I will confess… I understand more each year about what Solstices mean, what they bring to us, and what they require of us. I got tuned into Solstices at the first Summer Solstices we held (Now 3HO foundation) in 1970. It was a wild and scraggly affair. We were in the mountains (hippies, of course) and we didn’t have a permit, so we got booted out.
Somehow, were given this strip of barren desert land out in total sun by a dry creek bed. Sound Inviting? Yogi Bhajan, whom, till then, I had never met, gave daily yoga classes sitting under a black garbage bag stretched between two long sticks, no, not even poles. We, in the blazing sun. Oh, and if you ever came to one of his classes, you know he could talk and the fact that we were in the blazing sun mattered, but uh, not at all to him. Yet, we felt his sincerity and willingness to be with us in these extreme circumstances.
This being said, the accommodations and food we now have at Summer Solstices seem like a 5-star hotel. Yes, I know it is an intense mountain top, Ram Das Puri, but it is a transformational mountain top. So, I invite you to join us.
Long before we claimed care of taking of this land, the Native American tribes used this land for sacred rituals. We still preserve one of those rituals in our Summer Solstices today, the Sacred Healing Walk, which I love and honor. This barefoot walk done in silence or chanting with thousands of others for healing you, the planet and, yes, the universe, is one of my favorite ceremonies. I have had many visions, insights and awakenings during these walks. Most of the time, it is hot, dry, windy, and your feet battle these goat heads and, yes, they are as painful as they sound, and yet it is so profound. Only one time it had rained and I was very childlike walking and sinking into blessed mushyness. That time, I got to walk with my dear friend Guru, Dass Kaur. I have done this walk with many friends, my beloved Keith, and by myself, all ways amazing. I invite you to come with me this summer.
So, to me, Summer Solstices is about allowing the power of the Sun to heal you, to burst you open to gifts greater than you can see or know on your own. Thus, this is why it is so important to take this time to meditate deeply to gain the gifts of the sun—of being together, of going beyond your comfort zone into your bliss zone.
Love and blessings to you Wahe Guru.