Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spreading The Bliss: From Oregon to Minnesota to California...

Dave Stringer, Lakshmi, Nichole

I recently went touring with reknown kirtan singer Dave Stringer across my gorgeous home state of Oregon and also in Wisconsin and Minnesota, including the cities of Madison and Minneapolis.

The tour was sponsored by Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss, so each event was blessed with generous servings of Bliss for all in a nice assortment of flavors. All events were well attended (averaging 150-200).

For those of you not familiar with 'kirtan', this is a form of bhakti yoga, which is basically singing mantras in Sanskrit (the oldest language on the earth) together with the crowd - it's a great way to get everyone singing! Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotional practice, established in ancient times in India. Dave Stringer is particularly good at getting everyone singing passionately, and his musical compositions rock!

Being a kirtan singer/songwriter and student of yoga myself, and an integral part of the marketing team here at Coconut Bliss, I've been involved a lot this year connecting up with the growing yoga and kirtan communities across the country. There's so much networking going on! So many great people doing great things that really are improving the quality of life for all beings.

This photo was taken in the cafe after the kirtan at Old Arizona in Minneapolis, which is a beautifully restored building complex in downtown Minneapolis. Dave on the left, me on the right, and in the middle is our Minneapolis 'rep' Nicole Brenny, who is also a blogger.

Old Arizona co-owner Darcy Knight told me a bit of their story: they were aware of this inner-city street corner with dilapidated historic buildings where young girls involved in prostitution frequented, and they decided they would take action and transform the whole thing. They came in and built a community center complete with its own theater, cafe, chocolate bar and wine room, etc. and started a non-profit arts program to benefit the teen girls in the area: The Arizona Bridge Project. All net proceeds of the cafe and theater go to the non-profit.

Read more about their story here:

We have so many exciting events going on, but the next big one that I will be attending is the Harmony Fest in Santa Rosa, CA. We are a sponsor of this great alternative festival, and Christina and Michael will be running the Bliss Cart, selling Coconut Bliss bars all weekend:

June 11,12,13

I'll be there performing Saturday night and also Sunday at the Goddess Grove stage at 3:30pm.

Grab a bar and come on by for a listen!

Peace and Blessings,
~Jaya Lakshmi

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