June 2005

Dear Friends,

We have some news and new offerings to share with you from Night Lotus Productions. If you'd like to opt out of receiving future, only occasional emails, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email, and we'll delete you from our address list, but keep you in our prayers!

On Fathers Day Sunday, June 19th, our website, www.spiritual-happiness.com/nightlotus.html, is going to be the official "Cool Site of the Day," to honor our artistic offerings and free spiritual resources, including writings, videos, music, and photography. Many guests from around the world come to our pages each day to enjoy these offerings, however being designated "Cool Site of the Day" tends to bring a super-wave of guests on that day and beyond, so we've added a few more offerings in honor of this award.

Click HERE to see the archives of previous Cool Sites of the Day:

Cool Site of the Day suggests that awardees contact our friends and mailing list and invite you to visit the Cool Site of the Day website on our day (Sunday, June 19th), when visitors can offer a rating of 1 - 10 that will be stored with the site's archival info. While we certainly welcome you to visit on June 19th and register a rating for our website, this email is mainly to let you know about some of the new website offerings we've added, which we welcome you to enjoy anytime. Please feel free to forward this update to anyone who may be interested.

Our newest offering is "Things that Make You Go Oooommmmm," a series of contemplative photo-aphorisms with original quotes and photography. Click on the graphic or sample aphorism to enjoy this series:


We've also added new music to our popular "Chanting and Devotional Singing" page, including a freestyle rendering of the great mantra "Om Namah Shivaya," and a tribute to the goddess of divine abundance, "Maha Lakshmi Stotram."

Listen to "Freestyle Om Namah Shivaya"

Listen to "Maha Lakshmi Stotram"

* All of our streaming music and videos play in realplayer. If you need assistance, please visit our "Realplayer Information Page."

Our Chanting and Devotional Singing page now has a Christian section that includes an acappella version of "Ave Maria," recently recorded in honor of our receiving a thank you note and autographed photo of the new Pope, after we sent him a blessing letter and copy of Spirituality For Dummies.

Listen to "Ave Maria"


On our new "Glorious Bhagavad Gita" page, you can listen to all 18 chapters of this amazing and profound spiritual classic, sung in English. The Bhagavad Gita is the source of much of what is now called new age, yoga, and meditation philosophy, and our rendition is the first time this text has been made available sung in English in over 3000 years. This is a wonderful way to delve into the valuable spiritual secrets of The Bhagavad Gita.

Although the entire CD is available to play for free online, we have also made this 2-CD set Night Lotus Production's first official product that is also available for sale, after enjoying giving away over 1000 CDs and cassettes of chanting and devotional singing upon request. This CD is available online from our website and through Amazon.com, and is being distributed to retail outlets by New Leaf, Devorss & Company, and other distributors in the U.S. and U.K.

Listen to Glorious Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12: "The Yoga of Devotion"

Other popular pages on the Night Lotus Productions website include:


The Vision of Night Lotus Productions

The vision of Night Lotus Productions has been to offer our own spiritual resources freely and to help others to offer their light to the world. The very simple business plan has been to keep our expenses low and to use income from paid projects to support our charitable ones. This has resulted in some challenging financial times over the past decade, but then again, blessings have also come when most needed. For example, a video we produced in 2002 for San Diego County, called, "The Faces of CalWORKs," was not only a great success in terms of bringing light to the world -- this video has been shown in welfare offices, domestic violence programs, homeless shelters, and on government television many times -- but it also provided enough income for Night Lotus to purchase our own professional video and audio post-production system, which has since been used to bring other good works to the world.

In the past few years, Night Lotus has offered services to more than 50 large and small charitable projects, including documentary videos, websites, flyers, logos, presentations, consulting, and others. Most have been offered free of charge to assist individuals and organizations in bringing greater light to the world.


