We aspire to live the teachings of Haidakhan Baba, to hold this Ashram as
His home, to serve humanity, and to be stewards and caretakers of this land.
Dear Friends of the Ashram
It is a magnificent time of year here at the Ashram with all the wild roses blooming along the creek and the fresh aspen leaves glowing in the sunshine. I am taking as many opportunities as possible to hike up to our beautiful water shed.
In between these moments, we have been very full with lots of wonderful events and plenty of gracious helpers and visitors, as you will read about in the newsletter.
We are gearing up for a busy Fourth of July weekend followed by Guru Purnima on Monday, July 10. I will be traveling to the beautiful Babaji Ashram in Cisternino, Italy for an international gathering of devotees over Guru Purnima. I will take plenty of photos to share with you in the next newsletter. Read on for more information about the event.
Remember that our daily schedule includes morning and evening aarati (chanting) at 7am and 7pm and a large fire ceremony on new moon (Sunday, June 25) and full-moon (Monday, July 10) at 10am followed by a bhandara. If you would like to sponsor a fire ceremony ($108) or bhandara (feast) ($108) you may make the donation on line by just clicking here or call at 719-256-4108 or e-mail the Ashram at info@BabajiAshram.org
In truth and love, Ramloti
Monday, July 10
Guru Purnima, the full moon in July on which you honor your guru or teacher is on Monday, July 10. Traditionally we begin with a Paduka Puja, which is the washing of Babaji's Padukas or sandals as in the photo. The ceremony will begin at 10am. This will be followed by a fire ceremony and a feast. We hope you can attend this special day. If you would like to sponsor this fire ceremony or bhandara or find out more about the celebration, please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As mentioned above, Ramloti will be attending the International Guru Purnima Celebration at the Babaji Ashram in Cisternino which is located in southern Italy. For those that may be interested in attending, you can find out all the details on their web site at www.BholeBaba.org. Click on the celebration button and then on the English flag to read it in English. The dates of the celebration are July 9 - 12. It is definitely a very special and exhilarating experience to chant and be in ceremony with so many Babaji devotees. Many of you remember how high the energy was last year when we all danced around the kirtan hall on the last day of the dedication. Here is a photo of that joyous occasion.
Kirtan Workshop with Emam
July 24 through July 28
Join us for our Kirtan Workshop led by Emam accompanied by his wife Yashoda. Both are long-time devotees of Babaji and have been leading kirtan for many years. Emam has had years of training in tablas and classical Indian music. He has many albums, several are carried in our shop. You can find out more about Emam at http://emam.us/
Together they have developed the Kirtan Mala which literally means "Garland of Chants". Here is what they say on their web site, http://kirtanmala.com/. ”Our intention is to bring traditional and original "KIRTAN" and other forms of Sacred Music to the people all around the world. We learned our Kirtan at Babaji's Ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas. There is a slight difference in the way we do kirtan and that is: we all sing together. There is no call and response.“
We hope that you can join us for this joyful week of music and satsang. We are asking a donation of $108 for the workshop. There are some scholarships available. No experience is necessary, just a desire to sing praises to the Divine. There will also be separate afternoon harmonium and tabla classes if there is enough interest. Please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 for more information and reservations or e-mail us at email@example.com.
July 24 through July 28
Family Week is almost here and we are excited to say that Jen Baldwin will lead the younger children's group as she did last year. Here she is pictured holding Angela and Jason's little boy, Matias. Jen was not sure she would be available this year as she is getting married in August and will begin teaching at the Crestone Charter School in late August. We are so happy that she has decided to lead the Kids' Camp.
At this point, we have a waiting list for dorm rooms with a little space left in the yurt and camping areas and possibly devotees' homes in the area. Family week will run from Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28. It is a great opportunity for families to have an Ashram experience with special kid-friendly activities, karma yoga, and learning. During the morning hours, while the children are involved in the kids' camp, the adults may participate in the Kirtan Workshop (see article above) or join in the karma yoga. A parent or guardian must be on the Ashram premises at all times during the kid's camp. In the afternoons, parents organize field trips to the swimming pool, hiking, horseback riding, or other places for the children. Please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 for more information and reservations or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. as soon as possible. The suggested donation to stay at the Ashram for a week is $135 per adult and includes all meals. Children stay for free. The Children's Camp is a gift from the Ashram, so there is no charge to attend that program.
Raw Food Week at the Ashram
From Aug. 28 - Sept. 1, the Ashram will sponsor a Raw Food Week. Both the garden and the greenhouse are already abundant with fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs that we will be using to create delicious raw meals. More and more people are finding it important to increase their intake of raw foods for health and vitality. Many are discouraged because they feel it is too difficult to learn or they think that they will be missing out on variety in their diets and good tastes. We would like to show you how you can eat a lot more raw food and still feel very satisfied and nourished. Some of us at the Ashram have been raw (100% and 90%) for a few years now and have many, many delicious recipes and techniques that we are continually passing on to others. In the photo are Ramloti and Catherine preparing raw nori rolls, salsa, and raw crackers.
In addition to learning about raw food and preparing meals you will also be picking the produce in the greenhouse and garden, learning a bit about organic gardening, making daily juices, and participating in the morning and evening aarati and chanting. We will also have time for plenty of exercise, as that is so important for vibrant health. There will be optional instruction in the Five Rites, easy exercises that really seem to make a difference in your overall well-being.
We are asking a donation of $108 for the workshop. There are some scholarships available. Please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 for more information and reservations or e-mail us at email@example.com. The suggested donation to stay at the Ashram for a week is $135 per adult and includes all meals. This is such a great opportunity to take care of yourself and focus some time on your bodily temple in a wonderful atmosphere. Hope to see you there, you deserve it.
