Here's an idea that came to me to spread the chanting …. simple, scalable and replicable.
This poster is for a program I'm going to do where a few devotee families and mine just sit in the park one evening and chant. We'll have some bliss-balls and some lemonade prasadam for refreshments. No maha-feast that everyone shows up just in time for. No sparsely attended class – just chanting and meeting the hopefully nice people that come.
This poster is generic at the moment as I need to find a good location. That should be easy though – there are lots of parks around here. I just need to find one with low traffic or beach noise so that we don't need to worry about amplification. Or mabye just bring a mic and battery powered amp for whoever leads.
The time of 6pm is also strategic. Its not dark yet and people have enough time to get home from work and grab a quick bite before coming – and of course there will be late comers. Setting things up in the dark is lame. We could put a time as 'first thursday of the month' or even 'every thursday' if we want to make a regular thing of it. At the moment I'm thinking to do it in different places every time and those who want to keep coming can be notified of the location via a mailing list.
Sound good? You can do it too. There are two options for you if you'd like to use this poster to advertise:
- Download a printable copy (2MB) with blank spaces for 'When?' and 'Where?' – just use a marker to fill them in.
- Download a Photoshop .psd file (21MB) and change the details yourself. (fonts included)
I've tried to make the poster contrasty enough to work as a black & white copy for $$ reasons. The most affordable way (colour or b&w) is to take them to a printer and have a run of copies made. There are also good online print houses that can do the work for you and post them when done – just Google for one in your country.
- posters put up at least a week in advance advertising the event
- a devotee who's confident enough to chant in front of a group of people
- at least one mrdanga (nicely tuned – not the ones that feel and sound like thumping a phone book)
- karatels (not the dissonant big clangers – nice crisp sounding ones)
- a harmonium is nice
- if bringing whompers make sure that a devotee with some concept of musical dynamics plays them. Otherwise the whompers tend to drive the kirtana into hyper-volume and nobody can hear the chanting anymore.
- maybe a microphone and a battery powered amp depending on the venue and the vocal capacity of whoever is leading
- a foldout table
- some buckets with a drink in it. lemonade is easy for warm months – hot fennel tea is pretty good for the cold ones.
- a simple sweet to hand out – our temple mass produces blissballs for distribution so I'd just need to buy a sack of them
The whole point is to keep it simple. That way everyone has a good time and nobody is overworked and stressed out.
Spread the chanting!