Every time I reach the gate at Ram Das Puri in the high desert mountains of New Mexico my heart bursts open. I’ve come home — to my spiritual home. This land has such a beautiful history, and a great destiny to teach us how to live healthy, happy, and holy in our true authentic selves. Ram Das Puri teaches us to be the change we want to see in the Aquarian Age.
In 1972 the search began for a permanent location for 3HO’s Summer Solstice, eventually leading to a large parcel of land in the Jemez Mountains. When Yogi Bhajan walked through the gate he saw colonies of angels everywhere. He immediately decided to purchase the 160-acre parcel and named the land, "Ram Das Puri." It’s been our spiritual gathering place for Summer Solstice Celebrations for over 45 years.
We’ve been blessed to gather as a global community to spend precious time each summer evolving our Aquarian consciousness at Ram Das Puri, where Peace Prayer Day kicks off the celebrations. The tradition of the Sacred Healing Walk is very popular. We walk on our heels on a circular path, leaving offerings at 4 altars, silently giving our prayers for purification and peace.
Every year I look forward to the 2 ½ hour Aquarian Sadhana led by Kundalini Yoga teachers and our inspiring musicians. Being part of a large group of yogis chanting together as the sun begins to rise is awe-inspiring. There’s nothing like meditating every morning with hundreds of people in the fresh clean air of the Pinyon pines.
Our early wake-up call comes from musicians walking through the camp singing, “Rise up, rise up, sweet family dear…” I gather my sheepskin and blanket and head over to the Tantric shelter for our ambrosial Aquarian Sadhana led by Kundalini Yoga teachers and inspiring musicians. Being part of a large group of yogis chanting together as the sun begins to rise is magical. I look forward every year to meditating in the fresh clean air scented by Pinyon pines.
Yogi Bhajan designed the delicious vegetarian solstice diet especially for the dry high desert climate. I never thought I would devour spicy potato soup with bananas cut into it! And the hot sauce they make for the mung beans and rice cannot be duplicated - I’ve tried! My seva for years was chopping vegetables — a good way to escape the heat, meet new people, and put some positive energy into the food while chopping and chanting. I’m always first in line in the evening for a hot cup of Golden Milk — so delicious and such a treat at the end of the day.
The week of sadhana, workshops, the cleansing diet, and the camaraderie of seeing our old friends leads up to the highlight of Solstice — three transformative days of White Tantric Yoga. Gazing into the eyes of your partner during the day’s challenging postures can be a real test — but keeping up and supporting each other leaves you feeling victorious and gloriously happy.
Many people break camp to return home right after tantric, but I enjoy lingering on the last day to relax and chat with friends, laughing as we tell our solstice stories. It is so sweet to savor these special moments together. Later that evening, we all cozy up in our sleeping bags for the Ransabhai where the musicians play kirtan non-stop all through the night during the giant sleepover under the tantric shelter. That’s a really fun way to finish our last evening of Solstice. Then the next day we pack up our cars, say our good-byes, and “See you next summer,” and head down the hill to Espanola for an order of El Parasol’s Khalsa Special Burritos for the trip home.