As I looked through the photos for this last month of September I realized how many wonderful people come to the Ashram, we are truly blessed. As I came upon the photo of the nine children that came one weekend with their six families, I am reminded how delicate children are and their need to be gently guided with love and care. After several hours of sitting in cars driving to the Ashram, when the children arrived they were understandably pretty wild and loud. My first thought was how I was going to avoid them or where I could send them so they would not disturb my peace. I then realized they just needed some love and attention as all human beings do. I suggested we all go out to the garden and pick flowers to make malas for their favorite deities. Excitedly they took bowls and off we went to our prolific garden of marigolds and other flowers.
As they sat in the grass making their malas and discussing which God or Goddess each wanted to present it to and why, suddenly I could see these children as the sacred little divine beings they are. After they had their showers, dressed for aarati, and arrived at the temple; they each put their mala on the deity of their choice. They sat very respectfully for the chanting and afterwards we took a photo of all the families. I knew inside that this shift in behavior was at least partially because they were loved, accepted, and made to feel part of the Ashram.
This reminded me of my time with Shri Babaji. When people ask me, "What was it like to be with Him?" I usually answer that it was like being in a greenhouse where I was so nurtured and seen in my full divine nature, not in the small, limited box that as humans we often put one another in. I remember my two children's experience. One of the first things Shri Babaji did when we arrived in Haidakhan in 1981 was to put Jacob, age 10 and Amil, age 8 to work in the shop. Raghuvir, who ran the shop gave them jobs, like packing raisins and nuts in little bags to sell in the shop. They felt like part of the Ashram immediately.
They also each had many loving experiences with Babaji: I will tell you one story of each of them. Jacob would go down in the afternoon to help give Babaji His bath at the river. This was a very special affair and for quite a while I did not know Jacob was part of the group of three or four yogis that would accompany Babaji to the river. One day he came up the 108 steps with Babaji, who had His arm around him and had dressed Jacob in His bright blue silk kurta and lunghi. My son's face was radiant and as he sat down next to me he said, "I cannot describe the bliss of scrubbing the lotus back of Shri Babaji."
Wow! A few days later, we were waiting in the upper garden for Babaji to come up from His bath and Amil was by my side. As Babaji walked by, He stopped, looked directly into Amil's eyes and took his cheek playfully in His hand. As Babaji walked away, Amil turned to me with a wondrous look on his face and told me, "I was just touched by God." Wow again!
We are all these little children still, who often just need to loved, accepted, and made to feel a part of a loving community. I am grateful to live at the Ashram where we make this a priority.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month is on Thursday, October 5. Our new-moon fire ceremony this month is on Thursday, October 19 which is also Diwali, the festival of Lights (see information below for evening program). All fire ceremonies begin at 10am 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 moons and during Navratri. 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.)
Babaji Weekend at Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia - This Weekend! Sat & Sun - Oct 7 & 8
I am writing this from Georgia from the wonderful home of Pam and Kelly. We are all preparing for the wonderful time we will be together at their lakehouse on beautiful Lake Lanier. There will be a wonderful Babaji gathering there which is about an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. In addition to the pujas, aaratis, chanting, satsang, fire ceremonies, Real Love gatherings, swimming, and boating, we are excited to announce that Vajra and Surdas whom you may have heard at the Ashram leading chanting or know from their several albums under Rahasya will be joining us on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. It should be a very special time together. Call Ramloti at 719-256-4108 for more info and to reserve a space. We hope many of you can join us.
Diwali - Festival of Lights - Thursday, October 19
We are looking forward to the special evening when we gather together to share songs of peace and light on the night of Diwali. This seems to be a favorite time for many of the Crestone Spiritual Centers to share with us songs from their tradition that speak of the theme of peace and light. This year to facilitate everyone having a chance to share, we will hold aarati an hour early (5pm) and hold the sharing from 6pm until 7:30pm with dinner served afterwards. All are invited and please share the word with others. We will have our new-mppm fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal and anyone that wishes to stay through the day and help set up luminarios, decorate the temple, and prepare the food is welcome. Call the Ashram for information or to procure accommodations at 719-256-4108.
Solar Upgrades on Dormitory and Temple
Thank you to all who are making it possible for the Ashram to pretty much overhaul all of its older solar systems and make them the most reliable to serve you and all the other guests that are continually coming to the Ashram. Here Laura is replacing panels on the dorm system and she and Prem are replacing batteries on the dorm system. We still have additional components that we need to pay for so if you are able to contribute click on our GoFundMe campaign, or on our webpage (and scroll down to donate) or you can send a check to HUA at PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. We deeply appreciate your continued support, love, and prayers.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
It has been very busy as you can see by the photos and articles. We are always grateful for all of the folks that come and help us with all the jobs that are necessary to make this place run smoothly and receive our hundreds of visitors: cooking, cleaning, restocking and running the shop, wood gathering for havans and winter fires, serving the copious amount of food that we serve at the Ashram, and cleaning it all up afterwards. We really could not get everything done with out you, you are all the reason this Ashram is what it is. Thank you.
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!!
Ashram Driveway is Looking Good!
Thanks to all of your generosity and Baba and Mother's grace to provide just the right amount of rain to settle the clay, the Ashram driveway is in the best shape ever. This time we asked our contractor, Kenny Skoglund, to haul in a more expensive road base that contains much more clay. It has really made a big difference! Thank you to all who have contributed.
Ashram Gets a New Stove!
Just in time for Fall Navratri, we were able to sell our old Wolf stove and replace it with a beautiful smaller commercial stove that we do not need to light with a match! The generosity of a lovely couple that comes here often and the Divine timing of Baba and Mother made it all come together in perfection. The folks who came all the way from Ft. Collins to buy the Wolf stove, also helped us move in our new stove. We are so grateful to all who made this possible. Thank you.
Fall Navratri (Divine Mother Festival)
The special time of year when we gather together to say thank you to our beautiful Mother, Haidakhandeshwari was beautiful and profound as ever. The fall weather was pristine and warm enough to be barefoot most of the time. Folks arrived from around the country: Florida, Washington, California, New Mexico, Denver, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, and places closer at hand. Mother looked resplendent in all of Her new saris. We bathed the Maha Lakshmi murti up at the creek that watches over our water system and land. Children's day was as sweet as always. Once again, so many thanks to all who made it possible.