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The 9th Lord of Miracles Tour in Honor of Guru Ram Das ~ Bolivia 2011

Our 4th city and country on this wonderful Lord of Miracles Tour in Honor of Guru Ram Das was La Paz, Bolivia....


Our 4th city and country on this wonderful Lord of Miracles Tour in Honor of Guru Ram Das was La Paz, Bolivia. La Paz is a city which touches the heavens, resting amid the clouds at 14,000 feet in elevation. The Siri Singh Sahib (Yogi Bhajan) called Bolivia the 'soul' of South America and I find that the people of Bolivia represent the soul through the life of this beautiful continent.

Bolivia is perhaps the only country in all the Americas which is primarily populated and governed by indigenous people. La Paz is a well populated city which is not far from Lake Titicaca, the largest natural inland body of water in the world. Underneath which lies the ruins of an ancient city which today is still being explored by archeologists that dive beneath the water to excavate the ruins. Bolivia also has one of the richest cultures in the Americas; if not for it's landmarks and remains of ancient civilizations, then for its Native culture and vast population of indigenous people. The Sangat of La Paz is no different, they all relate to serving their souls and ancestry and uplifting humanity through the power of meditation.

For many years the members of the Bolivian Sangat have served and grown through the light of Guru Ram Das. Today we have a beautiful group teaching in different yoga centers and keeping up a beautiful Langar Seva to people in the streets. Many homeless people do not go home hungry due to the Sangat's Seva programs. It is a program which has inspired many of the different Sangats in other countries of South America to now do Langar Seva. So as we grow and learn and serve it has become very apparent to me personally that we are not fighting to inspire one religion or one nation or one kind of people, we are fighting to inspire humanity.

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S.S. Gurubachan Singh Khalsa stands with executives representing various Bolivian industries. His lecture and question and answer period dealt with challenging personal and professional business issues that face businessmen.


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At the lecture given at the Central Bank of Bolivia in La Paz, S.S. Gurubachan Singh speaks to the group about fostering prosperity through the act of meditating.


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A group of bank employees with S.S. Gurubachan Singh (center) and Ram Das Singh (far right)


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Meditating with pranayam (controlled breath), these bank employees really learned great techniques to counter stress.


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The police force of Bolivia in meditation.


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The hall where the class for the police was held was over-filled, we even had some of the officers standing so they too could participate and gain an experience.


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S.S. Gurubachan Singh at the podium with Commander Cabrera (left) and Angad Kaur (right). The officers were all led through a series of breathing meditations and later meditated to the Shabd "Poota Mata Ki Asis".


Upon our arrival we conducted our routine of checking into the hotel, ordering the oxygen tank for when we start to feel light headed (given that we were at 14,000 feet in elevation), you know the usual stuff you do when you arrive in La Paz. We were then treated to a very pleasant light meal at a newly opened vegetarian restaurant which is run and owned by one of the Kundalini Yogis of La Paz. Getting acclimated to atmosphere and altitude of La Paz can take a while so; we rested for a couple of hours and headed out for an evening class. S.S. Gurubachan Singh spoke to a small group of men and taught them the reality of life. Reality is that you must breathe, with no breath you do not live. So he taught them some great breathing exercises to give them depth of breath. The philosophy of using the breath as a tool instead of the mind following the irregular patterns of the breath is that depth of breath means depth of life as opposed to shallow breath leading to a shallow life.

The following morning we headed to The Central Bank of Bolivia where S.S. Gurubachan Singh was invited to teach a class on stress management. Angad Kaur, of La Paz, has been teaching at this location for about 1 year and since they started they have seen some great results in less stress and better work functionality. It has been a great venue for the Tour to offer classes to different businesses and organizations because it offers people who normally would not come to a yoga or meditation class the opportunity of an experience. The class consisted of men and women ranging from bank executives to the bank tellers. S.S. Gurubachan Singh began the class with some simple techniques of slowing the breath and concentrating on it. He then moved to doing more meditations that included posture and a more powerful breath, which built up to the end, meditating on the shabad "Poota Mata Ki Asis". Everyone in the class left moved and uplifted, it was a great thing to be part of.

