Call and Response Foundation Chant in Service Retreat ~ 5/15-5/17/20 | Awakening to the Heart

Call and Response Foundation Chant in Service Retreat ~ 5/15-5/17/20

CARF Retreat Fall 2019

Kirtan - Yoga - Seva - Dharma Talks - Community

You're invited to join the 
Call and Response Foundation for the 
6th Semi-Annual Chant in Service Retreat 
Friday, May 15 at 5:00 pm  -  Sunday, May 17 at 12:30 pm

Click Here to Register


The retreat will follow in the words of "Love. Serve. Remember."
As the title suggests, this will be a retreat focused on opening and serving the heart through both chanting and service (Seva). Over the weekend, we will have daily kirtans, dharma talks, morning yoga classes, and we will cook and serve a meal for the the Bridge House Homeless Shelter.

Throughout the weekend we will be exploring the relationship between Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga, Using the Gopis' Rasa Lila dance with Krishna, and Hanuman's one-pointed service to Sita and Ram as our guide. 

We will discuss the deep and intimate inner experience of the devotional mood and the essence of surrender along the spiritual path.

Conscious Cooking and the Consecration of Food
A unique aspect of this retreat is its service component: taking the love and compassion that we cultivate and sharing it with others. In this spirit, we will be preparing and serving a meal on Saturday night for the Bridge House Homeless Shelter in Plymouth, New Hampshire. 

This Seva will be lead by Keshav Ji as he shows and teaches us how to prepare food as a sacred act. The preparing and cooking of the Prasadam (consecrated food) will serve not only as an act of Karma Yoga (selfless service) but will also serve as a teaching in itself in how to practice conscious cooking and learning how to sanctify our food, further making our life an offering to the divine.

From K.K Sah:
“In the West the word “surrender” means the act of yielding to the power of another or the acknowledgement of defeat. This does not, in any way, reflect the true meaning of the process of surrender in the Hindu spiritual tradition. As far as my own knowledge, I have not found an equivalent English word for the process which, in Hindi, is called sharanagati—the process of surrender.

Sharanagati is a combination of the two words shara, meaning shelter, and agat, meaning one who has come to be sheltered. The person who has come to the place of refuge or shelter can be called a sharanagat. Only a person who is afraid of worldly misery comes for relief to the shelter of a powerful entity. But this phrase cannot express the emotional vibrations that the word sharanagat bears in it.

At times when someone who is afraid takes the shelter of any person or place, he is fully dependent upon that shelter, and he does not even think of any other help for his liberation. In this state of shelter, he surrenders all of his body, mind and other sense organs to the situation. Like in the situation of a drowning person, he surrenders himself to the person coming for his rescue. In the situation of a person terrified of the scorching heat from the sun during peak hours of the summer noon, if he finds a tree for shelter then he cannot ignore it at any cost. The mental state of that drowning person, or the peace felt at the moment the overheated person finds relief cannot be expressed in words. But, even these worldly examples are not complete in the real understanding of a sharanagat.”


Kripa was born out of the love of Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Baba, and Hanuman and inspired by their central teachings of “Love, Service, Remembrance, and Truth.” They are deeply committed to the wide accessibility of Kirtan and Bhakti Yoga, and they have partnered with the Call and Response Foundation to offer affordable, donation-based offerings and prison outreach. Their recent west coast tour was a profound experience for the group bringing, them deeper into their devotional practices and understanding of Bhakti. The tour brought began in Portland, OR and traveled the down the coast as far as San Diego. On the tour, Kripa held kirtans at San Quentin State Prison and Portland State Correctional Institution as well as playing at yoga studios and private homes along the way. To see more about Kripa's prison work please watch their reflection video.

