I can recall the quiet resonance of the land when I first arrived to Hacienda de Guru Ram Das (HGRD). It was moments before sundown. This time of day is special anywhere, yet New Mexico brings something extra during this magic hour. I’d received directions to the Seva Sadhana house where I would be staying. After I parked my car, I got out and did a 360 degree twirl taking in all the magnificence. The only way to describe it is like stepping into a vortex, because it is just that. The vibrations are palpable, the colors vibrant, suddenly you become more aware of the magnetic flow of subtle sensations all around you.
I came to the program mid-summer of 2017. There were three other women in the women’s nivas (house) and three in the men’s nivas. I had been to Summer Solstice two weeks earlier and been practicing Kundalini Yoga for three years, so I was somewhat familiar with the culture. Nonetheless, there was much I didn’t know.
Being a part of Seva Sadhana is an opportunity for a seekers, students, yogis, and people alike to experience life living in an ashram setting. Within this intentional and spiritual community, one grows in their individual consciousness, as well as in group consciousness. This is the kind of environment where you face your karma head on – your challenges become your greatest blessings. You see more of what triggers you and how you react. You are also met with the time and space to respond consciously.
Here’s insight to one of my processes: I was feeling vulnerable, raw, and insecure having just moved to a new place. I’d succumb to my own self-imposed ideas of perfectionism, saying yes to all opportunities, which eventually led to exhaustion and burn out. My mind questioned why it had to be so hard? My habituated reaction was to fantasize about quitting and plotting my escape plan. Once emotions ran their course and I could feel my feet on the ground again, some clarity came. I realized I will forever be chasing the thought: “ Its greener on the other side.” In actuality, wherever I go my “stuff” will still be there.
In this case, the Seva Sadhana program at HGRD is deeply nurturing for one to deal with their stuff. One has the blessing of being immersed in a yogic lifestyle, a path of realization. One can call upon peers, mentors, elders, and resources when facing fears. Although deeply uncomfortable at times, one is able to move and process their “stuff” with the aid of community and those who share similar experiences. You don’t have to do it alone. This knowing makes all the difference.
Although I have moved since being in the program, I still visit the Seva Sadhana houses just to be in the familial setting. People coming and going, the surprise of who will walk in the door, and what sort of enlightening conversation you’ll share over the kitchen table – these refreshing pockets of connection remind us life is worth living.
Another benefit of Seva Sadhana is you get to be an instrument of God and love. The secret to living joyfully is service, and here at the ashram there are many ways to serve. When we serve we feel a sense of purpose, we exercise our nature of giving, and are able to connect to something much bigger than ourselves. Whether it is cooking a meal, washing the floors of the Gurdwara (Sikh temple), decorating for a party, picking fruits from the Ranch, or the number of other odd and fulfilling jobs, you experience an aliveness that reminds you of your truth.
Our teacher, Yogi Bhajan, often used the analogy of a chisel and a rock. No doubt at the ashram you feel that sort of sculpting process. Like the pressurization of the diamond, you become a more radiant version of yourself.
It’s written upon our foreheads and we will be met with opportunities to manifest our sacred heart’s desires and dreams. In these present times more and more people are showing up and answering the call, whatever that may be for them. The ashram of Guru Ram Das is a sanctuary where many will make the pilgrimage to. The land is healing. As we plant seeds in the garden they represent the future: living sustainably and in harmony with all of nature. The vision and prayer is that we may learn and cultivate our resources so more prosperity may be shared amongst all generations and people.
When someone asks why I came to New Mexico, in short I respond: it was an answered prayer. I chose to listen to my heart. I had no idea what to expect and I continue to be open to all the possibilities. It was a risk worth taking.
If there is a quiet voice within you asking for more or maybe you are ready to kick things up a notch and exercise your devotion, we invite you to be with us at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espanola, New Mexico.
For more info about Seva Sadhana visit http://www.sevasadhana.org/wp1/
Donate to HGRD Garden Fund https://www.youcaring.com/hgrdsevasadhana-1101244