Solstice at Ram Das Puri

Morning Sadhnas (daily medititation and yoga practice) begin every day here at Ram Das Puri at 4 am. But before that a big group of people come walking through camp every morning at 2:45 am singing and chanting that you will be blessed if you "Rise up, rise up. Love is all around. Rise up, rise up. If you rise up, you will be blessed" (this is accompanied by guitar and drums). The Sikh practice is then to take a cold shower three times at 3 am (I usually sleep through this), then go to the Tantric shelter (a big, open concrete floor with a stage) and begin Sadhna.

It starts with much chanting in Punjabi and ends with long breathing out (it feels like a good 30 seconds) of Sat Naam (meaning truth is my identity). This is also how people greet each other here and also how they say goodbye and also what they say before eating or starting a meeting.

One thing is sure, these folks are devoted. I admit to being a little nervous about the three days of Tantric (it's a practice in Kundalini yoga which is supposed to help you shatter your ego and break through barriers by holding positions for long periods of time and chanting and meditation. The Sat Kriya is part of it where we hold our hands over our heads and put our palms together and repeat mantras for hours while dressed all in white and covering our heads. Not sure if I'll be joining that just yet or if I'm up for it. Still deciding. It's been a culturally educational experience. I'll have to send more pictures when my phone decides to cooperate.


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