As I wrote about last month, Premanand has gone on an extended vacation to the East Coast, he left at the beginning of June. With his departure some concerns arose in me about how all of his responsibilities would be filled as it seems like life at the Ashram gets busier and busier with more and more people wanting to visit and learn about Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother. Contrary to my concerns, however, the words I would use to describe how it has been this last month is "totally supported" at every turn! If the temple needed painting or redecorating, the right people showed up. If the havan kund needed mudding or paining, the right people showed up. If a mala needed to be made from our lovely garden peonies and irises for the fire ceremony, the perfect mala maker showed up.
If the cooking needed to be done, the cooks showed up and also with the cleaning, weed eating, water system maintenance, havan preparations, bookkeeping, computer work, gardening, repairs, and other projects. And if I should need some loving support to stay in this place of peace and eternal flow, I could call a variety of Real Love friends who would help me remember how much I am loved and how much I have to be grateful for.
It is actually a glorious feeling, very flowing and joyful. I am not saying that it is not a lot of work. Like today, we must have served at least five lunches to full tables of visitors, over 100 in all. Doing dishes until 8:30pm is an experience in staying in the moment, walking up to the temple in complete exhaustion is another experience. Tonight as I played the harmonium at aarati I was in so much bliss though and I was reminded of how we worked in Haidakhan with Babaji, often until we were falling over in exhaustion, and then the bliss that often flowed as we sat together and sang aarati. I always felt it was Baba's way of tearing down our exterior shell to expose the jewels we really were by so much work and so little sleep. Some nights with Baba I saw Him turn into gold light, well that happened to the murti tonight in our temple. When I think of all of this I am moved to tears of gratitude.
And as I feel so supported and loved, I also find myself in the role of supporting others who might be going through troubled times in their marriage, or personal life, or grieving the loss of a loved one. These times are also extremely enriching for me as I can feel deeply the reciprocal energy of love being given. And what an example I was fortunate to live with in physical form for so many months, and continue to live with constantly today, Shri Babaji is the epitome of this endless flow of support and love. I chose this photo this month because it shows how He allowed us to support Him and really He was doing all of the supporting then and now, moment to moment. We are all so blessed.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony this month is on Monday, July 4 and the full-moon fire ceremony will be on Tuesday, July 19. This full-moon is known as Guru Purnima, the day you honor your teacher. We will begin that morning at 9am with a Paduka Puja washing the sandals that Shri Babaji actually wore. The fire ceremonies begin at 10am and are followed by a meal. Please arrive ten minutes early, freshly bathed, in a long skirt or pants with shoulders covered, and having fasted from grains, cereals, meat, eggs, garlic and onions. Fruit, yogurt, unsalted nuts, veggies and tea or coffee are fine to eat before. Also, if you have a dietary need for something more hearty before our meal at 11:30 or so, please partake.
Our evening aarati is at 6pm and morning aarati at 7am, with paduka puja at 6:30am and the small fire ceremony is at 8:00am. We do not have the small fire ceremony when we have our large fire ceremony on new and full moon. Lunch is served at about 12:30 or 1pm, and we invite you to join us. (Call if you are a group or have special dietary needs.) The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 10am until 5pm. We love to see you.
If you would like to participate by sponsoring a fire ceremony or a bhandara (feast), we would be happy to send you a blessed item from the fire ceremony if you request. They are:
$27 sponsorship - Copper, brass, nickel Om Namah Shivaya bracelet
$54 sponsorship - Rudraksha, Rosewood, or Tulsi Mala
$108 sponsorship - Rose Quartz Mala or a copper, silver, brass Om Haidakhandi bracelet
(Click here to go to our Paypal link to sponsor a fire or bhandara.)
American Haidakhan Samaj Weekend July 29 -31
Join the Board of Directors of the American Haidakhan Samaj, who are calling all devotees to share their stories of Shri Babaji and their spiritual experiences! We have heard from so many people about the inspiration and peace watching videos of stories with Shri Babaji has given them, can you imagine hearing them in person. We are setting aside the first afternoon of the weekend, Saturday, July 30, for deep sharing, listening, and satsang.
Join us for a weekend of ceremony, sharing, chanting, and camaraderie as we make plans for the coming year to spread Shri Babaji's message more fully. Visit the Samaj website at www.babajisamaj.us and call the Ashram for reservations at 719-256-4108.
Family Week August 3 - 6
Our fun and inspirational Annual Family Week will be from Wednesday, August 3 through Friday, August 5, with wrap up family meeting and departure on Saturday morning, August 6.
The dorm for Family Week may already be booked (we are waiting on confirmation on one reservation), but there is also still room in the yurt and for camping. The children always want to come back year after year. Call us at 719-256-4108 for info or to reserve.
