By The Shanti Scribe
September 6-9, 2012 - Joshua Tree, CA: Friday morning. Day break - The campground has grown overnight. RVs now come into the grounds and setup. I meet my camp neighbors. Lisa from Oregon is next to us. Sweet person and so excited to be there. My other neighbor Nancy from Redlands, is on the other side, and is pretty much the same. Bhakti Fest tends to do that. Brings new found energy in you and makes you come alive!
I'm up early to do some chanting. I am into chanting now and love the Hanuman Chalisa that is held early every morning at the festival. It's in the Sanctuary, and with different Kirtan artists performing it, and teaching it to others. The Hanuman Chalisa is a 40 verse poem/prayer to Hanuman. Chalisa actually means "40", and Hanuman, being the deity to the virtue of service or Seva. I relate to this because of the many charity events and work I have done lately in my life and wanting to do more service for others. It is a wonderful room full of devotees chanting this beautiful prayer together. I may not pronounce the Sanskrit correctly, but I want to learn as best as I can and I feel a unity as we do this together every morning.
I get a smoothie for breakfast from one of the vendors and head over to the main stage. I walk through all the product vendors by the stage and meet some I really like a lot! I find a cool tank shirt from Third Eye Threads. The owner is from Encinitas, CA and we have a great discussion on the event, life and more. We are in the same neck of the woods and I plan on heading down there to check out more of their wears later.
Friday at the festival starts to show new crowds attending now. Coming in from LA and other areas since they are now getting off work and the weekend is about to begin. The evening's performers are: Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, one of my personal favorites at the festival. Next up to perform is Dave Stringer. He has a cool background (was once a film editor/filmmaker like myself) and also has a great sense of humor on stage. His music is so energetic and I am now a new fan. Next is the always wonderful Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe. Wynne Paris, Surya Chandra and Daniel Stewart end out the evening for me. I head back to camp, and sit on my chair I brought and look up into the stars. I see a meteorite streak across the clear sky. I not only see it but I hear it, as it sizzles into the atmosphere. Do I make a wish? Do I really have to?
Not necessary this evening. It was a blissful day!