Q&A with Guru Singh

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It is the brightest fire of the year—June 21: the longest day, the shortest night, a time spiritual communities have celebrated for thousands of years. This is the Summer Solstice, and in June of 1969, 3HO began its now forty-four-year-old tradition of gathering from all over the world for celebrating with Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and White Tantric Yoga. The full story of our tradition actually begins the summer before. It was June of 1968, I had just returned to Espanola, New Mexico, from a year of studying healing music with the Azteca People in the Copper Canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico. A poster hanging in the local Safeway store read: “A Gathering of the Tribes, June 21, 1968, in Aspen Meadows near Santa Fe, sponsored by the Juke Savages, the Hog Farm, Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, featuring the Grateful Dead.” These were all friends of mine from San Francisco so I made the trip up those mountains.

Over a thousand people gathered. It was so wonderful that we decided to meet again at Winter Solstice in Los Angeles, where an extraordinary event added to the significance of being in L. A. In early January, 1969, at a vegetarian restaurant known as HELP, a friend of mine told me of a yogi by the name of Yogi Bhajan who was teaching that night at a location not far away.

About two hundred of us showed up for the class in a group that would soon form the nucleus of 3HO's original students: dozens of members of the Juke Savage performance group, the Hog Farm commune, and The Committee situation comedy collective. It was never our idea to stay long in Los Angeles, but Yogi Bhajan inspired us all to remain for the entire winter and then long beyond early spring, as he taught two phenomenal classes every day except Sunday.

When May returned, our lingering memories of the previous Summer Solstice returned so strongly, we invited Yogi Bhajan (now known as Yogiji) and everyone else to come to the mountains of New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.