We have seen so many people this last month. Many have been coming for years to the Ashram. The fathers of these six families were all bachelor friends and came to the Ashram together. Now they are married, have all of these children, and still come to the Ashram. At these moments I find myself contemplating the words “longevity” and “consistency” and how important they are in life and in our spiritual practice.
I felt Shri Babaji showed me this when I was with Him in Haidakhan in 1981. I had been consistently doing japa on my mala for a long time. The mantra that I used and still do is Om Namah Shivaya. I was beginning to feel it through my whole being and even wake up with it on my lips in the middle of the night. This particular afternoon it was raining, I was in the kirtan hall with Nilam from Germany, and we were both sitting there doing our japa, quite absorbed in our practice and a bit oblivious to anything else going on around us. All of a sudden there was a warm feeling around me, and the next thing I knew Shri Babaji was behind me placing a green jade mala around my neck. He than placed a carnelian mala around Nilam’s neck. We both sat there stunned for a bit and then I remember holding on to the mala around my neck and just feeling the love and teaching from Babaji to consistently keep doing japa for as long as it takes to become one with Him. I still wear this mala and I still often hold part of it in my hands as I fall asleep at night repeating Om Namah Shivaya and feeling Babaji’s ever-present love.
Many of the families that come to the Ashram year after year understand the significance of consistently teaching their children about the importance of spiritual practice, karma yoga, and community. Here is a current photo of the Thurimella family where we stayed during the paduka puja weekend. The boys, Kiran and Vijay, are both employed in San Francisco and just great examples of service and love. They first began coming to the Ashram when they were quite young. When I asked their parents about it they said they wanted to bring their sons to learn the value of karma yoga. Here is a photo of them circa 2000!
We are grateful to be here for our families -- we often see three and four generations at a time -- so that they have a place to practice and teach the principles of truth, simplicity, love, and service.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month was yesterday, Friday, June 9, and we had a large crowd for a weekday, about 45 folks. The new-moon fire ceremony will be on Friday, June 23. 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, 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.)
Guru Purnima in Crestone and in Reiferath, Germany
The full moon in July is the day that we honor our teacher Haidakhan Babaji, and this year it falls on Saturday, July 8. We will begin with Paduka Puja that morning at 9am followed by the large fire ceremony at 10am. Following this we will have chanting and a large Indian feast. All are invited for this special festival. We do still have some room in the dormitory if you would like to come for the weekend.
This day of the Guru is celebrated around the world and for the last many years devotees have been gathering at the different ashrams in Europe. This year the big gathering will be in Reiferath, Germany and will run from July 5 - 9. For more information about this please go to www.babajiashram.de or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The five days before this there will be the Next Generation Gathering for young adults. For more information on this please go to www.Jai-Ho.org.
Annual American Haidakhan Samaj Weekend - July 21, 22,23
A wonderful time to gather with devotees from around the country for ceremonies, sharing ideas, and making new and renewing old friendships. The Annual Samaj meeting will be at 10am on Saturday, July 22, and the next day we will have a large fire ceremony at 10am followed by a presentation by the Samaj committee "Love Our Earth". We will then all share a big Indian feast together. The dorm rooms are all booked but there would be room in the yurt or the woman's dorm room. Please 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
Just a short time until Family Week that special time of year when many gather at the Ashram. 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 often sign up a year in advance, we are already full in the dorm but still have camping options and yurt space.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, Claire Baer, and Tami Strom - July 25, 26, 27, 28
It is getting more and more exciting as folks from around the country are coming in for the Real Love Workshop. From time to time there are Real Love retreats around the world run by a certified Real Love coach. I have attended some of these, and they are so valuable for my growth, healing, and deepening of the feeling that I am loved unconditionally. It is difficult to even imagine what it will be like to have four Real Love Certified Coaches and two Certified Wise People this year! There will be so much time and opportunity to tap into their wisdom, guidance, and love both in small break-out groups and individually. These folks spend much of everyday sharing Real Love with others, just sitting with them you can often feel this peacefulness exude from them. They will be joining us for family meetings each day as well as meal time so there will be lots of opportunity to spend time with them. This is a unique opportunity for those who really want to explore how living without fear feels and how it can be a day-to-day reality. They will also help us see and heal the pain that caused us to put behaviors in place over a lifetime, which block our ability to live life fully and peacefully, to have successful relationships, happy, co-operative families, 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
There will be a Babaji gathering at the beautiful lake house of Kelly and Pam on Lake Lanier which is about an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. 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. We hope many of you can make this wonderful event.
