Sweating the local stuff

Austin City Limits 2012 Susan Perry and Elise Estelle joined the more than 18,000 people that added the Chili Peppers to their schedule on Sunday By Cali Bock The Red Hot Chili Peppers, ACL 2012  || By Cali Bock Die Antwoord, ACL 2012 || By Cali Bock By Cali Bock

MicroAUSTIN Snapshots: Austin City Limits 2012 

A photoessay by Cali Bock  

Royitos Hot Sauce Company Airstream at the ACL VIP Grove 

Royitos is a 15-year-old Austin company that gives recipes, love and not-so-mild salsas to the city, and now a wider customer berth due to social media and brand recognition through word of mouth. 




Royitos’ motto is to ‘never do mild’, and to always follow your passions and desires in life. Click to read more about their mission statement

Get Social with Royitos  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Royitos

Twitter: https://twitter.com/royitos 

Website: http://www.royitoshotsauce.com/ 

Sweet Leaf Tea Gives Freebies to VIPs 

At the VIP Grove to the right of the Honda stage, Austin, Texas-based Sweet Leaf Tea representative Sarah handed out free samples of the local peach, citrus green and mint & honey chapsticks. 



Above: Photo by Sweet Leaf Tea on Facebook. Click here for more of their team’s festival photos 

Above: Sweet Leaf Tea’s new marketing venture || Active ingredients read: Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, organic palm oil, beseswax, organic virgin olive oil, flavor, organic hemp seed oil, Vitamin E and rosemary extract. 

Get Social with Sweet Leaf Tea 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sweetleaftea?fref=ts 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SweetLeafTea

Website: http://sweetleaftea.com/ 

Instagram : http://www.gramfeed.com/sweetleaftea (sweetleaftea) 

Fest Watch, Up Next in Austin: Royitos Hot Sauce is sponsoring a Fun Fun Fun Fest Ticket Giveaway 

Next week, visit Royitos Hot Sauce Facebook page for a chance to win a pair of 3-day passes to Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, a music lineup preparing to host its seventh year of independent artists at Auditorium Shores from Nov. 2 through Nov. 4.  


Click here to view the entire 2012 FFF Fest Lineup

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MicroAUSTIN Social Snapshot: ACL Through the Crowds Eyes…Tweets, pics, videos etc 

Cascal marketing representatives handed out samples of Coca Cola's Cascal, Venturing and Emerging brands initiative Cascal's Flavor Ring: Crisp White, Ripe Rouge, Fresh Tropical,  Bright Citrus and Berry Cassis || All-natural, gluten-free sodas Marketing representative Paola Belen handed out samples of Cascal at the Whole Foods in Bee Cave, a suburb about 17 miles from downtown Austin Cascal Kiwi Spritzer: White wine-your call- and Cascal Crisp white with hints of pear, apricot and magnolia Cooking with Cascal, Corned Beef recipe below

Cascal Cruiser Parks and Promotes in Austin  

The all-natural soda hits Whole Foods, Texas shelves 

By Cali Bock 

(Austin, TX)- Last month Cascal’s Cafe Cruiser parked itself at the Whole Foods in Bee Cave, a suburb about 17 miles northwest of downtown. The sparkling, corn syrup-free and sparkling soda- a segment of Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands initiative- was handed out to promote not only the product, but its uses in the cocktail and cooking department as well.  

"We had samplers at Town Lake come up and thank us for actually making it taste good," said marketing representative Paola Belen.   

Karla Raphail, also part of the soda’s marketing team, said that Cascal’s taste is unique, like wine, and was crafted at the company’s Chef’s Summit. Its taste is also attributed to the beverage’s natural, fruit and veggie coloring, fermented fruit, Stevia extract from sunflowers and sparkling water.  

"There were so many sodas out there. Yet we could not find a beverage that satisfied our adult desires… something that is interesting and complex with low sugar, no caffeine and natural to boot. So we set out to raise the bar,” site mission statement

About two years ago, Cascal was created by 12 chefs creating a beverage to pair with food and libations, as well as Whole Food’s mission to offer a natural alternative to corn syrup allergists and the like. 

"So, we held a Chef Summit, where we worked intensely to create unique and sophisticated flavor combinations. The chefs helped us develop a soft drink with delicious layers of complexity."- site 

The complexity, according to the brand reps, was attributed to the process of the natural fermentation of the fruit juices. 

