I have spent the last few days with all of my eight grandchildren in San Diego. It was a mostly joyful time, sometimes a little overwhelming for sure. It is fascinating to watch the children grow and change over the years. The work that I am doing with Real Love definitely helps me perceive their behaviors more clearly and I can see how much of what they do is learned from their parents, which reflects back to me and my parenting as well. Sometimes this is quite humbling to say the least. At this point though, I am there to just love them and be there for them just as they are. Definitely it gives me cause for introspection though about my attempts to and need to have everything just as I think it should be.
Which goes perfectly with the end of the trip. I was booked to fly home yesterday and because of the big snow storm in Denver, it was cancelled. So my son in San Diego and I got up this morning by 4:30am to get me to a 6:30am flight. As I was waiting, I hear the announcement that it is delayed because of weather in Denver. So I wait in San Diego for over an hour watching my feelings and thoughts about missing appointments and meetings that I had scheduled. Finally we board the flight and it arrives in Denver with still enough time for me to make the connection to the bus that I had planned to take for the first time to Moffat (a half hour from the Ashram). Guess what? The bus gets cancelled too, so now I am in Denver at the home of some devotees who are taking great care of me. But for sure, any control I thought I had over my getting back to the Ashram at a certain time was just an illusion. One more lesson for me.
What I found particulary enlightening is that when this last cancellation happened and I was waiing to be picked up at the airport, all of a sudden a tremendous wave of exhaustion overcame me. I realized how relieved I actually was to not have to spend another seven hours taking buses to get back to the Ashram. I could see how I had been way overdoing it the last few days with all my family together and how I had totally over scheduled my first few days back at the Ashram. It was really Baba's and Mother's grace that gave me this extra time to recuperate and more importantly contemplate why I continue in this mode of doing, doing, doing, and over-doing.
I was able to get on a Real Love Conference call as I waited in the airport and shared how I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. When the faciliator queried about why I continueally over book and over do, I shared that it is still my fear of not being good enough unless I perform constanstly. As a child, the thought of my parents' disapproval was frightening to me, so I learned early to always look good. I am learning that I am loved no matter what I achieve and how I look.
In Baba's perfection, I am stranded at Ramki and Smita's home. I had just purchased a new lap top computer while in California and still needed some help learning the new programs and all the new features. Well, Ramki is a professor in computers and has almost the exact computer that I bought. So he just spent the last couple of hours helping me become familiar with it all. For those of you that do not know, I also arrived in San Diego on January 22 to babysit the four boys so that Sarah and Amil could go away by themselves for a weekend. It turned out they spent the weekend at Children's Hospital with their oldest son, Gavin, who had to have his inflamed appendix removed. Once again, although this is not what I planned, it was a great blessing that I was there to be with the other three boys so Amil and Sarah could stay with Gavin, who is doing much better and even went back to school today. Baba's and Mother's grace is certainly always with us, even when things go awry! Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony this month is on Monday, February 8 and the full-moon fire ceremony will be on Monday, February 22. 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, 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 6am and the small indoor 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 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 4pm. 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
Shivaratri - Monday Night, March 7 from 10pm - 4am
Fire Ceremony on Tuesday, March 8 at 10am
On this special night when the energy of Lord Shiva is said to be most present on the earth, we will chant in the temple from 10pm until 4am. We will have special lingam pujas every three hours beginning at 7pm and ending at 4am honoring the lingam with milk, yogurt, honey, and ghee. We invite you to join us for all or part of the evening, it is always high energy and a night of deep inspiration.
The next morning, being the new-moon, we will have our fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal. All are welcome and we still have some room available in the dormitory.
Paduka Pujas in Denver Area Weekend of March 18, 19, and 20
Each year for the last several years, Shri Babaji's Padukas bless some of the homes and many of the devotees in the Denver area. This year they will grace the home of Ajay and Sabina Pradham in Aurora on Saturday, March 19 at 4pm where they will invite many friends for the puja, chanting, and dinner to help raise funds for the Ashram.
If you would like to have this event in your home either on Friday night or Sunday, please contact the Ashram at email@example.com.
Spring Navratri - Divine Mother Festival - April 8 - 16
With the longer days, Spring seems to be around the corner. This means Spring Navratri, the Divine Mother Festival will be here in a few months too. This year the dates are Friday, April 8 though Saturday, April 16. The day that we honor our young children will be on Sunday, April 10. For reservations and information please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jai Ma!
Ashram Eighth Annual On-Line Auction
May 13 through May 22
It is also coming time to have our annual on-line fundraising auction. This is a big part of our budget every year so all of your participation is so appreciated. It would be awesome if those that donated items last year could give me a call and let me know if you could help us out again. My cell phone number is 719-480-5514. Thank you so much. We hope to be receiving another Golden State Warrior signed basketball. Here is a photo of last year's basketball that was generously donated by the Warriors. With the way the team is going, it should be worth even more this year.
American Haidakhan Samaj Weekend July 29 -31
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
Family Week August 3 - 6
The summer comes fast so just to let you know the above dates for your planning. The dorm for Family Week is already booked but there is still room in the yurt and for camping. You can see by these photos why the children always want to come back year after year. Call us at 719-256-4108 for info or to reserve.
Training to Monitor the Solar Systems while Premanand was Away
We have six systems at the Ashram that generate electricity for our buildings and keep them warm. Premanand is the one who monitors these on a daily basis to make sure all the pumps, batteries, and collectors are working properly. Going away to Florida for the tour this last month necessitated training the folks that would be staying behind on the maintenance of these systems. Prem spent most of a morning with Chris, Bill, and our new Board member, Mark. We are grateful for the many helping hands at the Ashram.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
Wintertime at the Ashram often means that the karma yoga is snow clearing. Here Mikela, Chris, and Jonathan are hard at work.
It is also a good time for wood collecting and mitigation on the trees on the property. We had a great group of karma yogis from Colorado College helping us this month.
And of course, cooking is always a must no matter what time of year and green smoothies never stop. Lots of willing hands make it fun at the Ashram.