It is getting pretty exciting around here as we prepare for the big celebration of the Divine Mother's 30th birthday. Folks are calling, helping, and suggesting lovely ways to honor Mother for the purpose of coming together to honor our Mother Earth. Mother is ready thanks to our friend, Radha and her friends from Denver who made this lovely trellis for the celebration!
There will be programs, workshops, musical presentations, and sharing by many representatives of spiritual groups and others. There will also be fire ceremonies, an art exhibit, and of course scrumptious food provided by many or our Indian and Nepalese families.
The celebration begins with the Guru Purnima Day fire ceremony at 10am on Tuesday, July 16.
Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:
Karma Yoga Mornings 9:30am - 12:30pm July 17-19
Karma Yoga is the yoga of selfless action. Yoga means coming into union with the universal soul or the Divine. By performing service without attachment to the rewards, one can reach that state of oneness with the Supreme Being. Come together with others at the Ashram, July 17-19 and contribute your selfless love and service.
There are many ways to serve, if you do not see one listed that is right for you, we can find one for you.
We will meet in the Earthship at 9:30 am and conclude with LUNCH at 12:30 pm.
• Wednesday 17th: Stucco patching party! Washing Temple walls
• Thursday 18th: Wood gathering, weeding, washing Temple walls, painting, cooking
• Friday 19th: Deep Temple cleaning/decorating for Mother’s Celebration!
Mini-Workshop Afternoons 2pm - 5pm (July 17 and 18)
• Wednesday 17th: Simple Puja - Why do millions of people around the world begin their morning with a “puja”? Pu means merit; Ja means to give birth. Puja is that which gives birth to merit, which is the privilege to sit in the presence of God. Puja is an ancient system of worship designed to guide the mind to this experience. We will hear experiences of people who regularly perform puja and learn a very simple puja ceremony, offering flowers, incense, and water that you can take home for your own use.
• Thursday 18th: Simple Fire Ceremony - Fire is used as a form of worship in religions around the world. It is a source of energy that transforms all that interacts with it; you can feel that sitting next to one. For thousands of years the people of India have used fire and the vibration of sounds (mantras) to create harmony within the participants and with all created elements. We will learn a simple fire ceremony you can perform in your own home. It is recommended that you take the Wednesday puja workshop in preparation but it is not a prerequisite.
Divine Mother 30th Anniversary Celebration - Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21
Saturday 10 am - Celebration Opening with Hanne Strong and sharings from many different traditions about Divine Mother and how they are honoring Mother Earth. Followed by an Indian Feast.
2-5pm Harvest ideas & Integration sessions.
Sunday 9am - Recitation of the 700 verses in praise of Divine Mother, the Haidakhandiswari Sapta Sati
10 am - Divine Mother Fire Ceremony followed by Celebration, opened with Taiko drumming, followed by dance, music, readings, and meditations.
12:30pm - Huge Indian Feast.
Please join in any or all of the festivities if you are able. Another way to join would be to send us a message of your love, which we will place at Mother's feet.
In truth and love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony is on Tuesday, July 16 (Guru Purnima). The next new-moon fire ceremony will be on Wednesday, July 31. 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. 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, which is outside unless it is below freezing. The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 10am until 4pm during the month of February. 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 Gathering and Divine Mother's 30th Birthday Celebration - July 16 - 21
As mentioned above, our beloved Divine Mother will be turning 30 years old in July. The Ashram in conjunction with the American Haidakhan Samaj will be celebrating with a large Babaji gathering from Tuesday, July 16 through Sunday, July 21. It will begin on Guru Purnima Day, Tuesday, July 16, with a large fire ceremony, chanting, and feast.
The week will continue (July 17 - 19) with a Karma Yoga Immersion; building, painting, cleaning, and making repairs to the Ashram. In the afternoons there will be workshops on puja and fire ceremonies. (See schedule above and our special page on the website at www.babajiashram.org/30th-birthday.)
On Saturday, July 20 there will be an Interfaith gathering followed by an Indian feast. Hanne Strong, who was given the vision to bring the world religions together, will help us open the ceremonies at 10am. Other representatives of spiritual groups will share about their connection to Mother Earth and how they are serving Her. During this time of climatic changes and deterioration of Mother Earth, it feels important to speak to this aspect of the Divine Mother as Mother Earth, as our Mother's name is Vishveshwari, Mother of the Universe. We have always felt and stated at the Ashram, that it would be duplicitous of us to honor Mother here in our temple without honoring Her as Mother Earth. For this reason we live off the grid, compost, recycle, and eat organic food. We have strived to be an example to the community and to all who come to visit of "walking lightly on our beloved Mother, the Earth". We will spend the afternoon 'harvesting" ideas from the morning programs and see how we can "integrate" and support them more at our centers.
Finally on Sunday, we will culminate this glorious week with reciting, in English, the 700 verses in praise of Divine Mother from the Haidakhandeshwari Sapta Sati at 9am, followed by a fire ceremony in Her honor at 10am. This will be followed by Taiko drumming, dance, sharing of songs, poetry, and meditations celebrating the Divine Mother. We will all join together after this for another scrumptious Indian Feast.
Our rooms are totally booked but we do have some spaces in the men's dormitory room and the women's dormitory room, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve this space or to get ideas of other places to stay, there are many in Crestone.
The Next Long-Time Resident Hermitage Has Broken Ground!
Thank you to all who have donated so far to the building of our next hermitage for our long-term residents. We have had a lot of meetings and several people have donated time to help with the plans. We now have about $60,000 in hand and pledges, so we feel confident that the first step of putting in the foundation, infrastructure, and radiant heat is a prudent call. Last week our excavator was here digging out the foundation, and yesterday our cement folks were here building the forms for the foundation. Today the cement truck came and poured the first round of cement!
We still need more donations for the total completion of the project. Please donate as you are able so that we can build the whole hermitage this year. Click here to go to our donate link You can pay with a credit card or paypal. You can also send a check to HUA at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you again. Here are some of the plans.
Would you Like to Serve on the Ashram Board of Directors?
Each year we have annual elections to the Board of Directors. This year two of our long-time members, Denise and Vesper, are choosing to step down after many years of service. We will certainly miss their input, wisdom, guidance, and love. We are deeply grateful for all they have given over the years.
We therefore have two vacancies on the Board. It is a commitment to attend meetings once a month, currently the 4th Sunday in the morning from 10am until 12:30. If this is something you would like to consider doing, please send a letter to the Ashram stating that you would like to serve and why, and what you would be bringing to the Board. You could email us at email@example.com or send it to PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131.
Smita and Family Travel to Haidakhan
It seems that more and more people who come to the Ashram for the Divine Mother's darshan, who did not even know much about Haidakhan Baba, are wanting to go to His Ashram in India. Here is the experience and photos from Smita, who has been coming here for years.
"Myself and my aunt and uncle recently visited the Haidakhan Ashram India. We all loved our stay very much. It was very peaceful. Me and my Aunt and Uncle want go again and spend a week this next time at the ashram in the future.
Thank you, Smita"
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
It has been extremely busy last few months at the Ashram with lots of visitors. Our karma yoga has been preparing for our upcoming Divine Mother Celebration, cooking for our many visitors, cleaning up after meals, cleaning the buildings, stocking the Shop, putting in the garden, serving food, orchestrating fire ceremonies, and bhandaras. We are always grateful for all of the folks that come to the Ashram and help us with all the jobs that are necessary to make this place run smoothly and able to receive our thousands of visitors. We really could not get everything done without you. You are all one of the reasons this Ashram is what it is. Thank you deeply from our hearts.