Airdate: June 2, 1016
Join Ramdesh and her special guest, Kehar Kaur, director of International Women’s Camp and all-round behind-the-scenes “goddess for 3HO,” involved in organizing Summer Solstice Sadhana, a “pretty epic Kundalini yoga extravaganza!” Summer Solstice is coming up soon at Guru Ram Das Puri outside of Espanola, New Mexico, June 16 to 25. Listen and learn all about this incredible opportunity to gather with 2000 Kundalini yogis; then head over to 3HO.org to sign up!
What’s new this year? For one thing, there will be a special guest at Peace Prayer Day. Valarie Kaur is a very well known activist, storyteller, and inspirational speaker. She will be speaking on “Revolutionary Love” on Saturday, June18th. Another new development is the site itself—there has been an extraordinary beautification project going on so attendees will be able to feast their eyes not only on the beautiful natural surroundings, but also on the upgraded, community-minded grounds.
“Summer Solstice is like a Kundalini yoga village that is set up,” Ramdesh points out. There are five main pillars of the Solstice event; Kundalini Yoga, White Tantric Yoga, Sadhana (daily morning spiritual practice with live music), Seva (selfless service), and Community.
Kehar has been to Solstice ten times: What is her favorite experience there? She always has a wonderful feeling just walking around camp and feeling blessed to be there and to serve. Sunrise during sadhana in a huge open shelter is also amazing, she says; the sun comes up as one chants with 2000 yogis. Ramdesh got married at last year’s Summer Solstice. Her wedding ceremony with her husband Harnam Singh involved no stress and or fuss: “God coordinated everything!” Ramdesh recalls. “I remember being in an extended state of grace.”
Solstice can feel like another dimension, the Divine is so palpable and present. It’s one of those experiences that can’t be explained—just go! The land is blessed and the environment is “particularly portal-like,” says Ramdesh. “The all-camp meditation” is done in the morning, and when so many people are concentrating on the same purpose, a lot is shifted for the planet, she adds. This year’s is the Compassion Meditation, and the world can certainly use more of that! It is based on the Fourth Sutra of the Aquarian Age, given by Yogi Bhajan, “Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.” On this podcast, you’ll hear Tera Naam’s gorgeous version of “Rakhay Rakhanhaar,” the heart centered mantra that accompanies this year’s meditation. Check the 3HO.org website for details on this meditation and mudra.
Another highlight of Solstice is Peace Prayer Day, which is a very unique experience, and this year is the 20th anniversary of the celebration, which includes a sacred healing walk, music, speakers, bhangra dancers, and the Peace Prayer Day runners, who carry the flame of peace on a 20 mile run culminating at Guru Ram Das Puri, which was blessed Native American land. In this place, explains Kehar, Native Americans once gathered to pray for peace so that tradition is carried forth.
Aykanna will present the evening’s concert on Peace Prayer Day; what better way to celebrate peace and love? Listen to “Guru Ram Das,” a healing mantra, by Aykanna from Mantra Mala. You’ll also hear “Sat Siri Siri Akal” by Cherdi Kalah Jetha, a legendary kirtan group that often plays at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. Cherdi Kalah means rising spirit, and one really feels the Kundalini energy rising when they play, notes Kehar. They’ll also be at Yogi Bhajan’s ranch the night after Solstice ends.
No show about Solstice would be complete without Snatam Kaur, who is intimately involved every year, both performing and helping to run Khalsa Youth Camp for ages 5-12 which is held at the same time as International Women’s Camp June 27 to July 3(this is the 40th year!). You’ll hear Snatam’s “Take Me In” from Light of the Naam on this podcast, and of course her voice and presence will grace Summer Solstice 2016.
There are so many wonderful musicians at Solstice! You’ll also hear Guru Singh, Nirinjan Kaur, Satkirin Kaur Khalsa, Krishna Kaur, Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa, Ajeet Kaur, Dev Suroop Kaur Khalsa, Harnam Singh, Simrit and more. Dive deep into Kundalini yoga and enjoy this epic Solstice experience!