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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:49 am 
From: SNOOPYKHALSA Jan-28-2002

Here is a good part.

There were sometimes at KWTC where maybe we would have a party after Bhajan gave an inspiring and endearing lecture where we would have so much fun. We were with our friends, laughing, dancing, and we were so high.

Sure we paid dearly for that privilege, but we had our good times.

From: ROSELOTUS1 Jan-29-2002

Dear Snoopy,

I miss the 15-20 people sitting down to big meals that someone cooked with lots of love and pride. I miss performance cooking like that, with a big hungry audience.

From: PAPAAVTAR Jan-29-2002

Dear Kamalla Rose,

At least one of the good parts was that I learned how to cook in 3HO. As a kid growning up I got proficient at frying eggs and making pancakes, and from my father I learned how to cook steaks on an open grill. That was about it.

But in 3HO, especially at the golden temple restaurant in Tempe, I really learned some of the art of cooking, and it still serves me well today. So chalk one up for the bright side.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:50 am 
From: SATSELF Jan-29-2002

One of my favorite things was helping to make langar at the ashram where I first lived.

Going into the langar kitchen to light the stove when it was still cold and dark outside. Making yogi tea for the crew so they could have some when they arrived. Starting the big pots of water boiling, rinsing gallons of rice. Peeling pounds of onions til our eyes were streaming.

Someone would come in with a tape player and put on some music. Someone else would bring donuts (and of course we felt guilty, but still scarfed them down). The sevadars would begin arriving to set up the Gurdwara and then we had to compete with them for counter and sink space because they would bring in fresh flowers to trim and arrange.

Flour on the floor from chapati making. The smell of Indian spices sizzling in the masala. Someone making prasad--gallons of water, quarts of honey, pounds of butter and flour. Fingers burning from chopping garlic, or dark red from peeling beets. Turmeric on your clothes.

By now people were arriving for Gurdwara, stopping into the kitchen to say hello, to see what's for langar, to sneak a donut. The Indians would often bring their own langar contributions--vats of kheer, pans full of gulab jamans, homemade ras malai. Children beginning to play and run around in the langar hall. Kirtan coming from the Gurdwara.

I guess this sounds kind of sentimental, but as I was writing it it came back to me vividly. I really wouldn't have missed that part of my life for anything. What came later....definitely. But not that part.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:50 am 
From: SNOOPYKHALSA Jan-29-2002

Another part of my life that I am glad to have had was the inner part. Maybe as people have said it was self or other hypnotism, and it certainly didn't live up to what was originally promised, but I think I have had inner experiences that most people have never had. The social price that I had to pay for it was not worth it, but in and of it self, I feel that it was a definite plus that no one can take away from me.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:51 am 
From: PAPAAVTAR Feb-5-2002

Those are the parts I miss too. There was something nurturing for me in living in a large ashram with 50 - 100 people who were really interested in connecting with their spirit. And singing was certainly one of the nicest manifestations of that. I enjoyed good friendships with a number of people. Those friendships were forged by working long hours side by side, and then when the work was over, taking our turbans off (literally and figuratively) and just hanging out.

I think community, the gathering and sharing of like-minded people, is an important component of life. I still seek that. But I won't sacrifice myself to an authoritatian orgnaization again just to get it.

Peace & Love


From: SUBJI Mar-4-2002

Many of the finest people that I have ever known in this life were people that I lived and worked with in 3HO. I don't know what happened to them after I left. If they left since then I don't even know their names.

I learned many wonderful things in 3HO and how to love people was definitely one of them. It's some of those people that I would like to talk to now. I feel that for the most part we were heroic we were brave and strong we were willing to live and die for one another. The very fact that we were taken in with the hook of enlightenment and willing to make so many changes in our lives speaks to the depth of our commitments to change, to change ourselves and to change the world. The fact that both of these things were bigger jobs than we initially estimated does not undermine our commitment to these issues. I definitely did my best. I was talking to another graduate of 3HO and he said "at least we tried something we didn't just sit around the coffee shop and discuss books on yoga. We got up in the morning over and over again, we did the 2 1/2 hours of long eck ong kars. We weren't playing games, it seems that Yogi bhajan was. Many of the people written about in these forums are people that I knew loved and lived with. I am very disturbed by what has become of some of them.

