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
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.
It has been some time since we reached out to the global Sangat through the vehicle of this newsletter. As you can see we have a new format for our newsletter and we have launched a public Siri Singh Sahib Corporation website.
With the recent formation of an SSSC Sangat Communications committee, we expect to communicate more regularly with our global Sangat.
The Siri Singh Sahib created a vast organization of for profit and non-profit corporations whose reach touched people around the globe. The responsibility to oversee that organization lies with the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation in partnership with the boards and employees of the various organizations the Siri Singh Sahib founded. The growth of Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma is phenomenal, and we are just at the beginning of this expansion. It seems, wherever you go in the world, you are likely to have someone come up to you and say Sat Nam. The energy of the various local, national and international events (yoga festivals, Solstices, Baisakhi Day, Sat Nam Fests) is increasing and we are all privileged to be in the forefront of this change in human consciousness.
In March of 2016, while meditating at the Golden Temple, I received a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office. Given that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently elected along with 17 Sikh MP’s, there was going to be a large celebration for Vaisakhi on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. I was requested to sing Kirtan and do the Ardas for the Diwan. I was honored and felt very grateful to the Guru that I had been asked to participate in such an important day for Sikhs in Canada. When I contemplated the Shabad that I would sing that day, I realized that the specific tune had come to me unexpectedly one Sunday evening after teaching yoga class several years prior. Jetlagged and just 2 days after arriving back from India, I found myself on a flight to the Canadian capital.
The following day, I briefly met the tabla player. We only had enough time to sing 2 lines of the Shabad acapella while he practiced the tabla taal on the MP’s office desk.
The Akhand Paath had already started on Parliament Hill and the Bhog and celebration of Khalsa Day program was to be on April 11th. Although Akhand Paaths had been done yearly for Vaisakhi since Sikh MPs had been elected, this year was special given the scope of the celebration of Khalsa Day. Gurdwara Presidents from across Canada were invited to attend, and the entire program was being broadcast live by the media to India and worldwide. It was a very special program and I could feel the excitement, and the pressure building. To me, it seemed like the vision of the Siri Singh Sahib ji of Sikhs being integrated within mainstream Canadian Society was coming to fruition for Canadian Sikhs.
Chilean Yoga Festival 2018 by S.S. Gurujodha Singh Khalsa Siri Singh Sahib Corporation President
This past January I had the privilege to travel to Santiago, Chile to meet the Chilean Sangat and attend the International Yoga festival in Chile. It was a beautiful and uplifting journey.
First, I flew non-stop from LAX to Santiago Airport. The ten-hour flight was comfortable. I took exactly 1 nap and watched 2 movies. I was met at the airport by SSSC staff member Amrit Vela Kaur, her dad Guru Dev Singh from Mexico (who was there to attend the festival) and Amrit Vela’s (fiancé). We drove to Amrit Vela’s home for a refresher stop which involved a shower, change of clothes, rest and a delicious snack. We then jumped into our Chilean SUV for the trip to the yoga festival in Constitución, Chile. The trip took four hours and was quite scenic and educational. As we got closer to the site I learned about the fires, earthquake and tsunami which have devastated the area in the past several years. In fact, on the day of our arrival, the festival participants held a beautiful memorial service for those who died suddenly in the 2010 tsunami.
BUILDING COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISES The success and growth of our Dharma relies on our ability to work together. This year several initiatives were started that address the need for collaboration and cooperation within each of our organizations; Legacy Non-Proits, Non- Profits, and our For-Profits.
One step to building cooperative enterprises is to take advantage of the eclectic knowledge and skill base of our community members. To do this the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation has created several commissions to focus on specific areas and needs. A commission is unique in that it can be populated by members from multiple organizations who have diverse backgrounds and experience. Calling on the expertise and skill sets of diversified individuals is one way the SSSC is working to develop a network of cooperative enterprises.
A second step is to engage communities and individuals in projects that support the greater growth of our Dharma. As we work towards the future we have to be cognizant of the people and projects developing in the present moment. Projects like building the Phoenix Gurudwara and the Espanola Seva Sadhana program are examples of initiatives that are shaping the Dharma by creating community spaces where people can participate, learn, and share as individuals and as a group. They bring passionate people together and promote service in the name of 3HO and Sikh Dharma.
