Q&A with Guru Singh

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A ragtag caravan of cars, trucks, and buses left from Los Angeles to cross the southwestern deserts and into the Aspen Meadows above Santa Fe. At this time in our community's evolution, we were few, but this would soon change as our enthusiastic innocence attracted several hundred more young people living around New Mexico to our gathering. Yogi Bhajan fell in love with these children of higher consciousness, the land, and the “enchanted” State and from this first Summer Solstice gathering, he established a center in Santa Fe. As word spread that such a teacher and technology was in town, students continued to arrive in ever larger numbers. In addition to Kundalini Yoga classes, one of most outstanding events at our first 3HO Solstice was the now famous school bus race. As Yogiji stood at the starter's position—a homemade checkered flag rose above his salmon-colored turban and he waved it wildly to indicate the start of the race. Enveloped in the largest cloud of New Mexico dust anyone could imagine, he emerged coughing, sputtering, and laughing from the middle of charging diesel buses speeding down the meadow of our makeshift racecourse. Later that evening, in the teepee Yogiji was staying in, the inspired conversation twisted and turned through tall tales and cosmic commentary, ending in the initial plans for the Woodstock, the colossal music festival to take place later that summer. Two months later, the reality was half a million people doing Kundalini Yoga and listening to the world's best rock bands on a farm in Woodstock, New York. Many of 3HO's early members came from this gathering.

With this and other events, our 3HO family was growing too large for Aspen Meadows, so for Summer Solstice 1970 we gathered in a dry arroyo on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation just outside of Espanola. Bruce King, running his first campaign for Governor of New Mexico, came to visit our campsite. Now a great friend, he loves to tell the story of how he predicted we “would never last a month in New Mexico." (He is glad to have been completely wrong.)

Watermelon was the food of the day and Yogiji would walk around with a huge bucket of ground black pepper to make certain each of us had plenty on our once delicious fruit. People would actually hide from his bucket, but he found us all. It was during this Solstice we discovered the land that we now call Hacienda de Guru Ram Das—our 3HO and Dharmic headquarters in the Espanola Valley.