   - Sitaram Dass

Sitaram Dass spent several years serving his beloved teacher Ram Dass on Maui. It was during this time that he committed himself to the practice of kirtan and the path of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of service and devotion to God. Besides leading kirtan and speaking on this path of the heart, Sitaram Dass is a social worker and spends much of his time writing and teaching about the intersection between spirituality and social justice. He says of his time with Ram Dass, "Whether he is lecturing on stage, at the dinner table with friends, or alone in his room, Ram Dass rests and acts from a place of love. I believe that this is the most important thing anyone can learn—to live from the heart, to act from the heart, to sing from the heart. This is Ram Dass’ main teaching today, and it continues the teachings of his guru, the great saint Neem Karoli Baba, who said 'Love everyone, serve everyone, remember God, and tell the Truth.' I try to make these four words—Love, Serve, Remember, and Truth—as the foundation of everything I do. I can’t think of a better map to navigate life with. He now serves along with his guru brothers, Hari, Pavan Das and Krishna Prem, in their band Kripa, touring and sharing their practice across the country at studios, retreats, and prisons. To learn more and explore his music and writings, go to

   - Krishna Prem
Krishna Prem is kirtan wallah who was born into a living stream of devotional music in the Sufi lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan (a master musician and practitioner, Hazrat Inayat Khan came from India to the western world in 1910 to share the message of universal love). Krishna Prem's devoted practice eventually lead him to live with and serve the well-loved spiritual teacher Ram Dass. During his time with Ram Dass, KP heard kirtan for the first time. He has been deeply in love ever since, traveling to sing and share the practice all over the United States, Mexico, South America. KP is a proud member of the kirtan group, Kripa, which is comprised of former Ram Dass caregivers. His popular chant "Sitaram" was recently featured in the Netflix documentary, "Ram Dass: Going Home" and is available for download on He now serves along with his guru brothers Hari, Pavan Das, Ram Govind and Sitaram Dass in their band Kripa, touring and sharing their practice across the country at studios, retreats, and prisons. 

   - Scott Hari Whitmore
Hari is an experienced kirtan leader intrigued with the interconnectedness of the heart, mind, and spirit. After graduating college, Scott was invited to move to Maui to serve as a personal assistant to Ram Dass. It was here that he first began leading kirtan. After serving Ram Dass, Scott worked for four years as an Applied Behavioral Counselor/Teacher for children with severe special and behavioral needs. Scott now serves as the Director of Outreach and Development for the Call and Response Foundation, helping bring the power of chanting to where it is needed most. He is a proud member of the kirtan group, Kripa, which is comprised of former Ram Dass caregivers. He now serves along with his guru brothers Krishna Prem, Pavan Das, Ram Govind and Sitaram Dass in their band Kripa, touring and sharing their practice across the country at studios, retreats, and prisons. 

Keshav Kishor Sharan
Keshav Kishor Sharan (Radhe Radhe), is a Bhakti Guru of the Nimbarki Vaisnava tradition from Vrindavana India and currently serves at the Braj Mandir of Sri Radha Bhakti in Holbrook, MA. Keshav Sharan comes from a long, multi-generational history of Bhakti Yogis and took his initiation in the Nimbarki Vaisnava tradition at the age of seven. Deeply touched by the teachings, he was leading dharma talks and kirtan in the local temples of Vrindavana by the time he was a teenager. When he came to the United States he began teaching at universities and in people's homes until 2008 when the land was purchased for the Braj Mandir. He has since been there serving full time.
The essence of the Nimbarki tradition is the cultivation of unconditional love and loving understanding of dualistic non-dualism. Sri Radha Bhakti is a diverse community which serves whole-heartedly without any monetary exchange; they value that the whole world is one family and that service is the freedom of the soul. The community of Sri Radha Bhakti joins together in japa meditation, kirtan, dharma discourses, sharing meals (prasadam), and associating with Bhakti Yoga Practitioners. To learn more about Bhakti Yoga at Braj Mandir, visit


The Chant in Service Retreat was an absolute game-changer for me. With every kirtan session, the chants took me deeper into remembrance of my true self. I previously had enjoyed kirtan but had never been able to lose myself in it. This time around, every session brought me to tears as my cup overflowed with love and gratitude. The intersection of community, intention-setting, seamless logistics, lovingly prepared nourishing meals, and a spectacular setting in the mountains, held the space for us to let go and be present. Kirtan proved itself to be the sound-vibration technology of grace. I truly feel opened, awakened and softened, bathed in the bliss and beauty that befell us all weekend through friendship, seva and sadhana. This retreat was a concentrated catalyst that accelerated me to where I wanted to be in my journey. I’m eagerly awaiting the next powerful, uplifting retreat to deepen my spiritual path even further! -Aliya Padamsee


Please Contact:

Retreat Venue:

Sandwich Mountain Sanctuary
24 West Meadow Road
Thornton, NH 03285


 © Awakening to the Heart -  2018