Japa Club

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Welcome to The Japa Club! The goal of this forum is simple - to improve the quality of chanting the Maha-Mantra. This is achieved by chanting in the early hours of the day and in the company of devotees.
The Japa Club serves the objective of
1. To awaken early
2. To chant in company of Vaishnavas
3. To conduct workshops etc. to improve the quality of our Japa
The Japa Club will focus exclusively on chanting, and topics related to chanting. It is open to any person interested in chanting the Maha-Mantra
The members of The Japa Club meet in a 'virtual' environment. Each member dials into a phone-conference facility every Saturday morning (s/he receives an email in advance with details on number to call, conference code etc.) It doesn't matter where you are physically located, all you need is a telephone to gain entry into this transcendental setting, the enthusiasm to awaken early (if you aren't already doing so) and the desire to invest some of your precious time! The conference is free of charge and many a mobile-phone service plans also offer free calls on week-ends (please check with your service provider).  If your cell/phone has speaker-phone facility please use it or even the hands free (ear-phone/mic) option works well - This will allow you to chant and hear others chanting as well
The session begins sharp at 6 a.m. with chanting of the Maha-Mantra for an hour, followed by a 30 mins. discourse on Japa - practical tips/techniques to improve the aspect of chanting attentively and without offenses. We also have the good fortune of Sanyasis, Sr. Vaishnavas who have agreed to give discourses/conduct Japa workshops periodically. Click here to listen to previous lectures/discussions.
To keep it simple and 'pressure' free, members can join and leave the session as per their convenience - any entry or exit is in silent mode, which also doesn't cause any distractions. One need not announce his/her presence (though a conference message may ask you to do so - please ignore it) - simply dial-in, enter your access code, and when connected, begin chanting or listen to the discourse (depending on the time you enter the session) To leave, just disconnect your line.
Some guidelines:
 - It is recommended to chant on Japa beads - in case you don't have one, please contact your local ISKCON temple/center. If there isn't one in your vicinity, it can be purchased on-line at http://www.thekrishnastore.com/Search.bok?category=Meditation:JapaBeads&bar=_shp_meditation 
 - How to Chant on Japa Beads Chanting on beads is an aid to fix your attention on the holy name of Krishna. Concentration of your attention, or your mind, is easier the more senses you use. When chanting with beads you use your fingers, ears and tongue—sense of touch, hearing and speaking.

japaEach strand consists of one hundred and eight beads and one larger bead, known as the Krishna-bead. Begin by chanting the Pancha-Tattva Mantra. The Pancha-Tattva mantra is...JAYA SHRI KRISHNA CHAITANYA PRABHU NITYANANDA SHRI ADVAITA GADADHAR SHRIVAS ADI GAURA BHAKTA VRINDA. (chanting of this mantra invokes the mercy of Lord Shri Chaitanya and His Divine Associates to protect one for committing offenses against the Holy names)

Then, on the bead next to the Krishna-bead, gently rolling the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand chant the Maha-mantra HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE / HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE. 

Then move to the next bead and repeat the Maha-Mantra. In this way continue chanting on each of the 108 beads in the strand. This is known as a round of Japa. One round of Japa takes between five to ten minutes for most people.

If you are going to chant more than one round of Japa, after chanting the Maha-Mantra on the last bead, chant the Pancha-Tattva mantra.

Then reverse the beads and start your next round by chanting the Maha-Mantra on the last bead you chanted on, moving the beads in the opposite direction of your last round. (For all odd numbered rounds 1, 3, 5... the direction will be from  bead-1 to bead-108. For all even numbered rounds 2, 4, 6... the direction will be from bead-108 to bead-1. In this way the direction reverses on completion of each round)

 - Please do not chant at a high volume - very loud chanting can be distracting to the assembly.  
-  It is a good idea to put your mic on mute if you anticipate/there is external noise in your environment
 - If voice quality  is poor....Since the conference facility bridges many lines, the strength of the conference is dependent on the weakest connection - if you  get  a poor voice quality when you connect, your signal may be low and it will affect the entire conference. Please disconnect, move to an area where you get a stronger signal for your mobile and then dial in.   
 - You can chant at a pace you are comfortable with - it is important to pronounce each word of the mantra distinctly. Do not be in a hurry to complete a 'round' (for more information please visit http://www.iskcon.com/basics/japa.html
 - You will hear the tinkling of a bell at 6.55 a.m. to let you know that the Japa session is coming to a close. At 7 a.m. the bell will tinkle again to indicate the start of the discourse/workshop . Please stop chanting when you hear the second bell and class begins. If you are in the middle of a round, you can begin that round afresh after the conference is done or hold on to that bead where you paused your chanting and resume after the conference is done.
- After the discourse, you can ask the speaker any question you may have related to the discourse/chanting. In case of time constraints you can email your questions to  tjcmoderator@gmethods.com and expect a response in a couple of days.  
 -  We are trying to resolve the issue of 'over-booking' - typically we reserve the conference for 50 persons for which the conference facility blocks that many connects - however we fall short of this number and the conferences resources are not utilized which they say could have otherwise been allocated elsewhere. Repeated occurrences runs the risk of our account being cancelled. As such, we are reducing the number of connections required. It will help if you can let the moderator of The Japa Club know via email (tjcmoderator@gmethods.com) whether you'll be participating so that the right number of connections can be reserved for the conference.   
Click here  for conference details
Please contact Amritananda das at 732.777.2599 or email amritananda.rns@gmethods.com to be added to our mailing list.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please call Amritananda das using contact information above.
Thank you once again for your interest. Please feel free to forward the invitation to The Japa Club to any person you feel would benefit from it. 
Let's chant and be happy!
Hari Bol!

Japa beads image in logo from  http://www.thekrishnastore.com