"We were ecstatic to discover a unique fermentation process that brings out the more complex and subtle flavors of fruits—all naturally without adding sugar to the process."- site

According to Raphail, the product- 60 to 80 calories per can - was originally promoted as an alcohol base to a variety of drinks. 

"Pregnant ladies love us," she said, laughing. "But so do chemo patients," she said seriously, "Because its fermented base gives them the alcohol taste they crave." 

Crafting Drinks and Cooking with Cascal 

As Whole Foods patrons browsed between and sampled the flavors of Ripe Rouge, Fresh Tropical and Crisp White, marketing coordinator Mellie Soumano handed me a recipe pamphlet with food and alcohol pairings:  




Below: Fusing Food and Cascal




Click here to browse all flavors and recipes

Digging Deeper, Cascal 

Cascal is part of a 2-month promotion by Busy Bee Promotions, The label is partnered with Coca Cola’s Venturing and Emerging brands that also includes the start ups Honest Tea, Naked Juice and Issimo Illy.  Cascal is brewed in Cold Springs, Minnesota and their Cafe Cruiser location can be found here (Facebook link). Hint: whisper the secret passcode to the marketing representatives, found on their Facebook page, for an additional ‘complimentary gift’.   

Whole Foods partnered and got involved with the brand as well as the Venturing Brands initiative, because they were interested in stocking bulk quantities of an all-natural soda. 

Contact Cascal  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cascal  

Twitter: @CheersCascal

Website: http://cheerscascal.com/ 

Instagram: cheerscascal (Cascal)   

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A Taste of KoKo blog. Click here for her product review of Cascal

Whole Foods Bee Cave, location 

Whole Foods Bee Cave is located at the Hill Country Galleria, an outdoor shopping mall northwest of downtown Austin.

View Whole Foods Bee Cave, location in a larger map

HOPE Farmers Market, every Sunday 10a.m.-3p.m. HOPE farmers market presents the dog days of summer| photo by Cali Bock Chihuahua Spotted: Food is Free supporter with his pooch at HOPE 'Dog Days of Summer' at HOPE Farmers Market All dogs welcome at the HOPE outdoor market The family PLAY corner at HOPE farmers market The local folk, bluegrass group The Sour Bridges Drambuie Whiskey handed out complimentary drinks to of-age shoppers

HOPE Farmers Market: The Dog Days of Summer

East Austin celebrates community- and our pups- through locally sourced shopping

By Cali Bock

(Austin, Texas)-Every Sunday from 10a.m. to 3p.m., Pine Street station in East Austin creaks to life. Tents flap, their metal supports rattling as they’re sprawled on the earth, then pieced together to brand each local vendor and their wares. 


Above: Pine Street Station, a vintage railway post located at the intersection of 1101 E 5th Street and Waller St.  

HOPE Farmer’s Market, according to the site’s mission statement is a, “weekly gathering space for the Austin community to share fresh vegetables, healthy-prepared food, artistic creations, wellness workshops and community organizations.”


Above: Reji Glass Studio is Pine Street Station’s sole, permanent occupent that operates throughout the week

Throughout August, the market featured the ‘Dog Days of Summer’, where patrons posed with their pups-family portrait style- to compete in a Facebook photo contest. Poochie Trends Boutique and Healthy Hounds provided ruff-reshments. The hounds howled for their homemade, oven baked and preservative-free treats.  



Photos above via HOPE Farmers Market on Facebook


Above: Waffles the pug took first place in HOPE’s Facebook photo contest 

Click here to view the full photo gallery of fur: 


Above: Tent row at HOPE Farmers Market

Each week at HOPE, a local band is featured while shoppers clap to the frequent bluegrass and toe tap as they meander through the makeshift market that includes a local product range of jalapeno mint pickles and truffle potato salad to Austin-brewed Kombucha tea 

The Seedling Truck - an extension of Royal Fig Catering- touts its simple, farm-fresh comfort food (market menu below, complete summer menu here)



Above- Wunderpilz is a frequent favorite at HOPE. Samples of the probiotic elixir are handed out at HOPE, and Wunderpilz is also available on tap for bottling and refills at the Hyde Park  Market 


Above: The Sour Bridges, a group described as an “interesting combination of Texas folk, Appalachian bluegrass and old time rock and roll,” in their bio. 