Concurrent Workshop During Family Week on Real Love - August 3 - 6 - from 10am-1pm
It has become the tradition during the Children's program for Family Week to run a concurrent
workshop for the adults. We have had many life-transforming topics over the years and this year we are especially excited to introduce Inge Jechart facilitating a workshop on Real Love. Inge has been practicing Real Love for over fifteen years and has been a coach and facilitator for the past 5 years. I have been writing about the profound effect this has had on my life in many of the recent newsletters. I began working with these concepts about 10 months ago and my life is amazingly deeper, richer, and more joyful and free. Inge has been a big part of this work for me. We have two study groups a week at the Ashram with about 20 people involved and the results has been powerful.
We highly recommend those attending to read the introductory book, "Real Love, The Truth about finding Unconditional Love and Fulfilling Relationships" by Greg Baer, MD. This is available through their website, Reallove.com, on Amazon, or on our Maha Lakshmi Shop site. The workshop will run from 10am until 1pm August 3, 4, and 5. The suggested donation for the program is $108 with some partial scholarships available. Call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Divine Mother of Crestone 2017 Calendar Soon to be Available
What an amazing thing to have a different professionally produced image of the resplendent Divine Mother of Crestone on your wall each month. This first ever magnificent calendar will be 12" by 12" on 120 lb. gloss. Each image will be framable and contains a heart-melting quote from The Haidakhandeswari Sapta Sati written by our beloved Shastriji. He told me when he wrote these verses, the Divine Mother was standing next to him the whole time! The calendar will be available by the end of the month. We are deeply grateful to award winning photographer and long-time devotee, JD Marston (aka Ram Dass) for undertaking this breath-taking project. Jai Ma!
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
With Premanand away for the summer to the East Coast. we have been busy covering not only all of his jobs but everything else entailed in running a busier than ever Ashram during these lovely summer months here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Because of the generosity of so many volunteers. visitors, and our loyal staff, we have actually gotten a great deal accomplished this last month. Mother's mandir was freshly painted, the whole temple decorated with new drapes, wall covers, and assan covers. Most of the grounds have been trimmed, the water is flowing well, food is being prepared in great quantity with great love, the Shop is well-stocked, and the garden is abundant. All is well at the Ashram by Baba's and Mother's grace.
We are so grateful for all of the love and help that Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother send to us.
We ask each of you to look into your hearts and see what this Ashram means to you and to please donate as you are able. You may go to our website and donate through PayPal (you can even set up a monthly tithe). You can also send a check (made out to HUA) to P.O. Box 9, Crestone Co, 81131 for your support, love, and prayers. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!!
Blessing at The International House of Pancakes!
Some of our loyal Indian devotees opened a new restaurant in Alamosa and before they began business, they asked us to come and bless the establishment with a puja. It was a lovely afternoon together chanting in the new International House of Pancakes, who would have guessed!
Winnie Agarwal's Marriage to Nik Talwar
Shashi and Bipin Agarwal are a huge part of the Ashram here often presiding over many of the ceremonies during our fall and spring Navratris. Their beautiful daughter, Winnie, has mostly been in school and than in her professional career back East so we do not get to see her very often. But one of our first big connections with the family was when Winnie graduated from high school many years ago and wanted to have a more meaningful graduation party. So she requested to have us come to their home to lead bhajans and a fire ceremony. She is a remarkable young woman.
So now of course, as Winnie takes the next big step to married life, we wanted to celebrate this sacred occasion with her. She married Nik Talwar and we wish them both a blessed life together and much love to both the families that made this such a special event. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
Visitors to the Ashram
A full and wonderful month once again! Thank you for coming all this way to have Baba and Mother's Darshan. We love having you all. Although we are already into 4th of July weekend, I will save those photos for next month's newsletter.
Calendar of Events for 2016
July 19 - Guru Purnima Day with fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal.
July 30 - 31 - American Haidakhan Samaj Annual Gathering and Meeting
August 3 - 6 - Ashram Annual Family Week with concurrent workshop on Real Love
October 1 - 9 - Fall Navratri, Divine Mother Festival
October 30 - Diwali, Festival of Lights
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
More and more items keep arriving! It is an abundant time in the Shop so come by or give us a call at 719-245-4108.
We have the book, "Real Love, The Truth about finding Unconditional Love and Fulfilling Relationships" by Greg Baer upon which the Family Week workshop will be based.
You can order this on line for $17 by clicking here.
We also have many more of the Real Love books in the Shop (not on-line) on such topics as Marriage, Parenting, Dating, and Post Childhood Stress Disorder as well as many CD sets. Call us at 719-256-4108 for prices and to order these.
The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 10am until 5pm. You may call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 and place your orders over the phone and we are happy to answer any questions. It is really nice to connect in this way. We take Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Many, but not all of the items in the Shop are on our website at http://mahalakshmishop.wazala.com/ , so you can go there as well.
The Shop is a major supporter of the Ashram. We deeply appreciate your patronage.
Maha Lakshmi Mata Ki Jai!