Update on UV Filter and More Electricity
The installation of the new solar electric system has begun! The photo below shows Luke Christy, our contractor, on his backhoe digging the hole where the large new array will be located just to the west of the earthship.
A few days later a cement truck arrived and poured two yards of cement into the hole to firmly secure the pole mount that will hold the large array of solar panels. These will collect enough sun to adequately power our kitchen, office, and shop complex that is housed in the earthship. It is very exciting to see this happening after so many years of limping along without enough solar energy for our ever-growing demands on the system and having to depend on the backup gasoline generator. The cement has been curing and this week the rest of the installation of panels, industrial sized batteries, controller, inverter, and other components will be completed.
We are now researching the most efficient large electric refrigerator that will take the heavy use of an ever growing Ashram, a large stove that does not require lighting with matches, and a UV filter big enough to handle the demand of water in the earthship. We have also identified the need to upgrade the existing PV system in the dormitory to allow us to use the UV Filter water purification, have a more energy-efficient pump in the hot water system, and accommodate the ever growing amount of overnight visitors who utilize the dorm.
This is a big and very necessary project and by Baba's and Mother's grace we now have $35,000 already donated toward this very important project. As we price the additional improvements in the dorm and all the other components and appliances, we realize we need another $15,000 in funds to complete this large project. We ask for your continued support in this. 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 Opportunity
There is always plenty to do at the Ashram for Karma Yoga, service offered to the Divine. Sometimes we have projects that take specific skills and materials so we thought it would be good to enumerate them from time to time. The most pressing one is to replace our many year old fence around the perimeter of the earthship roof. This was put there to let folks know that it is neither safe or allowed to go on the roof as it could cause damage to the covering. This takes on special importance now as our new solar array will be just next to the roof and we definitely do not want children or anyone playing in that area. If you think you can help us with this, please give us a call at 719-256-4108 or email us at email@example.com. Thank you for all of your support.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
We have been busy this month with lots of visitors, stocking the Shop, putting in the garden, maintaining the greenhouse, beginning the solar upgrade, and filling out forms for all the corporate requirements for the Ashram. 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!!
Ninth Annual On-Line Fundraising Auction was a Good Success
Our on-line auction was fairly successful and we raised $10,405 in funds for the maintenance of the Ashram and solar upgrade. We are extremely grateful to all whom contributed in any way. It is a big help to us. Thank you.
Zen Buddhist Community Luncheon
Each year our next-door neighbors, the Crestone Mountain Zen Center have a large luncheon and invite members of the different spiritual centers and the broader Crestone-Baca community. It is wonderful time to see old friends and catch up with one another. We all seem to be very busy running our different centers and projects so it is nice to take an afternoon to just be together and share our lives and learnings with one another.
Satish Kumar Visits the Ashram
A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.
Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage together with E.P. Menon. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, they walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers.
In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally-respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon where he is still a Visiting Fellow.
We were honored to have him for lunch at the Ashram during his one week stay in Crestone in May. He was very impressed and happy with his visit siting that our example of living simply off the grid, eating organically, living in community, building with sustainable materials, and having our own gravity fed water system a great help to the world. We found him to be a delightful person.
Each May our neighbors, the Shumei Institute celebrate their anniversary. It is a special time to attend their sampai service and listen to a speech given by their president, Sensei Koyiama. Here is a photo of him, with Hanne Strong, Satish Kumar, and Ramloti.