The fiddle, banjo and mandolin accompany the sweet strum of the acoustic guitar 


Their country bumpkin beats and the wood-slat stage padded by dirt was reminisce of front-porch performances  

Recent local favorites that have taken the stage include: 

Above: Whiskey Shivers- another folky quartet- takes a turn during their 1:30 set at the market 

Vendor Highlights


Above: Kuna Kicks 

These shoes are hand-stitched Mola tapestries by the indigenous people of Kuna in Central America. 

"Through our Global Village Initiative, we are developing a network of craftspeople and artisans throughout Latin America. We envision regional supply chains that will work to create quality goods with integrity.  Currently, we are building our first enterprise with Kuna Kicks."- Mission statement 


Above: The Kuna Kicks crew

Each textile has hundreds of tiny, intricate stitches and unique patterns derived from the nature around the Kuna.”- From the site 


Above: Although each pair of Kuna Kicks is unique, vibrant colors are the common thread  

Utopia Fest

Festival founder Travis Sutherland milled about the market, and he showed his support for Drambuie whiskey, pictured below. Drambuie handed out free drinks at HOPE, and the company will also host the silent disco throughout Utopia Fest, which runs from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30.  


Now is the time to nab your UTOPiAfest tickets! With less than 400 tickets remaining, they will go quickly and you down’t want to miss out on this action: no overlapping musical performances, a capped audience of only 1,800 attendees (imagine that you’re seeing a Stubb’s outdoor show in the space of Zilker Park), no big crowds, no big lines, BYOB (yeah…we let you bring your beer & liquor into the park. How cool is that?), all taxes and fees are included in the price of your ticket, we’re family friendly, we’ve got Austin Silent Disco for those who want to rage all night and Black Swan Yoga in the morning to help you start your day. We’re the music festival you’ve always dreamed about.”


Above: Tip from Drambuie barista, add Earl Grey tea bags to your whiskey drink

Above: Utopia Fest lineup

Pogue Mahone Pickles 

You won’t find pickle flavors like serrano lime, jalapeño mint and spicy thai basil on your store shelves. Pogue Mahone pickles have perfected their dills for over 10 years. 



Above: The local vendor offers free samples during market hours 



Pogue Mahone Pickles has also just recently branched out into the salsa arena: 

Coolhaus ATX

Coolhaus ATX- ‘architecturally made’ ice cream sandwiches from Austin, Texas. 

Highlight #1- They don’t skimp you on ice cream. From experience, there’s always been a generous mound of dairy between the two handmade cookies of your choice

Highlight #2- Food trucks are fickle, and they rarely stay in the same place. If you need a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich RIGHT NOW, there’s always a stationary stock of them located at the Hyde Park Market located on the corner of 45th Street and Duval. 

Highlight #3- They’re not ultra secretive. Coolhaus- unlike Coca Cola-posted a video recipe for their fig balsamic ice cream and red velvet cookie ice cream sandwich here


Above: The steps to craft your own Coolhaus sandwich is posted on their vintage food trucks 

The HOPE campaign: Helping Other People Everywhere

"The HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign a project of HOPE Events Inc. an energy conscious 501(c)3 non-profit focused on involving artists and their contributions in campaigns, programs and events to support existing social projects that promote education and peace around the world."- Mission statement

To reserve a space, vendors should apply online

Click here to see a full list of vendors and seasonal items at HOPE. 


Above: Pine Street Station’s quirky backyard 

Click to view HOPE Farmers Market on a larger map

www.medmob.com Med Mob: all forms of prayer|meditation Come as you are, MedMob Austin Group shot, MedMob Austin MedMob at Viva St. Festival East Austin MedMob- spread love through meditation Viva Street Festival May 20, 2012 Local music|dance @ Viva Street Festival

MedMob Takes it to the Streets at the Car-Free Viva Festival in East Austin

A photoessay by Cali Bock 

(Austin, TX)- On May 20 MedMob Austin took their movement- to spread love through public meditation- to the Viva Street Festival along Sixth Street in East Austin. 

