As you can tell by the newsletter, it has been extremely busy here. The fullness, love, energy, and bliss has been at times, almost overwhelming. I thought I would take a moment of a little bit of quiet to compose this newsletter so that those of you not able to be here in person can share some of the magic. I am not going to say much, the photos and all of the notes, cards, emails, and posts say enough. Just going through the several hundred photos, of which I can just post some, has taken hours and almost brought me to tears with all the lovely memories.
It has certainly become apparent over the last several months that the Ashram has a life of its own. What I mean to say is those of us that live here become more and more aware that Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother are always at the helm, orchestrating all that goes on here. None of us would be capable of dreaming up all the wonder that transpires here. I will let you experience some of it yourself through the newsletter here.
I just want to take a moment to thank all that made this possible. There are far too many that helped in so many different ways to even beginning naming individuals, however, you all know who you are. People came from far and wide to lend a hand with printing, design, cooking, shuttling participants, decorating, presenting, painting, creating an art exhibit, stuccoing, parking cars, cleaning, and many other jobs. The various spiritual centers here all stepped up to help, present, and support this gala celebration. Over 300 people came throughout the weekend. The generosity, joy in serving, and celebration of folks interested in living Shri Babaji's teaching of karma yoga was exhilarating. I am so grateful to be part of all this.
In truth and love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony is on Friday, August 30 and the next full-moon fire ceremony is on Friday, September 13. 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 now at 6:30am. 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. 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.)
The Next Long-Time Resident Hermitage Continues to Grow!
Thank you to all who have donated so far to the building of our next hermitage for our long-term residents. We now have about $61,000 in hand and pledges, so we feel confident that the first step of putting in the foundation, infrastructure, and radiant heat has been a prudent call. With all of our celebrations, things have been moving a little slowly but we took a few huge steps and more are to come.
We began the big celebration weekend with a Bhumi Puja to the ground, and a puja to Ganesh and Lord Shiva at the site of the excavation. It was lovely and we are grateful to Nirmal Sharma, who conducted the ceremony for us. We now feel very confident all will go well.
The next few steps are under way, the forms have been placed and the excavator has come to backfill the foundation, karma yogis have compacted the fill to prep for the slab. The plumber is on standby to do his work in the foundation. Once this is complete, we will access the finances and make a decision on the framing.
We still need approximately $11,000 in donations for the total completion of the project. We have set up a GoFundMe page to facilitate donations. GoFundMe has a 0% platform fee for organizers and will try to have you donate 15% (by default) to them right below your donation. You are able to choose other options using the drop down. Selecting "Other" allows you to put in custom amount. Please donate as you are able so that we can build the whole hermitage this year and share the link with all of your friends. You can also Click here to go to our donate link You can pay with a credit card or paypal, or you can send a check to HUA at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you again.
Meet our New Resident Karma Yogis!
Many of you have already met Sadie and Anthony. They have been coming as visitors and karma yogis since Shivaratri of last year. They came again for 10 days of Spring Navratri and never left! They both found jobs and moved to Crestone. They continued to come up to the Ashram for aarati, pujas, fire ceremonies, and karma yoga, as often as their schedules permitted. They were a huge help during the Divine Mother 30th Birthday celebration and conducted the paduka pujas each morning. They were also trained to be the morning pujari and they took that responsibility several of the mornings, dressing Ma resplendently for the big days. It certainly seemed like a natural progression for them to apply as resident karma yogis at the Ashram. Their applications were accepted and for the few weeks have been giving deeply of their love and service. We are grateful they are here, they bring a lot of young fresh energy to the Ashram.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
All of the help with the big celebration and all the other jobs to keep this Ashram in great shape for the thousands of visitors that come here every year has been amazing and wonderful. Thank you to all who did all the cooking for our many visitors, stuccoing the buildings, cleaning the temple, scraping, painting, cleaning up after meals, cleaning the buildings, stocking the Shop, putting in the garden, serving food, shuttling people from the bottom parking lot, orchestrating fire ceremonies, and bhandaras. 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. Here are a couple of quotes from some of our karma yogis and a few of the hundreds of photos we have taken.
"The "setting" ( the beautiful Ashram location) and the "set" ( how things are done/ the culture... what Ramloti, Prem and Jonathan provide and maintain on a daily basis) at Crestone make it easier to walk Babaji's talk...it almost becomes the expected behavior/attitude (to serve with karma yoga). So thank you so much for "keeping the space" so that others can do their own spiritual work. Om Namah Shivaya, Panna Singh, Napa, CA
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” ~Mahatma Gandhi ❤️ — Elizabeth and Bryan Whitt.