May the love that inspired the creation live within our hearts may we live to love and love to live may we all find what we were seeking we paid the price of the admission.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:58 am 
From: RoseLotus1 Mar-22-2014

I still love the former Nirbhao Singh and former Nirbhao Kaur - who I lived with/under in the Salem Ashram from 1976-1979ish. The former Nirbhao Kaur visited me in 1999 or 2000. I haven't seen or spoken to the former Nirbhao Singh since 1993 or so - after I received that threatening phone call and while I was having a nervous breakdown.

True story: In October of 1973 my Xman and I decided to move back to the Pacific NW, our home region. We had joined Bhajanism while my Xman was in graduate school at the U of PA in Philly. I was 9 months pregnant and Salem was a "baby ashram" and the Nirbhaos were welcoming to us - offering us Dharmic jobs in the GT restaurant and the blooming health food businesses. Since I was so pregnant, I flew to OR while my Xman tied up loose ends in Philly - he was going to follow me in a week and our baby was due to arrive a week after that.

The day I arrived Nirbhao Kaur gave birth to her fourth child. I visited her, briefly, in her 40 day seclusion and she made me laugh too hard. Or maybe it was the long plane trip, but long story short, I awoke pre-dawn on my third day in the Salem ashram with "stomach cramps" - must have been something I ate. I was 21 and a pro at denial, clearly. I went to sadhana, and tried to "keep up" because I didn't want to give the impression that I was less than great at sadhana - but Sat Kriya turns out to be great at speeding up labor. I escaped to the bathroom upstairs.

Someone went to tell Nirbhao Singh, the ashram head (who was late for sadhana) that I might be in labor. He came upstairs to find me emerging from the bathroom and explained to me that it is normal to have contractions, false labor, and since I wasn't due for 2 weeks yet, that was no doubt what was happening, and it was OK that I go rest and miss sadhana, and welcome to Salem - and I nodded and agreed with him - much relieved. Then my waters broke all over both of our feet.

"Hmm, maybe you ARE in labor." he told me.

Being my first baby, the ashram settled back to wait for the birth of another great saint child - 2nd one that week - figuring I'd take a while. A couple ashram women acted as my sevadars, both experienced Moms, and Nirbhao Singh popped in and out to check on me. I heard him call my husband from the hall phone outside my door, and he called the chiropractor who attended ashram home births. I hadn't been in town long enough to have had an appointment with him yet.

"Your husband is catching the next plane." Nirbhao Singh assured me "And the doctor is coming by in a bit to see how things are going."

About half an hour later, Nirbhao Singh popped in to see how I was doing again. I was panting like a pro. Nirbhao Singh spoke softly and sweetly to me, holding my hand through two contractions. Then he excused himself and walked slowly out the door, closing it quietly, and I heard him dial the hall phone again, calling the doctor/chiropractor.

"Get you ass over here right now!!!" he bellowed. "I KNOW it is her first baby, but I don't want to be the one to deliver it!"

Next thing I remember, Nirbhao Kaur and her 3 day old baby, arrived and made themselves cozy sitting at the end of my floor bed. Nirbhao Singh came in next, putting on rubber gloves. They explained to me that actually Nirbhao Singh was very good at checking dialation.

"She's in transition." he soon announced. I was happy to hear it because I couldn't imagine another few hours of labor at that level of intensity.

My first child, my lawyer daughter, as I call her here on this site, was crowning when the doctor arrived. I remember Nirbhao Singh spoke very calmly to him, and he and the doctor changed places so smoothly. One more push and I had my baby in my arms! Nirbhao Singh congratulated me, told me I was super duper and reminded me that I still needed to birth the placenta and get a stitch or two - and he and Nirbhao Kaur assured me that she would stay right there. Nirbhao Singh excused himself saying he needed to go call my husband, and he fled.

Nirbhao Kaur started giggling and then laughing and I tried to laugh too, but it hurt. She laughed even harder. Hurt her too, after pains - but she couldn't stop laughing.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:01 pm 
From: SatSelf Mar-22-2014

What a beautiful story :-)

This too was 3ho.

From: AriD4 Mar-23-2014

What a great story. So few people get to giggle during labor!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:24 am 
Thank you all for sharing such heartwarming memories.This is what drew me to 3H0, family atmosphere and the sense of a common,sacred bond.
How sad,to lose touch with all of those friends,and not even know their names anymore.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:14 am 
I know what you mean. Still hurts to have lost so many friends. The first ones who left while I was still in, then the rest of them who stayed when I got out.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:36 pm 
I would love to hear more stories,if you wish to share.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:38 pm 
From: ROSELOTUS1 Jan-16-2002

I lived in four quite wonderful mansions while in SD/3HO; and in Salem OR we had a set of apartments, basically, and a main house. The heads of the Ashram tended to have the nicest housing. The single men were in the basement, the single women were crowded and couples got a room to ourselves.

