On Sunday we had a couple from Denver visit us for the first time. They were just stopping in the Shop for a couple minutes and were going to visit the temple. I took the time to ask their names and to see if they would like a cup of chai and a snack when they returned from the temple. Nancy, the wife, said she would love one and shared that it was her husband, Bray's birthday today. So we quickly made the chai and got out some apple crisp and even put a candle in it and sang happy birthday when they came down from the temple. They were fairly stunned by the hospitality and kindness. We sat together eating apple crisp and sipping chai and they asked about this place and why there were so many spiritual centers here. I told them the story and than they asked about the earthship and Bray said he had always wanted to build one. I took them on a little tour of the cold room and answered his questions about the building. As they left they asked for a flyer about the Ashram because they said they would definitely be back. What a lovely beginning of a busy Sunday at the Ashram and gosh it only took about 20 minutes of my "time and attention"!
Oh my precious "time and attention"! It is a busy time here for me, getting up the on-line auction, and monitoring all the questions that come in from bidders about the items. It is also time to: do the quarterly and year end corporate taxes, renew our conditional hydroelectric water right, renew our tax-exempt property declaration, and make decisions on our new solar electric upgrades. And true confession, sometimes I get "too busy" to take the "time" to connect and pay "attention" to all the people that come here or call or email. And you know what, that just does not feel good to me and I have always felt it basically defeats the purpose of the Ashram. That is why we began to hire people here over 15 years ago to help out so that we could "serve people" like Shri Babaji instructed us to do. And to this day I feel it was the correct decision even though it meant less money to invest in building because we have some paid staff. And what I hear from the thousands of people that love and support this Ashram is they feel so loved, welcomed, and cared for here and often that is followed with, "Just like being held in Mother's or Baba's arms". What greater testament to the importance of taking that "time" to pay "attention" to the needs of people. And really it all goes back to trusting in the Divine; and goodness, by now I should be "knowing" that Shri Babaji and Mother have it all in their hands and all the busy corporate things will get done in proper timing.
And the fact is that I lived with Shri Babaji three different times and during those months with Him I saw how He was there for everyone all the time. He did not differentiate between the richest movie star or the simplest villager, He loved and served everyone! He also taught me on numerous occasions to take the time and pay attention to detail. I remember in the summer of 1981, Babaji had me working in the office at Haidakhan. This was often a busy job, always lots of forms to fill out for the government about the visitors and lots of filing, writing letters, and other organizing jobs. One of the projects was also recording Shri Babaji's talks that He gave some nights after aartai on cassette tapes so they could be properly translated for others to read. For some reason we needed Swamiji's cassette tape player that day; his room was on the other side of the Ashram from the office. I was asked to go get it, so off I hurried. When I arrived at Swamiji's he was quite obliging and pulled it off of a dusty shelf and handed it to me.
As I was carrying it back to the office quickly because I had so much to do, who should I encounter but Shri Babaji. He asked me to show him what I was carrying and He took one look at the tape player and me and said, "I No Like!" making it very clear He did not approve of either the state of my hurriedness nor the dust on the tape player. I immediately went into a defensive mode and tried to explain that it was Swamiji's and that I was just delivering it to the office. These excuses fell on seemingly deaf ears and Babaji got some water and a cloth and cleaned it with great attention lovingly teaching me like His child. I suddenly realized that He was showing me that who or whatever is in our presence or possession at the moment is what is important to love and to care for. I realized that the pile on my desk was not a valid reason to neglect a person or object as they were all important.
I am so grateful for all the teachings Shri Babaji gave me and continues to send my way. I pray that I may live by them in His honor.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month is on Wednesday, May 10 and the new-moon fire ceremony will be on Thursday, May 25. 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 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. 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 donate link to sponsor a fire or bhandara.)
Ninth Annual On-Line Fundraising Auction Runs only Seven More Days until May 7!