Below- Staked out route for the Viva Street Festival 

 Med Mob was established in July of 2011 by a group of peaceful, likeminded locals.


Above- Dustin Fedako , one of less than 10 founding members of MedMob, reflects in silent meditation. The flash mob has expanded to more than 300 cities across the world 

A “flash mob” is a large group of people meeting in a crowded public place for the purpose of engaging in a coordinated, unexpected, inspiring activity.”

Med Mob Mission Statement

"MedMob aims to create spaces for public meditation. This creates opportunities for people to explore the practice of meditation and brings meditation into the public eye. Meditation cultivates an attitude of response rather than reaction, and this stimulates major paradigm shifts in thinking that sends ripples through all levels of society!" 


Above- Left to right: Gregory Nathan Hammond, ‘Thom Thumb’ Clint Greene and MedMob founder Markbob Bennett Shaw in silent meditation at Earth Day Celebration 2012 at Mueller Park in Austin 

From their Facebook

"MedMob will meet in silent meditation at high traffic areas around the city to promote meditation as a means to self discovery.

MedMob believes that meditating reveals deep inner truths and inspirations. 

Our intention:

1. To create an environment for people from all walks of life to come together in meditation.
2. To expose the World to meditation through public display of meditation.
3. To come together as a global community to send positive intentions out into the world.
4. To show that leading by example is the best way to lead. Simple acts can stimulate major paradigm shifts in thinking.”


Mueller Meditation: Earth Day Celebration 2012





Dara Rose, Austin local Bracelets by Dara for Austin Pets Alive! Bracelets recycled from broken belts Hope Farmers Market gets a new sign The sign's original sketch Dara Rose: entrepreneur, animal lover Hope Farmers Market says GO LOCAL The vendor map, Hope Farmers Market Hope Farmers Market Sun. 11-3

A Special Rose Blooms Bracelets at Hope Farmers Market

Broken belts provide for pups and cats in East Austin

By Cali Bock 

(Austin, TX)- Dara Rose sat comfortably, confidently behind her wooden creations, and for good reason. Her curt bangs and steady gaze belied her age. For the past four years the 13-year-old local has been weaving bracelets together not for profit, but for donating all of the sale proceeds to local animal shelters in Texas, including Austin Pet’s Alive!

Above: Hope Farmers Market gets a new sign/mural, local artist style

When Rose was nine, her father returned from North Carolina with a load of broken wooden belt pieces, bought wholesale, and were otherwise destined to be thrown away. 

For Rose, the connection between her jewelry crafting and her love of ‘all pets’ inspired her to initially donate the proceeds to Friends for Life in Houston. 

“I just walked in there and said ‘Hey, I’m just going to start donating to you guys’,” she said. 


Above: Dara Rose behind her stand at Hope Farmers Market in East Austin.

After moving to Austin Rose said she immediately sought out a new nonprofit and now she represents and donates to Austin Pets Alive!, a no-kill community ‘that doesn’t kill healthy or treatable pets’. 

Last month marked Rose’s third Sunday at Hope Farmers Market

Hope, a spirit that her efforts literally bring to the space.

“The Sunday HOPE Farmers Market is a weekly gathering space for the Austin community to share:

·       fresh vegetables and healthy prepared food

·       artistic creations and live music

·       wellness workshops

·       community organizations and volunteer opportunities”

 - From the site  


Above: Last month, a local bluegrass-folk band that played with contagious, rowdy laughter as patrons browsed through GMO-free veggies and other local-grown produce, jams, local yams, kombucha tea, clothing, cajun food and more. 

Other recent news: Hope Farmers Market



Above: Last month, Hope Farmers Market got a new sign/mural, local artist style 


Above: Local kombucha tea brewer Wunder Pilz (@wunderpilz) frequently sells and offers samples of his brew that includes: 





Photos from the Wunder Pilz site


Above: Fresh crops at Johnson’s Backyard Garden stand at Hope Farmers Market 

The Garden’s Roots


We started growing vegetables in our Holly Street backyard in 2004. Our goal is to provide the Austin community with the best quality locally grown, organic vegetables possible. You may enjoy our produce by joining our CSA or by visiting us at any of the farmers markets around Austin, at local organic grocers as well as most top restaurants. “

- From the site. 

