Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude is the prayer in my heart after a month of beautiful celebrations and as we approach the holiday ahead of Thanksgiving. Shortly after Navratri I left for California and all seven of my grandchildren were gathered there. It was a bit wild at times, I must say, but we had a wonderful time and I am so grateful to be a Mom and a Grandma. I am eternally thankful to Shri Babaji for their good health, safety, and playful, loving dispositions.
As I drove back home, looking out the window at the setting sun, the mountains, and the broad vistas; I was grateful to live in this pristine area that’s still pretty much untouched by the hustle and bustle that I experience when I travel most places. I remember wondering over 30 years ago as we began to establish the Ashram, if anyone would come all this way to visit the Ashram. I am grateful to say that it seems that folks are drawn here by the peacefulness of the setting and the love and harmony of the Ashram, we certainly have no shortage of visitors.
I am grateful for my good health and body that bounces back quickly. I wrote last month about the complications with my cataract surgery that set me back a bit since I was not to engage in heavy exercise or yoga for several weeks due to the swelling behind the retina. Now my body feels what I call “normal” again, which for me is one that is quick to work, play, hike, and do my yoga. I am grateful to say that I can still put up a pretty good defense when I play basketball against my 9 year-old grandson, play a good game of soccer with my 7-year old grandson, and my 11-year-old grandson and I just hiked up to the waterfall behind the Ashram which is a good two-hour hike.
We just completed a magnificent Diwali, Festival of Lights at the Ashram. I had driven my family to the airport and returned the evening before the big day of celebration. I was a little concerned about who would help set up all the luminaries around the grounds and decorate the temple and earthship with candles, and if my energy would last through the long day of fire ceremony, bhandara, and evening program.
I was grateful nearly to overwhelm with all the generous help. The outside was done by four of our local boys that came up for the fire ceremony with their parents (ages 9 through 11) and the inside was exquisitely decorated by several of the teenagers that came with of our 50 Indian friends from Alamosa, Monte Vista, Trinidad, and Pueblo. Their parents also brought all the food for the 150 or so guests that evening. We are so blessed at this Ashram by all of the generous folks that take such a huge part in making Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother’s home in the Rockies so special.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month will be on Monday, November 14 and the new-moon fire ceremony this month will be on Tuesday, November 29. 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 (usually done indoors this time of year). 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.)
Fire Ceremony at 9am - Friday, Nov. 4 in Decatur, GA
I am in Georgia and just finished an evening of Kirtan and Satsang and tomorrow we will have a fire ceremony (Nov. 4) at our friends Pam and Kelly's home in Decatur, Georgia. Richard Cahall from Seattle, representing the American Haidakhan Samaj, will be joining us as well.
To RSVP please call Kelly at 404-271-3155 or Pam at 404-259-2586. We look forward to seeing you all there. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
Our celebrations at the Ashram continue to get larger and larger. Navrati this year was the one of the largest I remember and Diwali was the same particularly considering it was on a night before school and Halloween. Fortunately more and more volunteers keep coming to the Ashram so that all the many duties to run the events and clean up after get done smoothly. We are also replacing the stairway down to the earthship due to the generosity of one of our donors. The stairs have begun rotting after over 20 years of service.
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!!
Fall Navratri (Divine Mother Festival)
It was another beautiful Navratri festival honoring the Divine Mother. It was wonderful to see friends from all around the country as well as all of our Denver, Colorado Springs, Alamosa, and Crestone families. Here are some photos of Mother in Her radiance, one of the nine fire ceremonies, Devi pujas, Maha Lakshmi at the creek puja, and Children’s Day. Jai Ma!
Diwali - Festival of Lights
Perhaps the most spectacular of our celebrations here is the Diwali, Festival of Lights. The temple, grounds, and earthship were all aglow with candles and lights and all the glowing people who attended sharing songs of peace and light added to the splendor. The final capper is that all of our Indian families from Alamosa, Trinidad, Pueblo, and Monte Vista brought sumptuous food for 150 people. The light of everyone’s generosity is the brightest of the evening.