Directly from the class at the bank we headed to the Police Training Center of La Paz where we were greeted by Commander Cabrera. This is now our 3rd time being invited by Com. Cabrera and each time has been moving for both the Tour and for the Policemen/women who were being taught. The class was held in their auditorium filled with roughly 200 senior ranking officers. Some of whom had been at the forefront of recent riots outside the capital over a roadway being illegally constructed though a national forest. These are men and women who serve their country loyally yet are not necessarily reciprocated in loyalty from their government. Bolivia has yet to see a revolution leading to a stable and secure government however, it is a government and people unlike you will see in any other country and is still very young. The meditations and lecture that S.S. Gurubachan Singh lead was geared very much in the direction of what these men and women were experiencing day to day. The class with the police started as any other class but with a twist which brought the relation and understanding to what yoga is to a police officer. The breath exercises and meditations gave clarity of mind and heightened the intuition. Experiencing the effects of these meditations can give one a great awareness and preparedness for work and for and daily life, that is what we advocate.

For lunch we were invited to join the Sangat at the house of Deva Kaur and Bernard Abendroth. It was a beautiful array of different foods from Mexican to Lebanese and what a great way to welcome the Tour, serving a lot of food. Deva and her husband have been such a back bone to the community of La Paz. Deva Kaur is the light for so many people, always serving and teaching yoga and meditation. Bernard is a very kind hearted man who gives tremendous support to many Bolivians through his business and his work. They are a great team and I just wanted to recognize that in this article.

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A few of the officers gathered together for a picture with S.S. Gurubachan Singh(center), Commander Cabrera (center right), Angad Kaur (3 from right) and Ram Das Singh (far right).


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S.S. Gurubachan Singh leading the Lord of Miracles Tour Lecture event with many of the youth in front rows.


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Sham Kaur (left) and Guru Purkh Kaur (right) demonstrate how to meditate on one of Bolivia's most popular TV shows.


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S.S. Gurubachan Singh speaks about the benefits of meditation and pranayam on the television show.


In the evening we were brought to "Centro Prana", a local Yoga Studio owned and operated by Angad Kaur, to teach the Lord of Miracles Tour Lecture event. The hall filled with about 100 people, some yoga students some not and a group of young teenagers also attended which we do not always see. It is like there are a select few each time we do a class that show up but these select few come with an itch to experience and there is something that draws them to the class. I would even say that many people that come to the class continue some kind of practice after they leave because after every class S.S. Gurubachan Singh has everyone take an oath that they will continue their meditation practice for 40 days. The lecture class was very direct; we were all lead through a great series of meditations which cleared our minds and gave us a mental transformation which removed mental blocks. S.S. Gurubachan Singh then inspired us when he spoke about the Sangat needing to lead Bolivia and bring the teachings to whoever we touch. Upon leaving there was a great sense of fulfillment and direction in the people, it was a sense of purpose.

The following day we had two different television interviews, one in the morning and one on a late night show with one Bolivia's most popular talk show hosts. Sometimes the talk shows that S.S. Gurubachan Singh appears on do not always have great interviews; for instance the host gets caught up on issues of our appearance being similar to Muslims etc, things that we are not necessarily there to talk about. However, the interviews with this TV host were very good. He understood the topics and seemed moved or at least interested in what were traveling to Bolivia for which was to spread the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. In between the interviews we had a small class close to the city center where S.S. Gurubachan Singh lead the group in some powerful breath exercises. It was a great class for us all and after the class he gave us all homework to complete which meant continuing a practice.

The following day we prepared ourselves for our early afternoon flight to our next city Asuncion, Paraguay, the land of Guarani (the indigenous culture of Paraguay). It is always such a great experience when we visit Bolivia and we can't wait to travel back there again soon. Stay tuned as we cover Paraguay in our next article on this wonderful 9th Lord of Miracles Tour in Honor of Guru Ram Das.

 

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