The other day I was cleaning the temple in preparation for our Guru Purnima celebration this weekend. As I carefully oiled the beautiful wooden asan (seat) of Shri Babaji, I was suddenly catapulted back to cleaning His patio in 1981. I remembered feeling it was such a great honor to be able to spend my karma yoga hours sweeping the large veranda outside of His room and carefully washing all of the tiles that lined His patio. I could feel His presence in every particle of the place and He would often come down for some reason, and I could bask in His presence a little more. And you know what? The miracle is that I still feel this now! While cleaning the temple here in Crestone, I feel Babaji’s presence so strongly, I have deep conversations with Him, and I am so honored that I am allowed to do this work.
Here is a photo from 1981 with Babaji on His patio with many devotees (notice all the tiles on the wall). I am handing out prasad to people with my sari covering my head and my son, Jacob 11 years-old, is next to me and wearing the lunghi that Shri Babaji had given him.
The day continued to be a very full “Babaji Day”. Two women from California dropped in just before lunch. One, Mersedeh, I have known for a long time but very rarely see and her friend, Catheryn, I met for what I remember to be the first time although she had been here 22 years ago. We shared lunch together and the conversation was focused on our spiritual journeys. They asked many questions about Babaji and my experiences. The lunch went on for a couple of hours and I shared many stories with them. At one point Mersedeh was saying that she was confused about her feelings of guilt for not always doing a practice that she had been given many years ago by a teacher. She asked my opinion on this. My response was that I felt the Divine certainly did not need our practice or devotion or prayers; that they were for our benefit and of course adds to the positive vibration of the cosmos. I went on to say that consistency in our practice, as I wrote about in last month’s newsletter, is very beneficial to us and has a cumulative effect, sometimes not even noticed on a day to day basis. She said this gave her clarity. By the end of our time together, we were all close to tears of gratitude that we had such strong spiritual experiences with our teachers and such deep anchors to the Divine in this often tumultuous world.
Shortly after they left, I had a call from a young man from back east who has been several times to the Ashram over the years. It was actually a Real Love call, which I receive sometimes from folks who are wanting some clarity on why they are feeling some angst, guilt, anger, negative judgments, or fear. As we continued our conversation, he asked me almost the identical questions Mercedeth had asked. This was about his daily practice at his altar to Shri Babaji. I once again shared that it was my feeling that Babaji did not need him to clean his altar and do his practice; that it was for him so that he could keep focused on Babaji’s teaching of truth, simplicity, love, and service throughout his busy day. I suggested that he notice how he felt when he did not do his practice, how he perhaps felt less connected and inspired by Babaji and that this would help him be more consistent because he valued the fruits of His practice.
So after I finished my day with our usual aarati and chanting in the temple, I reflected on how deeply personal the teachings of Shri Babaji have been for me. I remembered how He had kindly and lovingly shown me how to sweep His patio when I was struggling. You see an Indian broom traditionally does not have a handle and requires squatting as you sweep and I kept tripping on my sari and falling over. I remember how Babaji gently laughed at me and took the broom and swept with such ease and grace. I had no feeling of embarrassment or put down, just the feeling of a loving Father that was teaching me and cared deeply for me. I could go on and on about the different ways He taught me these simple things like cleaning, and probably there will be more stories in future newsletters. And, as I related to in the first paragraph, I do not feel that His loving guidance and teachings are confined to Him being in a physical body. When I am peacefully observing my day, I am continually being shown my next step, my next learning, and my next duty; it is my spiritual practice and I am deeply grateful that it is my life.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month is on Saturday, July 8 which is Guru Purnima and will begin with a Paduka Puja in the temple at 9am followed by the fire ceremony at 10am. The new-moon fire ceremony will be at 10am on Sunday, July 23 and will be followed by a presentation of the "Love Our Earth" Committee of the American Haidakhan Samaj. The fire ceremonies 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. 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.
This day of the Guru is also being celebrated at our Babaji ashram in Reiferath, Germany from July 5 - 9 where hundreds of devotees will be gathering. To learn more about this ashram go to www.babajiashram.de.
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. There will be a special time to share Babaji stories on Friday, July 21 from 3pm until 5pm. 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. All are welcomed for any of the programs. 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 Around the Corner
July 25, 26, 27, 28
What many families wait for all year is just three weeks away! 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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 going to be a unique and wonderful time at the Ashram with so many Real Love coaches and wise people facilitating small group break out sessions each day. The participants will receive a great deal of personal time and loving support to heal the pain and fear that keep us from moving in the world in peace and love. If we carefully observe our lives and the world around us, we can see how often we are simply reacting to what is happening around us rather than making clear choices based on the information at hand. We blame others for our anger, our dissolution of relationships, our disagreements, and our pain when really we have choice in all of these situations. Learn to see these choices, to make better ones, and to access the huge resources available to us to relearn the lies we learned that keep us living in fear. 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. There will also be time to interact with the coaches and wise people during mealtime and at our daily Family Meetings.
The tuition for the 4-day workshop is $108 in advance and $135 at the door. There are some partial scholarships available. If you are coming from out of town, have some shared space left at the Ashram but call soon at 719-256-4108. To register 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 email@example.com and pay on line by clicking here and scrolling down. Please mention the workshop payment and your contact info. For more information go to www.Reallovefest.com
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 Solar Project
The new large solar panel array has been placed and this Thursday, Friday and next week should see the completion of this long-awaited project. We would like to go right into the second phase of the project to upgrade the dormitory so that we have enough electricity for the UV filter and all of our visitors. This would be most helpful to have in place before Family Week. Can you help us with this project? We still need $15,000 toward 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 at the Ashram
We had a very wet Spring time and now it is necessary to clean the water system thoroughly and mitigate the wild roses and other bushes that grew so abundantly with all the moisture but are now blocking the trail. With the busy summer, long days, and lots of sun we he have plenty of karma yoga. We are grateful that Jeewat from Chicago and David from Nevada are here for a couple of weeks helping us with some of these projects. We are always grateful for all of the folks that come and help us with cooking, cleaning, restocking the shop, and serving the copious amount of food that we serve at the Ashram.
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!!
Water Right Completed
Every seven years we need to show diligence on our Water Right which we have for the Ashram which I reported on last month. We have not had the site visit yet after which we will receive the final decree from the Water Court, we will keep you informed.
Visitors at the Ashram
It has been a busy time at the Ashram this last month and with the very full Fourth of July Weekend beginning so early this year, I will include it here as well. It is a great that so many new families are coming as well as our long-time devotees. We so appreciate all of you.
One new visitor, Abhinav Gupta, was very excited to come since he had visited Haidakhan with his family every year and his parents had met Shri Babaji. Now at 25 he has been in Houston, TX finishing his Masters and finally had the chance to come to Crestone. Click here to see a short video of his experience.