In the sun and sand, the northern New Mexico Jemez mountains…Ram Das Puri. Summer Solstice, a gathering of kundalini yoga enthusiasts from around the world and the annual gathering of White Sikhs under the teachings of Yogi Bhajan come together to spend 9 days in the sacred space of Ram Das Puri. Peace Prayer Day, meditations, kundalini yoga, healing workshops, White Tantric Yoga, sadhana, Gudwara, yogic foods, lots and lots of great music, friends, family, sisterhood, brotherhood.
In the hot hot days of the high altitude sun and the coolness of the nights, Solstice and Ram Das Puri is a raw space with no buffer between oneself and the necessary. Rich and pure in elements, moving through the body, mind and spirit to purify and elevate, purging and releasing psychic build up to distill us into pure essense…concentrate, consolidate…mastery.
One may rise in the early hours of the morning by a traveling group of camp minstrels with guitar, drum, tambourine, singing “Rise up, rise up sweet family dear, it’s time for the Lord and remembering love is near…”encouraging one to be coaxed from bed and join together for sadhana (the recitation of Japji, followed by a short yoga set and a 62 minutes of meditation). The time between sadhana and bedtime is filled with meals, music, dancing, yoga, walks, naps, healing treatments, courses, conversations, rest, shopping at the bazaar, foot soaks, drinking lots and lots and lots of water, eating tons of watermelon, staying cool, visiting. One of my favorite parts of the day is walking over to the outdoor showers in the morning and the cool brisk refreshing water of the solar heated showers (which is generally COLD), but very lovely. A time for women to meet and visit as we tend to the morning ritual of bathing. So simple and ancient in the meeting at the ‘water hole” to share simple stories of our days together.
As I walk down the hill to my tent at the end of the day and crawl into my sleeping bag, the sounds of the night settle in the cool of the evening. I lie quietly and contemplate my day as it drifts down around me…the highs and lows, challenges and delights. The smells of the desert lull me to sleep and I am filled with gratitude to be here. I know it is not an easy trek and the requirements are great, but as always on this path I meet myself face to face and the reflection from Ram Das Puri is uncomplicated and true, the meeting of the bare roots.
My utmost thanks and purest gratitude to Yogi Bhajan Siri Singh Sahib and to the Hopi Indians. My your lineage continue to bless this land and its people for now and evermore.