Emily Hubbard/The Paisano. Members of C-FAST in the Oak Room.

UTSA students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Weekly Club for Applied Spiritual Technologies in the UC Oak Room (2.01.20) on Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for group meditation and spiritual discussion.

The Club for Applied Spiritual Technology (C-FAST) was formed in 2013 by Sharon Castro and is led by the organization’s current president, Javier Cardenas.

“We have monks in there with the Hare Krishna movement, which is a movement that gained in the ‘60s,” said Cardenas. “They come around and offer words of wisdom and lead us in mantra meditation. Our main structure in the club is to open up and all gather around, and our monk will play instruments. Our form of meditation is very instrumental. We will continue with chants which takes place as a form of prayer.”

The group’s main goal is to have a place for students to feel comfortable and have a space to have open discussion on a variety of topics, according to Cardenas.

“This is not a religious group,” said Cardenas. “We are open to all forms of spirituality, everyone has their own beliefs. Our monk gives us parables and words of wisdom and stories from scripts. We usually come in, do an opening mantra, meditate and play instruments, then further

into some topics our monk has set out, like karma, reincarnation, yoga, ways of living and animal rights.

“I feel like I’ve gotten positive benefits from the chanting; it’s something I look forward to every Thursday. It provides a sense of relief,” remarked Advaita, the monk for (C-FAST). He also spoke about the club’s importance and how an open mind can build relationships with others.

“We like to keep an open-door policy,” said Advaita. “We might have a topic and maintain the AMA format, Ask Me Anything: Where does the soul go after death? How does that happen? The difference between matter and spirit?

“Spirituality, for me, is so beautiful because it brings people together. People with intelligent questions and inquiries that shed more-light on these topics and questions we have, or don’t necessarily find answers for in our curriculum. I think a lot of young people are thinking about it, but there are no outlets for them to have open discussions and feed that intelligence. I think we are pretty unique at the university, and not many clubs provide this type of opportunity. What is sacred is life, we want to honor life.”

A dedicated member to the group and fellow UTSA student, Nico Huang, spoke out on the club’s importance and how it has impacted his life.

“Personally, I feel like I would always come to this club, because we are all looking for a connection to something, we are all looking to connect,” said Huang. “Through music and sound vibration, this club offers an outlet to tap into that energy and experience something we take for granted on the daily. Personally, that’s why I come back, because I feel souls and the warrior mindset is very few and Advaita is one of them. When you can get one candle to light another candle, it starts a chemical reaction and lets everyone in on that fire. To keep that fire going is why I always come back.”

For more information, or to join, visit Oak Room- UC 2.01.20 on Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m or email Javier Cardenas at javier.cardenas@utsa.edu.

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