The worst basement I experienced was in a rental mansion in Portland before we bought the big mansion. In the Pacific NW basements are often hideous. We have this regional problem with mold and fungi you understand. The room had a low ceiling and cement floor and walls with lots of mildew growing up them. You could see into a dirt floored crawl space and there was one small window up high and it smelled fully dank down there. This was partly because of Mount Khalsa. Mount Khalsa was the name of the huge pile of dirty clothes that the guys kept putting off washing.

From: SNOOPYKHALSA Jan-16-2002 1

One playful Shakti at our ashram drew a line on the wall by the shoe pile, that said "No shoes above this line". The stack was almost 3 feet high!

From: ROSELOTUS1 Jan-16-2002

Generally the Ashrams I lived in were kept hyper-clean. There was a constant battle between the SD/3HO tight ones and the rarer SD/3HO loose ones; with we loose ones always losing because we were in a cult of the tight type.

"Sat Nam ji, you didn't vacuum the sadhana room!"

What argument could you give back to that?

And the most dread Seva was "Late Night Clean-Up".

So I, being the eternal rebellious child (and age 18 when I joined)got really sneaky about Karma Yoga really quick. I had two main angles I played to get out of doing the ickiest jobs. One is that I would volunteer with the best possible attitude, totally joyful to help and then I would do a crummy job. But I was so wonderful and chanted so prettily no one could complain. But they didnt ask me to wash the dishes again because greasy glasses are disgusting.

My second and main way to get out of Seva and also sadhana was by COOKING!!!! If I sound childish, please remember that I was a very young yogi, and I am still not known for my maturity. I was babied and coddled in SD/3HO quite a bit, and never taken too seriously. And frankly I had excellent improvizational performance skills and community building skills. I was fun; a mess, but fun.

Cooking is fine art, and cooking is performance art, and I could create feasts when the Ashram kitchen seemed bare. They used to say that I had "Dinner Siddhis" and I believed it quite literally.

From: IprayzGod 1/22/02

The images that come most easily to my memory of the three ashrams I lived in the earlier days were orange crates for "dressers" (IKEA it wasn't!), and thin, all-weather, sturdy carpets in the sadhana room...smelled like old prasad oil. Generally, things were clean but messy...or maybe it just showed more because the space available was way too small, and everything was visible. "Everything visible" is a meditation all in itself. And also a double edged sword, depending on privacy: is that ego-busting, group consciousness-building and humbling, or another example of making it impossible to have necessary personal boundaries and, actually, humiliatingly embarrassing?

From: Jana877 2/8/02

Since I never stayed in 3HO very long, I only lived in one Ashram. It was in Tucson, Arizona. The Maja Deva Ashram on Cherry Blvd, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the University of Arizona campus.

(On a trip once, as we were passing through Tuscon, we stopped by there, and it no longer was there. Someone told us it had moved to a different location)

Prior to it being an Ashram, I think it housed college students.

It was a two story, massive dwelling. There was a pool where many would go take a dive in the pool at 3:00 a.m. in lieu of cold showers.

My favorite place was the kitchen and dining room where we prepared food and served the homeless and the poor of the community.

There was a lot of food donated to us from neighborhood grocers. Some of the stuff they donated had to be 'trimmed' quite a bit, like the fresh vegetables, especially lettuce, that was awful looking before it got trimmed.

There was also a co-op where we bought some of our food, and we also had a garden.

I used to make chapatis in the kitchen, and other things as well. I also helped do some of the cooking for the Golden Temple Restraunt in town, which belonged to SD/3HO. I made the more simple dishes like eggplant parmisan, and lentil pilaf, steamed vegetables, etc.

The other thing that stands out to me, is that there were so many 'cults' in town. It was like a breeding ground for them! Once, I was practically kidnapped off the street by two people who just drove up beside me as I was walking, and persuaded me somehow to come with them, and took me to an 'office' where I was told all about dyanetics.

From: SatSelf 2/8/02

I remember those days too. Lots of action in the alternative reality field. Where I lived the Moonies were big. Also Children of God. Compared to those guys Sikhs seemed sort of normal, even despite the outfit.

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