The Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration takes place at Guru Ram Das Puri in Española, New Mexico, about 25 miles north of Santa Fe. This land is sacred to the Pueblo Indians and is located in the Jemez Mountains at an altitude approaching 7,000 feet.
Acclimating to the High Desert Terrain
In the high desert, days are hot and dry, but temperatures can drop dramatically in the evening and early morning. At this altitude, it is very important to use sun protection. Protect yourself as you would if you were at the beach on a very hot, bright summer day.
It often takes two or three days to acclimate to this environment and the best way to manage your adjustment is to remain well hydrated. Bring a water bottle and carry it around with you. Water is not always sufficient to keep hydrated so, especially during the first days on-site, make sure you drink our special electrolyte drink throughout the day. Please also remember that water will help your body assimilate the emotional and physical changes you will be experiencing.
The temperature during the day is usually in the high 80s and low 90s°F (28-35°C). In the evenings, the temperature cools down considerably to the low 40s and 50s°F (15-20°C). You will need warm clothes for morning sadhana which takes place in the Tantric Shelter, so we suggest you dress in layers. Sudden rainstorms can occur so be sure to bring rain gear.
The Sacred Land of Guru Ram Das Puri
The sacred and enchanting land of Guru Ram Das Puri is located high in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico. An ancient spiritual gathering place, Guru Ram Das Puri is surrounded for miles by pristine wilderness of extraordinary natural beauty. To step upon this land is to breathe the spirit of ancient Native American traditions, to deeply connect with Mother Earth, and to celebrate Yogi Bhajan’s vision for a healthy, happy, and holy humanity.
An Ancient Native American Tradition
At the first 3HO® Summer Solstice in New Mexico in 1970, a delegation of Native American elders met with Yogi Bhajan. The elders explained that, for a hundred thousand years, huge spiritual gatherings took place over a vast territory stretching from what is now New Mexico, south to Mexico, and east to Missouri. Tribal and religious leaders, wise women, and warriors traveled from as far away as South America and from across the Bering Strait from Asia to attend the gatherings. They all shared the belief that the spark of Spirit lives in everyone, and that by coming together, the Unified Supreme Spirit could be made to manifest more clearly.
The elders told Yogi Bhajan that these spiritual gatherings took place once every 108 years, so that the people who came to each meeting had heard about it first-hand from someone who had actually experienced the last one. However, the last such meeting had occurred more than 2,000 years ago, when a shift took place: it was determined that the forces of discord—in the form of disharmony and disrespect for nature—were gaining power at such a tremendous rate that the Unified Supreme Spirit needed to be protected.
The elders told Yogi Bhajan that it had been foreseen that just before the forces of discord reached their full power, a white-clad warrior from the East would arrive and create a white-clad army to protect the Unified Supreme Spirit. They said they had determined that Yogi Bhajan was the white-clad warrior whose coming had been predicted, and therefore they were entrusting him with the duty of keeping and protecting the Unified Supreme Spirit. This was a solemn trust that Yogi Bhajan took very seriously.
How the Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration Came to Guru Ram Das Puri
The earliest Summer Solstice celebrations moved from year to year, and Yogi Bhajan wanted to find a permanent location for the event. In the mid-1970s, a group of Native Americans took Yogi Bhajan into the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico near the town of Española and gestured toward the vast wilderness that stretched out for miles. They said that these were the lands where tribes had met and millions of people had gathered. They then pointed to a specific parcel of nearly 200 acres that was special because it was where the holy men and women of all the tribes had met to experience the Light of the Unified Supreme Spirit and then spread this Light to all the people of the world. They told Yogi Bhajan that in order to give the planet and humanity hope of survival, it was his duty to prepare this parcel of land so that the Unified Supreme Spirit might once again be experienced by the great tribes and conveyed from them to people all over the world.
When 3HO Foundation began research into acquiring land in the vicinity indicated, it turned out that the special parcel they had pointed out was the only land available for purchase for miles in every direction—all the other surrounding land was either Indian reservation or owned by the Bureau of Land Management. In 1976, 3HO Foundation bought the parcel of land, and Yogi Bhajan named it Guru Ram Das Puri.
In 1986, in conjunction with a United Nations resolution proclaiming it the International Year of Peace, Yogi Bhajan established the first annual International Peace Prayer Day. He called upon spiritual leaders and all people of faith and hope to meet at Guru Ram Das Puri during the Summer Solstice to celebrate peace together and spread to the world the uplifting spirit of love and light.
More than 20 years later, we continue to honor the vision of the Native American elders and of Yogi Bhajan by gathering each summer at Guru Ram Das Puri as a joyful, loving community to meditate, pray and develop the consciousness to help turn the destiny of all the people of the world toward harmony.
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.
– Yogi Bhajan
Note: This account draws from a letter written by Gurujot Singh in 1986 during preparations for the first annual International Peace Prayer Day on June 22. Gurujot Singh was present at both meetings with the Native American elders.