Memorial Day Weekend and Vamadeva Concert
We must have had at least 250 people come through the Ashram over this last Memorial Day weekend. Many attended ceremonies, stayed over night in the dorm, shared meals with us, and attended the special evening of Kirtan with Vamadeva from Boulder.
It began with a fire ceremony on Friday that was not only attended by about 70 people but also a video crew from Germany. They were doing a documentary on the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and suddenly came upon the Ashram and the fire ceremony. They ended up taking quite a bit of footage and interviewed Ramloti for the show. They said they would send a copy of it when it was finished.
It is always interesting to see who Baba and Mother draw to the Ashram.
We then had about 100 people attend the kirtan evening with Vamadeva. It was a great event that touched the hearts of many. Vamadeva is planning to move to an Ashram in Florida but he promised to come back again at some point. He was accompanied by Annie Pace on the harmonium and Andy Skellenger on the tablas. Both are great musicians from Crestone. We very much appreciated their support and love.
Karma Yoga Day
On Saturday, June 10 we had our annual Karma Yoga Day at the Ashram. We got a great deal of work accomplished thanks to all that attended. The water system was cleaned, rails were put on the lofts in the dorm, the flagstone walkways were upgraded, weeds were weeded, windows scraped, chimneys were cleaned, the dorm roof was repaired, and delicious food was prepared and enjoyed by all.
The photo to the right shows some of our friends eating a wonderful feast after all the work was done. The other photo is of some of the children that attended the day. They were great playing together as their parents helped with the karma yoga.
We continue to be so grateful to all the folks that give of their time and energy to support the Ashram. It is so important. So often people are amazed that with only three or four full-time staff the Ashram is kept so beautifully. We always say it is because we have so many awesome volunteers. Thank you to you all.
The peonies are blooming in the garden and so Mother has been bedecked with them each day. Next we look forward to the lilies blooming. Summer is such a rich time of year.
Unfortunately, sometimes with early summer comes very dry weather and with little snow this past winter, we are under a very strict fire ban until the summer rains begin. We therefore are not able to have a fire for our fire ceremony at this time.
However, we continue to have a ceremony every new and full moon. We prepare every thing except the fire and explain that the offerings we make from our heart actually have the potential to be the most pure because we have much more control over them than we do the offerings you buy from stores.
About sixty-five people attended our last full-moon fireless fire ceremony and many reported that they had even deeper experiences of the fire and the sacrifice that it representss than usual. We then sat around the havan kund and sang as people offered the aarati lamp to Babaji, the Shiva lingam, and the kund.
Following the fire ceremony we had a delicious meal prepared by many people. It was Chris Long's birthday so we put some candles on the pear cobbler and sang happy birthday. Some of the children, including his daughter Uma in the hat, are pictured with him. Chris has been a long time supporter and volunteer at the Ashram. He was so happy that his birthday was on the weekend that we had the Karma Yoga day and the full-moon fire ceremony so he could spend it at the Ashram. Most of Saturday he installed flagstone in front of the kirtan hall and on Sunday, his actual birthday, he attended aarati and then the fire ceremony. He and his wife Andrea are expecting their second child any day now. Please keep them in your prayers.
Kirtan Hall Update
The Kirtan evening with Vamadeva was just one more occasion that we were grateful for the new kirtan hall. Events like this would not have been possible before the hall was built.
We are so thankful for those folks who have stepped forward to help with different fund raisers to pay off the loan for the kirtan hall. Our last one in Denver at a young woman's graduation was very special.
An artist in Crestone and long-time devotee, Rita Berault, has donated this striking oil painting of Babaji to help with the kirtan hall loan. We are asking a donation of at least $400 for this beautiful piece of art. The canvas measures 26" high by 28" wide. Please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
The other day a gentleman from one of the Denver Indian restaurants expressed a willingness to provide the food and maybe the space for a fund raiser dinner in Denver. If any one is interested in taking this project on, please call us. If several work together, it should be relatively easy to pull off.
Another offer came in the form of hosting an evening at the family's home in Santa Fe. This would include chanting led by Ramloti and Premanand, light food, and information about the Ashram. If any one has other ideas, please let us know.
Thanks to all your help, we are steadily paying down our loan each month. We appreciate your continued generosity to make this possible. The sales in the Maha Laskhmi Gift Shop are also a big help. If you are able to send a donation to help pay down the loan, you can donate on line by clicking here. You may also send it through the mail at: P.O. Box 9, Crestone, Colorado 81131. Thank you again.
Calendar for 2006
July 10 - Guru Purnima, the day we honor our teacher, Paduka Puja and Fire Ceremony at 10am
July 23 - Annual American Samaj Meeting
July 24 - Fire Ceremony at 10am followed by bhandara
July 24 - 28 - Family Week and Kirtan Workshop with Emam
Aug. 28 - Sept. 1 - Raw Food Week; work with, eat, and learn about raw foods
Sept. 23 - Oct. 1 - Fall Navratri, nine days honoring the Divine Mother
October 21 - Diwali, festival of lights
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
We are expecting our new order of murtis, devotional items, perfumes, harmoniums, and dholaks to arrive from India sometime in the next month. Keep an eye on our web site which we are continually updating for the latest arrivals to the shop. The web site address is BabajiAshram.org.
This month we will also be receiving the new edition of I Am Harmony, a Book about Babaji. With its insert of 16 color photographs of Babaji, stories of many peoples' experiences with Babaji, and a great deal of history, it is truly a book to treasure. It has been described as one of the best researched books on Haidakhan Babaji. The new price of this 416 page book is just $19.95.
You may order on line through PayPal or e-mail us at email@example.com., or of course, place the order over the phone on our toll-free number 1-866-686-4185. We enjoy hearing from you and normally send out your order within one or two days. Thank you for your support.