindavan, úrà Käüóa’s làlá land. I was eighteen and determined: a dream that had become reality had brought me to Vrindavan, and I headed straight for Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram. Not finding the master at home, I wandered around the outskirts of Vrindavan and came to úyám Kuôi ashram. There, the Mahant, the ashram’s head, called out to me in Hindi, but realizing that I did not understand him, a silver-haired Gujarati man, Maïgaldás, the servant of auspiciousness, came down the stairs and greeted me in proper English. Within two minutes, he not only had invited me to live with him, but had given me a Käüóa mantra which I use to this day. My entrance into Vrindavan had begun!

On a separate topic, today is Tim Miller’s 62nd birthday. You can read about his transformation from Pisces to Aquarius at his weekly blog. Happy birthday, Timji!

Posted by Steve