Recent Challenges to Our Vision

The Financial Education Task Force pays with Bad Checks: 2004 brought some new challenges to our somewhat unique business model. Along with many charitable offerings, our main paying project last year was to produce videos and graphic elements for the Federal Interagency Task Force on Financial Education, headed by HUD and the Federal Reserve. We produced excellent videos and graphics for this initiative, intended to uplift living conditions of migrant workers in Central California by teaching them about financial responsibility. These videos were sent and shown by the task force to many agencies, organizations, and committees, including the White House, Senator Barbara Boxer, the Federal Reserve Board, Citibank, and in various meetings and online venues. But then, the fiscal representative of this financial education task force paid both Night Lotus and our wonderful camera crew with bad checks that bounced, at a time when these funds were needed for basic expenses. It is said that negative forces often challenge good works, and it seems that the irresponsible steering committee of this financial education task force have been an excellent vehicle for these challenges, with different members of the task force blaming one another for the bad checks, instead of taking responsibility for paying their debts. At the time this was taking place, we were recording the Glorious Bhagavad Gita, and instead of just walking away, have chosen to follow Krishna's teaching that a righteous cause deserves to be pursued - which has also been educational. Toward this effort, we've created a webpage report about the situation.

A Research Ethics Project with Questionable Ethics: Several years ago, Night Lotus was invited by a prominent UCSD scientist to partner together for a Small Business Innovations and Research (SBIR) grant that would have given us resources to produce multi-media training modules for mental health researchers. The scientist had a special favoritism relationship with the head of the SBIR program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which was actually questionable ethics for this research ethics project. With our efforts and special assistance from this woman, who the scientist's department called "the mole," we easily received Phase I of this grant. The videos from our 6-month grant are viewable at www.researchethics.net. This was promising to be a successful and fruitful project for all concerned, until the scientist received a major promotion, and abruptly left many of his projects, including ours. Without her friend being involved, the head of SBIR grants at NIMH went from great enthusiasm to dropping any interest in our project like a hot potato. in 2004, in spite of our having many other accomplished scientists on board for Phase II, Night Lotus Productions ended up losing nearly three years of work and investment in this project.

Good News or Bad News? On a smaller scale, just in the past month, Night Lotus Productions created a website with extensive graphics and audio for a woman who is very involved in a local new age church. This woman will likely have a special mention in our upcoming book on, "Why Spiritual People Piss Me Off." After we'd spent 50 hours on her "Good News" website project, the woman gave Night Lotus the bad news that, afterall, she didn't have any money to pay even a penny of the discounted fees we had discussed for the project. The woman was moving out of town, and hey, oh well, sorry 'bout that. As they say, "Positive thinkers can sometimes be positive stinkers."

As you can tell, I prefer to call 'em as I see 'em instead of putting on the kind of facade some might expect from a "spiritual author." For me, a first priority of spiritual life is honesty.

Toward the Future

In spite of these recent challenges, we continue to move forward with optimism, enthusiasm, and an ongoing aspiration to help bring light to the world through creative works. Even if obstacles come, we must follow our inner destiny and guidance, while keeping an eye open to see if a particular path is meant to turn in another direction. At this moment, we feel that the grace and blessings are here for continuing this work, and that the world is especially receptive and ready today for good, easily available spiritual resources.

Our long-term vision for the future of Night Lotus Productions includes helping other spiritual artists to offer their work to the world, with small grants and production assistance. We are also looking toward a time when sales of our published books might bring in sufficient monies to finance some of these charitable works, although to date, the three books I've written have brought in less than $500 in total royalties over the past seven years (!), in spite of the many wonderful media reviews and letters we've received from readers. Apparently, focusing on serving and living a simple life is not exactly on the "How to Make a Bestseller" list; however it is conducive to peace of mind, heart, and soul.

We always welcome your good wishes, and hope you'll enjoy our website and other offerings: www.spiritual-happiness.com/nightlotus.html. May blessings shower upon you and upon your own good offerings to this world.


Sharon Janis

Owner of Night Lotus Productions, and author of:


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