After 17 hours in transit, I landed at the Hamburg airport. Sat Hari Singh was waiting for me and we had a snack at the airport, then began the trek to Boisenberg where Sat Hari Singh lives and has the Aquarian Academy. He needed to stop at the printer to give some directions regarding printing to be done for the German Yoga Festival, then we set out on the lovely drive through the German countryside to Boisenberg.
We went to the village center of Boisenberg where we met up with Sat Hari Singh’s wife, Guru Dev Kaur, his daughter Hari Jiwan Kaur, and several students who would prove to be integral to the running of the Yoga Festival. After ice cream and tea, I got settled in at Guru Ram Das Ashram which is run by Siri Kartar Kaur, who was very hospitable and a delightful person as well as an amazing chef.
On Saturday I joined Sat Hari Singh and his family and students for lunch. They asked me to tell them stories about the lives of the Gurus as well as talk about Japji. That evening there was a yoga class and gong meditations that was deeply relaxing.
On Sunday, Tarn Taran Singh arrived and spent the day in Boisenberg. Siri Kartar Kaur took us to her garden where she grows fruit and berries that she makes in to jam. We had another wonderful lunch with everyone, then had dessert in the village center at a sidewalk cafe.On Monday, Sat Hari Singh and I drove in to Hamburg and met with Sat Dharm Singh and Heiko of Yogi Tea. They had recently returned from the EWTC meetings in Portland and were very positive and upbeat about where things are going with the tea company.
After our meeting, Sat Hari Singh and I drove to Oberlethe, the site of the Yoga Festival. Sat Hari Singh has managed to assemble a cadre of amazing sevadars who served the Yoga Festival selflessly and with amazing joy and devotion.
The location of the Yoga Festival is a beautiful pastoral environment that was once a horse farm, so many of the buildings still have the stalls where the horses were kept and the main hall was once the training arena. For the Yoga Festival all the available space was used for the various classes and programs.
Over the next two days the set up moved very quickly due to the many wonderful sevadars who put their all into the Yoga Festival. There was a combination of camping and comfortable rooms that accommodated the approximately 850 people who attended the Festival. The Festival opening ceremony was Wednesday evening. I was invited to speak and welcome everyone on behalf of the SSSC. Sat Hari Singh did an excellent job of pumping everyone up, then there was a beautiful music program. In fact, every night of the Festival there was a concert of beautiful music played by some very talented musicians.
Every day was filled with a wide variety of classes taught by the local teachers. I taught several classes as well. One of my classes was ab0ut life with SSS and what it was like to be around him. I have mentioned before that there are fewer and fewer teachers who learned from SSS directly and spent time with him. That number reduces annually, a trend that is irreversible. There are so many students and an escalating number of teachers who never met SSS and have only read the manuals or seen videos of him. I feel that we need to have geezer teachers, legacy teachers if you will, at each major event who can talk about SSS, share their experiences and give people the vicarious experience of being with him. To put it bluntly, time is running out. It was also requested at the last minute that I teach a few self-defense classes, which were simple and basic.
Each morning’s sadhana was attended by most of the camp. Gurdwara followed sadhana and there were probably close to 200 people in the gurdwara each morning. There was an akand path that created a lovely energy and with good participation.
On Friday, 1 June Kulwant Singh from the UK arrived for a brief visit. Kulwant Singh, who is of Punjabi heritage, has been designated by Dr. Sat Kaur as the administrator for the European ministers and he took the time to fly to the German Yoga Festival to meet and observe. We had a good conversation and share many of the same thoughts and concerns regarding the minister’s program.
Also on Friday I met with Avtar Kaur who sits on the 3HO Europe Board as well as the SDEI Board. She is a very poised and balance individual who was delightful to meet with. We talked at length about 3HO and Sikh Dharma in Europe. She is quite astute and her insights into 3HO Europe were very good.
There were a surprising number of MPA students attending and they contributed significantly to the seva and generally livened up the event. Also, a main feature of the yoga festival was Yogi Tea. Sat Hari Singh made Yogi Tea with its many different formulas available to everyone during the Yoga Festival. The bottled, chilled, and ready to drink Yogi Tea was also featured which is an excellent product and one I could not get enough of.
There was also a healing pavilion where Sat Nam Rasayan practitioners treated those in need. That pastoral environment seemed like the ideal environment for healing and many people benefitted from the healing touch of those practitioners.
Sunday 3 June was the closing. I had to leave for Hamburg before the closing ceremony was completed, but the energy was beautiful.
With special thanks to Guru Dev Kaur, Hari Jiwan Kaur, and Nur Taran-Sach Dhyan Kaur of Istanbul.