Instead of a long winded description of the experience, I would like to share some pictures and parts of the experience that go to make up Winter Solstice.
Of course, Winter Solstice is not just Winter Solstice any more. Prior to its start, we, Sat Inder and I, participated in an enlightening and inspiring KRI workshop for Lead Trainers. This is the group, some long time teacher trainers, others brand new and learning. We all got something out of it thanks to each other.
Guru Sahai Singh, KRI Board Member had an informative and inspiring talk about prosperity and how we might help the Library of Teachings with additional support through our own prosperity. Sat Inder Kaur was a strong and helpful participant in the whole and small group sessions.
Soltice time is perfect for catching up with old friends and new. This picture above (of Akhal Sahai Singh) was taken through a window of the kitchen, thus the "screen" effect.
Flags at the site flew at half staff in reverence for the news from Newtown Connecticut. As much as we leave the real world behind and involve ourselves in Kundalini Yoga, White Tantric Yoga and the many events available there, it is difficult to keep some events out of our consciousness.
A good friend of ours here in Kansas City, Gard Hanselmann, is a frequent particpant in both Summer and Winter Solstices, in White Tantric courses in between and at our morning Sadhana at the ashram. In a short conversation in the evening langar lines we were both hard pressed to remember exactly how many solstices we had attended. They all blended together perfectly as powerful and uplifting experiences.
Morning Sadhana, below, need we say more?
A highlight of the daily sadhana was the warm and cozy Gurdwara that completed the morning. Here Sat Kirin Kaur delivered blissful kirtan for all participants. Siri Sevak Kaur is behind the Guru Sahib.
The kitchen was always a busy place (especially with attendance at Winter Solstice over 850) and always included smiling and enthusiastic sevadors.
(Above) Always veggies to be chopped and readied for the next meal. (Below) Here one kitchen karma yogi peels, sorts and chops ginger preparing hot and delicious Yogi Tea, served hot each morning. In addition to the variety of Yogi Teas (Milk, Soy or Almond Milk), there was also joint easing Golden Milk, done to tasty perfection.
There's always dust or sand from the feet of the saints to sweep out of the kitchen. The sevador(Harimandir Kaur) you see here was also responsible for the art in the Tantric/Sadhana Tent. (See below, a few pictures down.)
Lunch on non tantric days only seemed like a mob scene. Nirmal Singh, who was in charge of serving food had a good handle on the organizational aspect and everyone was well fed as a result. Lunch usually consisted of baked sweet potatoes, fresh garlic and a quinona salad. Delicious!
Below is one of my favorite parts of the evening meal, when they came around with a large spoonful of mung beans and rice, beets or solstice hot sauce. The lettuce has never been a favorite of mine--I eat it but don't look forward to it. Thank you, ji!
Turban tying for novices was a main activity at the hospitality tent. Here Ravinder Singh helps out a newby. See the results below.
Dukhniwarn Kaur was in demand for her skills.
Marc from New York City shows off his new identity.
The main colors in the Tantric Tent were white (of course) and aqua blue thanks to the effort to keep clutter down by requiring participants to carry their things in the colorful tote bags given out with each registration.
It's never too late to think about next year (2013) in fact it's right on time!
Most folks traveled by planes, trains and automobiles, but who knows, maybe someone came by canoe!