A third is to select qualified people to sit on the Boards of our Organizations. The primary purpose a Board serves is to ensure that the work of the organization stays on track with the Mission. When selecting Board members, the SSSC looks at both the skills and experience of an individual as well as their relationship to the Dharma and the teachings of Siri Singh Sahib.
Dear Members of the Sikh Dharma / 3HO Community, Sat Nam. This is a report from the Siri Singh Sahib Corp (SSSC) Board of Trustees covering the period from January through March 2015. It is with full hearts that we open this report with a tribute to our dearest Hari Simran Singh.
Hari Simran Singh lived only for 25 years but in that short time, he led an indelible impression upon those who knew and loved him. And in the circumstances of his passing, his reach touched the whole world.
As the Assistant to the Executive Director of the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation, Hari Simran Singh was intimately involved in all aspects of the corporation. From managing the technology to assisting in writing policies for the organization, Hari Simran Singh was a vital asset to the work of the corporation.
His service to the SSSC only tells a fraction of the story of who he was as a person. Hari Simran Singh exemplified the best of what a Khalsa youth can offer. Schooled at Miri Piri Academy and steeped in the values of the Khalsa, Hari Simran Singh strove to embody the yogic and dharmic teachings he had learned.
Whether serving in his role as a Sikh Advocate trained by the Sikh Coalition or building the Raj Yoga Center in Sterling, Virginia he had a clear idea of who he was and where he was going. His love for community was evident and he worked to create a global consciousness of service. He was learning to be a leader and it was a pleasure to watch his evolution.
Although he will be missed, we are grateful that we were blessed to have known this remarkable young man. His spirit will certainly continue to live on and serve as an inspiration to all of us to strive to live to those same values.
Dear Members of the Sikh Dharma / 3HO Community, Sat Nam.
This is the second report of 2014 from the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation (SSSC) Board of Trustees, covering the period from May through October of this year.
The SSSC members attended the Fall Khalsa Council meetings in Española, NM and presented an in-person report to the members. This email includes sections of the Khalsa Council report as well as other important updates.
Message from the President of the Board
President SS Gurujodha Singh Khalsa addresses the Khalsa Council.
10th Anniversary Celebration of the Life & Legacy of the Man Called Siri Singh Sahib ~ Yogi Bhajan October 3-6th, 2014
By M.S.S. Krishna Kaur
It was a beautiful fall weekend in Espanola, New Mexico and there was a definite buzz of anticipation in the air. It was as if we were gathering once again after ten years to sit at the feet of our beloved teacher, The Man Called Siri Singh Sahib ~ Yogi Bhajan. In essence, that is exactly what we did for four glorious days. We sat in his gardens, played the music he loved, meditated deeply as a family, bowed to the Guru, sang stories of old times and chanted mantras in gratitude for his life and legacy.
People came from places around the world, drawn to share the moment even though some had never met the Siri Singh Sahib. Others were attending one of our Dharmic events for the first time, for reasons they themselves didn’t totally understand. It was a calling! A calling many of us have heard and answered over the years that brought us together yet once again.
The feeling everywhere was joyous, relaxed and full of reverence and appreciation just to be a part of the celebration. Our opening presentation on Friday the 3rd was a kriya by Ardas Kaur from our Mexico community. Our Bhangra troupe led by Ravi Kaur kicked off the evening with grace and excitement to whoops and hollers from the audience followed by an evening of Oldies but Goodies by our grey bearded youngsters. Livtar Singh, Gurutrang Singh, Guru Singh, Guru Ganesha Singh, Dev Suroop Kaur, Harbhajan Kaur, Guru Sangat Kaur, myself and a host of us “Old Timers” reminisced with song and laughter during that opening night. From the stage we heard that Vietnam was getting our live feed, as was Russia, Australia, New York, India, Canada and more. The weekend was launched just the way Yogi Bhajan would have liked, and there was no looking back.