Sangeet's New Year's Message Featuring Hot Air Balloons and Wahe Guru Kriya Meditation (11 minutes)
Joyous New Year For All!
Sat Nam Everyone,
What a sight across the Great Northern Arizona Desert in November!
While many folks across the country drove to Albuquerque New Mexico for their huge Hot Air Balloon Festival in October, we took a different route to enjoy the balloons this fall. Instead of the madness of the enormous-sized crowds the Albuquerque festival draws, we’ll let you in on a little secret.
In early November each year there is a smaller community oriented and family friendly Hot Air Balloon Regatta near the Arizona/Utah border, Glen Canyon Dam, and Lake Powell in the small town of Page, Arizona (pop. 7,500).
What a wondrous sight! It is really breathtaking watching the balloons at dawn dipping into desert canyons, floating up over wide spaces, then skimming along just feet above the ground.
There is a tradition among festivals for everyone to gather with the balloons on one of the evenings and watch the balloon pilots “light up” their balloons. This is called “The Glow.” The gondolas stay on the ground, as the pilots fire up the powerful “burners” that keep the balloons inflated and lit up like super-sized Christmas lights!
This festival does things the “friendly small town” way and has the balloons lined up on a wide street in downtown Page. Then at about 6:30 p.m. when the street is filled with local families and visitors walking among the balloons, the “light show” begins.
First one balloon glows, then one over there glows, then one down the street, another up the street, and soon the street is “aglow” with balloons!
As enchanting as the glowing balloons are, we were also drawn to people watching, or rather, “family watching.” So many families with kids in tow walking among the balloons and asking the pilots and crew endless questions.
After an hour, the last glow ended and the balloons were quickly deflated and packed up for the next morning’s sunrise mass ascent.
Now, lest you think that all we did was enjoy the balloons, we did do a beautiful 11 minute meditation called “Wahe Guru Kriya Meditation” nearby at Glen Canyon Recreation Area. The area is mostly sandstone that has been carved by water over millennia into smooth shapes.
Arizona, like most of the Southwest has been in a severe drought for quite some time. Arizona’s drought started around 1994 according to records kept at the Arizona State Climate Office.
At one point in the video during the meditation, the camera pans left towards the river wall and you can see the “bathtub rings” left behind as Lake Powell’s water level has dropped approximately 160 feet and is now at only 25% capacity.
Lake Powell was created by building the Glen Canyon Dam across the Colorado River and was completed in 1963. Since it’s inception there have been strong arguments both against and for constructing the dam. Many of those same arguments have had a resurgence in recent years.
As the meditation part of the video concludes it changes from showing Sangeet meditating to closeups of the sandstone just a few feet away. Much of the area is made up of this sandstone and whether you are up close or far away you can always find beautiful patterns and colors.
If you would like to learn more about Arizona’s drought and the consequences of a drying Lake Powell, then this AZCentral (The Arizona Republic) article is detailed, lengthy, and informative (may be pay walled):
Lake Powell Shrinks -New Questions Surface
This shorter article by Discover Magazine is also worth reading:
Drought At Lake Powell Reveals Preserved World That Was Once Lost
We hope that you will make this beautiful and simple meditation part of your regular “Spiritual Wellness Routine.”
And for those moments when you may feel a little “down” watch this video to uplift your spirit.
You can be assured that next year we’ll be returning to the Page Hot Air Balloon Regatta!
Love and Blessings,
Sangeet Kaur Khalsa and Hari Nam Singh
December 28, 2022
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