It has been a while since I have written to you all via a newsletter. In some ways there is not that much to report other than we are all well and being taken care of by Baba and Mother. Hopefully you are receiving updates and viewing the posts on Facebook that I have been trying to do on an almost daily basis. Despite being closed to visitors, it is busier than ever here as it takes a lot of time to connect with folks virtually. But the good news is that we are in touch with thousands of people, many brand new, by this new means of reaching out, and we love being in touch. Many folks have questions about Babaji, the Divine Mother, the Ashram, the Shop. There were several days during Navratri that we had over 500 viewers of our live-stream fire ceremony, chanting, and discourse. We did a small havan instruction workshop that several people attended and that is now available on our website at https://www.babajiashram.org/fire-ceremony. We continue to live-stream our new and full moon fire ceremonies and are planning more workshops and inspirational ways to stay connected with all of you.
It is also a very quiet time at the Ashram. It reminds me of the early days. I am dressing Mother five days a week again and so grateful for the opportunity to do this. As a matter of fact, I am so deeply grateful for all the practices at the Ashram. Somehow the quiet has made them even more focused and potent for me and I am sinking deeper into their meaning and profundity. I awake before 4am excited to dress and bathe Ma and Baba, sing aarati, and perform the fire ceremony. The mantra rings in my heart much more consistently day and night. And often bed comes directly after aarati, which keeps those sacred tunes coursing through my head all night.
As I said, I am grateful to Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother for their love and protection during this time. It is an uncertain time for many of us but all of your love and support and this ever-deepening connection to the Divine is also making it a time of deep growth and peace.
In deep deep gratitude and love to you all,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony is tomorrow, May 7 and the next new-moon fire ceremony is on Friday, May 22. These will both be live-streamed on Facebook (Ramloti Wood page) at 10amMT as the Ashram is still not open to visitors at this time. If you do not do Facebook, the fire ceremony and chanting will be posted on YouTube on Ramloti Wood channel by 12 noon on the day of the ceremony.
The temple and The Maha Lakshmi Shop are also closed to visitors until further notice. We are happy to help you via phone (719-256-4108) or email (email@example.com) at the Maha Lakshmi Shop and send you photos of the many items that are not on our website. We love to connect with you in this way. We will certainly let you know as the status of the Ashram closure changes.
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.)
GoFundMe Campaign Going a Long Way to Help Keep the Ashram Afloat During this Time of Closure.
As most of you know, the visitors and shoppers coming to the Ashram are a major part of our revenue to pay the bills at the Ashram. Since we have been closed now for over 6 weeks, we have been counting on people donating through different modalities. The GoFundMe Campaign has raised over $6,400 and we are so tremendously grateful. If you are able to donate, even a small amount, it all means a great deal to us and the truth is if everyone receiving this newsletter donated $25, we would be well supported. Please click here to donate to this fund. We also deeply appreciate your prayers and caring thoughts.
The Next Long-Time Resident Hermitage is Moving along!
Everything is going slower on the hermitage. We are watching our funds so cutting back hours, our lumber yard was closed for awhile making it difficult to get deliveries, and Bill was out for two weeks with a bronchial infection. But all is moving along again now and the finish work around the windows, floors and ceiling is just about done. We are grateful to all who have supported the project with funds and prayers, and we will keep you updated on the progress.
We can still use your support of this project. Please donate as you are able. 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.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
We are still constantly busy at the Ashram. With the three of us long-time residents: Jonathan, Premanand, and I; long-term karma yogi, Will, and our two helpers, Bill and Deborah, we are all wearing plenty of hats. We have become even a better team at this time and happy to report that much is being accomplished.
Jonathan, now sporting a beard, when he is not clowning around with me showing our beautiful masks that a dear devotee made for us, is helping prepare or clean up after the daily fire ceremonies. He also dresses Mother and Baba beautifully two days a week.
He often helps Will with the mitigating, helping to keep these 101 acres of land safe despite a grave fire danger and fire ban we are currently in after a drought for several months. Another advantage of this work is that we have plenty of fire wood stocked up for next winter.
Will has been here for 7 months now and comes in the temple very early each morning to bathe murtis and Shri Babaji's padukas. He is definitely a master of the chain saw with the mitigating and takes on several other Ashram duties such as cleaning, video taping all of the fire ceremonies and workshops, and several handyman jobs such as repairing tables, dressers and all kinds of broken things.
Premanand is putting in the quarter acre garden and tending the orchard, and lawns. He also keeps the solar systems monitored, solar batteries filled, UV filters cleaned, and the PV systems running well.
Premanand has the green house in full production providing us with fresh lettuce, kale, parsley, cilantro, spinach, basil, green beans, radishes, and carrots. All are especially appreciated in this time of very few trips to the store. The marigolds. roses, and geraniums are growing well and keep us supplied for use in the temple and for ceremonies until the flowers are ready in the garden in the summer. The tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are looking great and will begin bearing in a few weeks.
Bill is finishing up the hermitage along with monitoring and cleaning the water system, weed-eating all of the grounds to keep the fire danger down. He has also laid out all the fire hoses and organized all of our fire fighting and protection gear in preparation for giving residents and staff a fire training later this week. He was a fire fighter as well as worked for the forest service for many years so is a huge resource particularly this time of year.
He is also a master baker and cook. He makes homemade yogurt, ghee, bread, granola, pie crusts, chocolate for prasad, green smoothies, and sesame pate. He is a great support in helping the Ashram cut down packaging for ecological reasons and helping the food budget by making things in-house.
Deborah is in 3 days a week and always brings wonderful dishes to prepare for us. We are currently all gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free so she finds healthy recipes that also taste great. She also takes and picks up our mail these days, does a lot of the shopping, does a lot of cleaning, heps me in Shop and packages up orders for mailing.
And then there is me, and you do not need a selfie of me. I am busy doing the bookkeeping, answering emails and phone calls, organizing fundraisers, communicating with people, doing workshops (puja workshop is coming next), filling shop orders, taking photos (already working on the 2021 calendar), and writing updates and newsletters. My most important job is dressing Mother and Baba in the morning.
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 donate by clicking here and scrolling down (you can even set up a monthly tithe). We deeply appreciate all of you that do tithe monthly to the Ashram. You can also send a check (made out to HUA) to P.O. Box 9, Crestone CO, 81131. We are so deeply grateful for your support, love, and prayers. Bhole Baba Ki Jai
THE AMERICAN HAIDAKHAN SAMAJ
The American Haidakhan Samaj (AHS) is a service organization which was created at the request of Haidakhan Baba in 1983. The Samaj is a non-profit membership organization which provides education, publications, and support to the American Babaji community and maintains relationships with the Indian Samaj and international Babaji community. Currently our projects are Love Our Earth, and we host quarterly Babaji Community meetings which are open to everyone. Love Our Earth is an environmental minded group who has several ongoing projects including tree planting and supporting the Wild Animal Sanctuary in the Denver area. The Babaji Community Zoom meetings are designed to connect people who are interested in the Haidakhan spiritual path. The meetings are open to all for inspiration, spiritual support and to discuss ideas and projects. For more information visit the Samaj website: www.babajisamaj.us, our Facebook pages are Babaji American Samaj and Sri Haidakhan Babaji Center News. To get in touch with us you may email firstname.lastname@example.org
it was beautiful, different, quiet, and live-streamed for all the people that could not be with us since the Ashram was closed to the public. All ceremonies, discourses, and pujas were followed as normal with a lot of devotion and focus. Mother was resplendent and here are some of Her photos.