Summer Solstice 2008 Pictures

Sunrise at Summer Solstice 

This past week I was at Ram Das Puri, which is in the mountains above Espanola, New Mexico for the 3HO Summer Solstice Sadhana Event. Every year in mid june people from all over the world and from many backgrounds and religions come together for this beautiful spiritual event. It was an amazing week! This year I think there were around 2,000 people who attended! Having this mix of people really makes it interesting.

I like to think of the event as the "pressure cooker". In this short week people are "cooked" in this speed "cooker" and uplifed and changed. From early morning till late at night there are so many things going on. You don’t have the normal luxuries of your home but it doesn’t seem to matter. Camping out in the high desert mountains of Espanola, New Mexico in this "mini city" for the week is a real experience which can be challenging at times. Wether you are a movie star, high profile CEO, or just a restaurant dish washer, everyone has to go through the same thing. It is such an equalizer, and wordly status doesn’t seem to stand at all here. Everyone is just another spiritual seeker working on themself in some form.


In the morning after Sadhana meditations I watched as people lined up to bow their heads before the Guru. It was so inspiring to see the longing for the Guru and the emotion that was being felt. During the day I would go and sit in the Gurdwara as the Akandh Path was being read and there was always a stream of people coming in to bow, mediate and sit with the Guru. So many of the people looked like they were from other religious backgrounds and very new to Sikhi. When they came in and bowed their head I could see that longing for the Guru in their eyes. There was that fresh feeling in the air of something so spiritual and sacred. It’s hard to put it to words.

I wouldn’t categorize the summer solstice camp as a "Sikhi Camp" compared to your typical Sikh camp, but because their is such a strong Sikhi element in the camp many people are drawn to this path. I think the event is quite inclusive and accepting. While mistakes are probably made and some people might do some things which might be considered improper, I find that in spite of that people are moving forward. It reminds me of the early days in the 70’s when my parents generation were first learning about Sikhi. This was such a new thing and I’m sure many mistakes were made along the way. This was part of the growth and the learning process. If there was someone judging them all along the way they might not be here as they are today. So, I think if you were to come to Summer Solstice you would have to have an open mind and just experience things, otherwise you might get caught up in finding faults in people, rather than seeing the bigger picture and going within yourself.

When I move up to the campsite and setup my tent I don’t like to leave for the whole week. There is something about being up there the whole time and disconnecting from my normally every day life which is so impactful. It’s always feels odd coming down the mountain after a week of meditation and being in the the little "Summer Solstice Town" for the week. I always feel a major positive shift in myself and my spiritual practice after this week. Being with the Sadh Sangat on this sacred land is so beautiful. I felt so much emotion every time I sat before the Guru and listened to Gurbani or meditated. Sometimes you have to take yourself out of your normal life to recognize and feel that longing for the Guru. 

It was really cool seeing so many people from International places. There was a big group from England and so many people from Spanish speaking countries (South America, Mexico, etc). So often we think of Sikhi as Punjabi, but more and more this cultural base isn’t there as people become Sikhs from different cultures. It is awesome to see this growth and change in the face of Sikhs. It’s like seeing the little seeds that have just sprouted up and popping up all over the soil; watching it grow slowly but steadily.

Overall the week was beautiful. My son Narayan had a so much fun. Once he was up on the mountain he just roamed wild with his friends and we used our walkey talky radios to locate each other when needed. It rained a bit almost every day so it didn’t get too hot.

I did a test live broadcast of some of the event and it appeared to go well. I broadcasted the whole International Peace Prayer Day Event, Sunday Gurdwara and the Last evening of the All night Rensabhai Kirtan. Maybe next year we can do this again, but get the word out officially.

Here are some pictures from this past week. I didn’t want to post them individually because there were too many, so I am posting a slide show.

When the slideshow move your mouse over the picture and then click on the "i" button in the middle so you’ll see descriptions with the photos. 

