3HO is a family of healthy, happy, and holy people. Do you understand the word “family”? If, under all longitudes and latitudes, we keep our nucleus together, that is a family. Yogi Bhajan -Aquarian Times, January 2006
Peace Prayer Day, our annual celebration of Peace, held during Summer Solstice at Ram Das Puri was again a special time. Each year, we gather to do yoga, meditate, chant, perform the Sacred Healing Walk, watch various performances, and pray for peace. One of the highlights each year is the guest speaker, someone we honor with the Siri Singh Sahib Award for Social Justice. This year’s honoree, Christian Picciolini, as did previous recipients, had a very inspiring message.
Yogi Tea was host to local officials, visiting guests and board members from around the world, local and non-local Sangat members and company employees and their families on Saturday August 11th for the gala public opening of the new Yogi tea manufacturing plant in Eugene Oregon.
In a family friendly meet and greet that started at 11:00 am with fruit drinks, yogi tea (of course!), live music, and ice cream about 250 guests watched Yogi Tea Company CEO, Giancarlo Marcaccini, and employee’s children cut the ribbon to open the new plant. SS Nirvair Kaur offered a prayer written by the Siri Singh Sahib to bless the occasion.
A world cuisine buffet was served in the new Yogi Tea conference and dining hall while guests continued to mingle. Giancarlo Marcaccini gave the opening speech, emphasizing the values that Yogi Tea was founded on and continues to live by. Parampal Singh, operations manager, talked about the process involved in creating the new building, from vision to art work and plant machinery. He also thanked the many people involved in bringing the new tea factory into being. Lastly, Sat Bir Singh, director of world communications and outreach, directed guests to sign up for tours of the new plant.
The tour was the most impressive part of the activities for me. Although internal pictures of the plant were not allowed, the size of the facility is amazing. The site is 13.3 acres, which is hard to imagine. It is the largest new commercial build in Eugene in the last 10 years. The building is 190,754 square feet, equal to over 4 football fields. Over 7,500 plants are installed, there are 45 exterior and 97 interior doors in the facility and over 2,400 gallons of paint was used in decoration. Seva Kaur (LA) and Sat Hari Kaur(Eugene) were the principle interior artists. Two of the eye-catching motifs used in the artwork are enlarged Yogi tea bag sayings by the Siri Singh Sahib, which tastefully offer inspiring spiritual and lifestyle affirmations, and large mandalas which adorn many of the larger wall spaces. Each room is named after a spice used in production of the tea. The building is in the process of being gold LEED certified and will be the only tea production facility in the world to be so designated.
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.