Sri sri guru gauranga jayate!
Due to our great fortune and the mercy of the vaisnavas, Bhagavati Kanta Prabhu and myself were able to kick off a 6 week intro course to Bhakti Yoga at the Federal Correctional Institute in Butner, NC. With a reference from a very kind devotee from ISKCON Hillsborough, Sarva Drik Prabhu, we were able to make a nice connection with a very favorable chaplain who was very interested in having this perspective of eastern religion better represented at their facilities.
Day one was very smooth. After successfully completing our required volunteer orientation months back, getting pre approved to bring books, kartals, a mrdunga and a slide show presentation, we were finally issued our badges and were scheduled for a weekly 1-hour spot for a 6-week program. After an enlivening hari katha given Bhagavanti Kanta Prabhu, as seen on https://www.youtube.com/user/bkdasa or www.gokulbhajan.com, we had a sweet kirtan followed by questions and answers by many sincere seekers.
All the attendees seemed very satisfied with the seminar. Along with a copy of Bhagavad Gita for each attendee (over 21 on the first day!), we donated an extensive collection of books of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva of 23 titles including Jaiva Dharma, Journey of the Soul, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and much more, which were all added to the prison’s library. Plus the chaplain seemed interested in his own personal copy of Jaiva Dharma!
The chaplain was very impressed and is already requesting a follow up program after the 6-weeks with either another intro course at one of their other five wings at the prison, or an intermediate course following this one for the current attendees.
We are very grateful to Chaplain Richard Hicks for facilitating this outreach opportunity as well as Sarva Drik Prabhu for making the connection!
More to come as the courses progesses… Any books donated for this matter would be greatly appreciated. Please email Vasanti dasi at firstname.lastname@example.org, or me at email@example.com Donations are a tax-write off in America.