I remember wondering back in 1986, when we first acquired the land for the Ashram, if visitors would ever find their way to Crestone, such a remote place, a four-hour drive from Denver. Well, that is no longer a question as we have thousands of people coming to the Ashram every year. This is a wonderful thing and we are grateful that so many people wish to have the darshan of Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother.
Since one of Babaji’s main teachings is love and service to humanity, we do our best to greet each person that arrives and answer questions about Babaji, the Ashram, the temple, the rituals, and see if there is anything they need. We also invite them for food if it is around mealtime and help them in the Maha Lakshmi Shop. It takes a lot of energy to constantly be there for people, basically from 6am until 8pm seven days a week. On some weekends we have over 300 people come through the Ashram. We feel it is one of our main duties and we enjoy getting to know so many of you, we often make connections that last for a lifetime. We are never surprised to see the same folks year after year making their pilgrimage to the Ashram.
It used to be that in winter we would have very few people come to the Ashram, it was a quiet time. We took this time to catch up with life and have a little extra meditation and rest. The last couple of years, however, this has not been the case, unless it is snowing, we seem to have visitors.
So we have decided to carve out nearly two weeks of quiet time at the Ashram from January 11 until January 23 and actually close the Ashram to everything except the temple services. This means that we will celebrate the full-moon January 10, as usual with a fire ceremony at 10am followed by a feast and reopen with the new-moon fire ceremony at 10am on January 24 with the fire ceremony and a feast.
This is also the time of Makar Sankrant, January 14, when the Sun begins its northern ascent according to the Indian calendar and the spiritual energy is rising. It is an auspicious time for prayer, meditation, and other spiritual pursuits. Shri Babaji said that is a time when there are no negative influences on the earth. It feels like very good timing for quiet time at the Ashram.
What it will this look like? The same schedule will be followed of paduka puja at 5:45am followed by a small fire ceremony at 6:25am and aarati at 7am. However, after aarati people will not be invited down for chai or a meal and the Shop will be closed. The temple will remain open all day for quiet meditation and we will sing aarati in the evening from 6pm until 7pm. Once again, visitors will not be invited down to the earthship for tea or a meal afterwards, however.
This feels like a necessary step to take so that we can be revitalized to serve all of you that are so dear to our hearts. Thank you for your support and understanding in this matter.
In deep deep gratitude and love to you all,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony will be on Tuesday, November 26 and the next full-moon fire ceremony is on Wednesday, December 11. 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 daily small fire ceremony is at 6:20am. We do not have the small fire ceremony when we have our large fire ceremony on new and full moons. The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 9am 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.)
Ashram Holiday On Line Fundraiser Auction
Many people enjoyed our holiday on-line auction last year. It was a great opportunity to buy something for loved ones or yourself and know you are supporting the Ashram. We already have over 130 wonderful items this year. We have several hand-made malas, both wrist and 108 size with sacred beads from Shri Babaji's personal malas. We also have tulsi malas from Shri Babaji and wrist malas made from a rose quartz mala from the Divine Mother. JD Marston donated many new fine prints to the auction, and James O'Dea donated his wonderful signed books. We have lovely and fun jewelry, musical instruments, wall hangings, and art. Rita Beuralt is also painting a special mixed-media pie of Maha Lakshmi for the auction. We will post it when it is ready.
See all this and more at www.biddingforgood.com/babajiashram
The Next Long-Time Resident Hermitage Has the First Coat of Stucco!
The hermitage is getting the stucco on the outside since our weather here has stayed so mild. We are getting plumbing and electrical inspections so we can close up the interior walls. For this last phase of the construction Bill, who many of you have met in our kitchen, will be leading the crew, which consists of all karma yogis; Will, Anthony, and Jonathan. It is exciting as each step takes place and the hermitage comes closer to completion.