The Big auction is on and it is going pretty well. We so ask for your support in reaching our goal of $13,000! So far we have raised over $6,000, almost half way to our goal. The funds raised will be dedicated to improving our electricity supply at the Ashram so that we are able to change our water purification from chlorine to UV filters, have more reliable refrigeration, a stove that does not leak propane, more dependable electricity and water heating in the dormitory, and be able to relax a little when we have large crowds here and not have to monitor the systems constantly as they often, at this point, need generator backup to keep the lights going.
We are so grateful to all who participate by sponsoring, donating items, and purchasing items, you make this all happen. It is not too late to make your donations. If you would like to donate an item or items you can call me at 719-256-4108 or you can add it to the auction yourself at this link. Sponsors totally underwrite the auction so consider this option, it is also an excellent way to share your website with others. Once again, you can call me or go to this link to put up your sponsorship.
With only six days to go on the auction it is really important to spread the word to get more bidders on the over 170 items that are still left. At this point 145 of the items have no bids! You can add their names to referrals on the site, forward the email reminders to them, or just share the many posts I have put on facebook with your friends. Everything helps. There are remarkable treasures and bargains from sacred items from Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother, brass murtis, incredible art work, get-aways, massages, distance healings, consultations, clothing, and so many other things, even a surfing lesson! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support. Here are a few of the great items and see them all by clicking here. If you are following us on your mobile go to https://bforg.com/babajiashram
Annual American Haidakhan Samaj Weekend - July 21, 22,23
A wonderful time to gather with devotees from around the country for ceremonies, sharing ideas, making new and renewing old friendships. There is still room in the dorm for you so give us a call at 719-256-4108. For more about the Samaj go to http://babajisamaj.us
Annual Family Week - July 25, 26, 27, 28
We are getting closer to that special time of year many gather at the Ashram for Family Week. The actual program dates are Tuesday, July 25 through Friday, July 28 with arrival date July 24 and departure July 29 morning after a family meeting. Since families sign up a year in advance, we are already full in the dorm but we still have camping options and yurt space or a room may come available if we have a cancellation, so we can put you on the waiting list. We ask a donation of $135 per adult per week to stay at the Ashram, children stay for free. Call us at 719-256-4108 or email us at email@example.com to reserve space.
Real Love Workshop with Inge Jechart, Susan Dunn, Jonathan Baer, Ramloti, and Tami Strom - July 25, 26, 27, 28
Running concurrently with Family Week is our Real Love Workshop each morning from 10am until 1pm. Last year's program was so valuable for people we are having not one but four Real Love Certified Coaches: Inge Jechart from CA, Jonathan Baer from AZ, and Susan Dunn from CA, and Ramloti, as well as Tami Strom from WA, who is a certified "wise person" and facilitates groups and conference calls. This is an amazing opportunity for those that would really like to explore how living without fear feels and can be a reality. This year there will be tons more individual time to receive the love these folks, who spend their lives sharing Real Love, will give as well as helping us see the behaviors we have put in place over a lifetime to protect us but which actually block our ability to live life freely and to receive unconditional love.
The cost of the four day workshop is only $108 if you register in advance and $135 at the door. There are some partial scholarships available but this needs to be negotiated ahead of time. We will ask each participant to at least read the basic information on the website at www.reallove.com, and for the most in depth experience, read the basic book, Real Love by Greg Baer, MD. which you can buy on our website by clicking here. We will be limiting attendance to 40 participants so registering ahead of time will guarantee you space in the workshop as it is already filling up. Here is the form. You may send it back with a check to P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131, or call with a credit card at 719-256-4108. You can also send it back via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and pay on line by clicking here and scrolling down. Please mention the workshop payment and your contact info.
A Babaji & Real Love Weekend at Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
All day Saturday and Sunday Morning, October 7 & 8
We have often talked about having a Babaji gathering at the beautiful lake house of Kelly and Pam who have hosted us many times at their home in Decauter, GA. Well, we have planned one for the weekend of October. We will have pujas, aaratis, chanting, satsang, fire ceremonies, Real Love gatherings, swimming, boating, and lots of fun. Call Ramloti at 719-256-4108 for more info and to reserve a space.