  View individual pictures

17 Responses to “Summer Solstice 2008 Pictures”

  1. hardep singh says:

    what a nice thing you did man! ever day ….every day during the summer solstice camp was happening i was checking to see new pictures of the camp.
    But finally man you did it. i love them……… wonderful job you are doing… i loved all the parts of the camp and cool that many punjabi’s also showed up.Jujhar singh’s presence also makes it cooler.

  2. Prabhu Singh says:

    These are awesome, you even got pictures up from yesterday. It was a busy weekend, I only got around 4 hours sleep from Friday to Sunday.

  3. Jai Dev Singh says:

    Beautiful. thanks for posting these. We just got home to Northern Cali at 3am this morning and it is very warming to re-visit Ram Das Puri here.
    Will any of the live broadcasts be available to watch as an archive?

  4. Navpreet Kaur says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh
    It looks so beautiful and peaceful. Hopefully I will come next year. The pictures are amazing, and the kids look so cute. Did Charanjeet stay with you for the entire week?

  5. kaur says:

    listening to the keertan and going through the pics just brought tears to my eyes… seems like such an amazing experience – such simplicity and tranquility… really pray that i am able to attend sometime in the future…. waheguroo…

  6. Jasjeet Kaur says:

    Sat Nam
    Thanks so much for the “Summer Solstice 2008” photos, and what fun to fly above!  Great blog.    Looking forward to more…

  7. inderbir says:

    i love these pictures. i want to jion this acadmy . because i have so many problems .i need iece of mind. will you please help me

  8. Siri Kirin says:

    Beautiful pictures as always but did you take any of us non-sikhs?

  9. Glad you all enjoyed the pictures.

    Siri Kirin….I mostly took pictures of Sikh related activities and people because I was going to be showing them to a Sikh audience. Some of the official 3HO photographers took many more pictures of all the activities and people at Solstice. I’m sure they’ll be posting some of them on in the future.

  10. Matthew Sutherlin says:

    Sat Nam, glad to be alive and well. Solstice was like icing on the cake of spiritual unfoldment..

  11. My American Brothers and Sisters are far ahead of us, the Indian Sikhs, on the Guru Marg.
    I seek the Guru’s Blessings for One and All.
    Guru Nanak is the True Prophet of Kalayuga(Materialism)
    He appeared in 1469 and Christopher Columbus discovered the Amrecicas in 1492 and Galileo, Newton, Magellan, Shakespeare, etc were the contemporaries of the later Gurus.

    Give it a thought.


  12. G.S.Guglani says:

    vismad!pictures and gurbani kirtan is leading us to vismad state of mind.How blissul would have been the experience for those who actually took part in summer slostice 2008!Mr sikhnet please carrry forward this experience to be shared with all humanity by whatsoever means required for this, internet is only a means limited to few blessed ones.

  13. amar singh sydney says:

    Waheguru ji ka khlasa
    waheguru ji ke fateh

    dear all
    i hope all singhs and bibi’s are in great spirits, i really miss the kirtan by cant be explained in mere word the energy that would flow thru this event. may waheguru ji love you and protect you all…..
    stay in chardi kala

  14. Inderjeet Singh says:

    Satnam JI

    I thing any one can see in those pics thta every person is feeling so close to “Akal Purakh”.
    Very nice work Sir

    Guru fateh Ji

  15. Simran Kaur says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!

    I have lately just discovered this site and what it holds for children, tenagers, and adults of all ages and all faiths. I am actually not too familiar with what the Summer Solstice program and what it is all about. If someone could just please let me know somehow.

    As I was viewing the pictures over and over I felt something in me and that something might be the desperate need of amrit and sikhi di daat.

    Overall, I would just like to say: beautiful pictures of the Summer Solstice 2008. I hope learn more about what it holds for me as an individual and for everyone as a Sikh community.

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ke Fateh!

  16. jaspinder singh khalsa says:

    Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa,Wahe Guru Ji ki Fateh JI

    This Beautiful Pictures And Beautiful All Khalsa Singh

    this Best

    Thanks 1000

  17. Hardeep singh says:

    love them all,, good to see all old folks i met in Amritsar .. wjkk wjkf