Update on UV Filter and More Electricity
As we have been writing about in the last few newsletters, we wish to replace, upgrade, and ease the amount of maintenance work for the electricity in the earthship and to enable us to utilize a UV filtration system rather than chlorine. It will also allow us to have a large electric refrigerator that will take the heavy use of an ever growing Ashram and a more efficient stove that does not leak propane. We have also have identified the need to upgrade the existing PV system in the dormitory to allow us to use the UV Filter water purification and accommodate the ever growing amount of overnight visitors who utilize the dorm.
As we have stated in the past newsletter we are contracting with Solar Gain Services, LLC, a highly recommended local solar company. This is a big and very necessary project and by Baba's and Mother's grace we have nearly $20,000 already donated toward this very important project. We ask your support to raise the additional $15,000 in funds to both replace the earthship solar system and to refurbish the dorm solar system. You can make your donation by clicking here and scrolling down to donate any amount or send a check made to HUA to PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you for taking care of Shri Babaji's and Mother's home.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
We have been busy this month Spring visitors and Spring projects. We have been getting snow off and on, keeping us busy with snow removal. Of course there is still the rest of what needs doing like updating, publicizing (photo below) and adding to the Ashram auction site, updating the website, stocking the shop, wood gathering, cooking, and cleaning. A lot of karma yoga went on in Denver during the Paduka Puja weekend to make it all happpen. Below is a photo of the Thurimella family that hosted us so warmly in their home for that weekend. We do not have a lot of photos this month, just too busy but we are so grateful for all of the love and help that Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother provide for 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 by scrolling down (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!!
Hanuman's Birthday at the Ashram
The full-moon right after Spring Navrati is Hanuman's birthday. A beautiful altar was erected for Him, a beautiful fire ceremony was performed, we had a lovely puja, and Divine children who made it extra sweet. Jai Hanuman!
Easter at our Neighbor's, the Carmelites
We do not get together as often as we would like with all the other spiritual groups in Crestone, but we love it when we do. Easter would not feel right without a trip to the Carmelite Spiritual Life Institute. We so love and appreciate them.
Paduka Pujas in Denver Area
Shri Babaji's padukas traveled to the Denver area with Ramloti and Premanand the weekend of April 21 - 23. They graced the homes of five different families and a few hundred more people attended the events and received Shri Babaji's blessings. Here are a few notes from folks that either hosted or attended. Thank you to all who hosted and made this possible, it was a blissful time. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
"We Pradhans would like to thank each and everyone of you who came and made this Haidakhand Baba's Paduka Puja at our home successful yesterday. We really enjoyed having you all over. Yes, Chanting the name of the Lord brings so much good vibration and changes the whole energy of the universe. Thank you Ramloti Wood for graciously bringing in that great energy to our home. Special thanks to Babina Shrestha Mahajan Champa Shrestha Shila Hamal Malla maiya, Rajshree Amrit Shrestha Sony Shrestha Merina Aryal Namrata Regmi Lamsal Ashmita Bhandari Nita Sharma Kriti Shrestha, Sulochana Aunty Balaram Shrestha and Birendra Suwal Singh ji for all your help and your big heart. Love you all!"
"Dear RamlotiJI and PremanandJI,
Thank you for visiting our home on last Friday with BABAJI's PADUKA and giving us unforgettable experience. It was dream came true. Thank you for allowing BABAJI stay overnight. With BABAJI's grace and love we will follow the path of self-realization and fulfil with immortal bliss.
Thanks, Rahul & Ashwini"
"It was our honor and pleasure to have Shri Babaji's padukas bless our home and family.
Anita and Pramod Agarwal
"Blissful divine chanting and Babaji's paduka puja in Ajay and Sabina's home with Ramloti and many Nepalese brothers and sisters. Babaji was flowing in everyone's heart like river!! Bhole baba ji Jai. Shashi Agarwal"