 All three photos of the farm below are by abstract photographer Scott David Gordon.


Hope Farmers Market’s location: Click to View Larger Map 

The Parlor: Local business since 2000 Locals lounge on the porch at The Parlor Bartender at Parlor takes a break Gorgonzola|Can. bacon|Avocado|Jalapenos Meanwhile, at Dane's Body Shop... Total body fusion at Dane's Body Shop Hyde Park Theatre sits across the street Hyde Park Theatre, Austin The windows held history of their own

MicroAUSTIN Photo Essay: Patio view from Austin’s 9th sweetest pizza place, The Parlor

By Cali Bock

(Austin, TX)- On Wednesday, the local blog Eater Austin posted ‘The Sixteen Sweetest Pizza Places in Austin: Mapped’. 

The all-local lineup of pie places listed contenders with global roots. From Japanese to New York Deep Dish style, Austin has the upper crust when it comes to pizza. 


The Parlor: Not as polished as it sounds, this Hyde Park punk hangout- ranked 9th on Eater Austin’s list- has a full bar and a benign atmosphere 

Above is Wednesday’s patio photo essay from The Parlor a family owned and operated pinball, pool, pizza and beer joint.


Pictured above: The Parlor’s build-your-own Gorgonzola, Canadian bacon, avocado and jalapeño pizza  

To drink: Austin’s Yellow Armadillo Beer by Thirsty Planet Brewing

There are superheros among us. The Yellow Armadillo has taken on the task of ridding the world of tasteless mass produced beer. He is replacing it with an American Style Wheat ale. We use 50% malted barley and 50% malted red hard winter wheat. It is a light-bodied beer that is perfect for the hot Texas summers. It has a light hazy straw color with a light citruscharacter.  

Above: The Parlor’s menu, click here to enlarge

Around the Block: Local businesses that sit comfortably ‘round The Parlor 

As patrons lounge and sip beer on The Parlor’s wooden porch, grunts and other physical expressions of pain erupt from Dane’s Body Shop across the street. Above: The Parlor menu, click to enlarge

As weights clang and instructors chide, Hyde Park Theatre staff members watched the ordeal from their sitting positions at the venue’s front door, their two leashed chihuahuas barking madly at the frenzy. 

(Pictured in essay above) 

1. Gallery Black Lagoon 

Next Event: West Austin Studio Tour, May 19, 20

Just like it’s counterpart, the celebrated East Austin Studio Tour, the WEST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR will be a free, self-guided tour that champions the abundance of talent of Austin’s large and wildly diverse creative community.

During WEST, Gallery Black Lagoon will be featuring it’s current exhibit, Serious Whimsy– New paintings by Jeana Baumgardner and Maggie Kleinpeter.

WHEN: Saturday May 19th, 11:00 – 4:00

LAST DAY: Sunday May 20th, 11:00 – 7:00pm
featuring Jewelry Artist Kelly Stiles

CLOSING PARTY: Sunday May 20th, 5:00 – 7:00pm 

free to attend w/ complimentary cocktails – RSVP Here

If you cannot make it out during WEST, you can ALSO VIEW THE EXHIBIT May 12 & 13, 1pm-5pm during the gallery’s free viewing hours.

Above- Inside Gallery Black Lagoon, photo from their site

2. Dane’s Body Shop 

    Click here to view the gym’s current workout schedule. It includes a range of exercise from yoga to total body fusion. 


Above- Dane’s Body Shop, photo from site 

3. Hyde Park Theatre 

   Next Event: Tigers Be Still July 12- Aug. 11, 2012 


"The San Francisco Chronicle called it ‘an uproar of laughs’. The New York Times called this off-Broadway hit ‘an endearing new play . . a heartfelt comedy’ in which a big cat on the loose from a local zoo fits right in with the anxiety and depression of modern life."

View Patio View from The Parlor: Austin’s 9th Sweetest Pizza Place in a larger map

Handmade Indian jewelry, craft sale Hand-carved trinkets via Indian vendors Traditional batiks danced in the breeze Austin couple hosts Indian craft sale Singing, meditation bowl in background Necklaces gleaned from Indian vendors Shopper tries on trad. Indian accessory Hand-stitched, dyed and waxed batiks Singing bowls used for prayer, meditatio Hand-beaded trinkets

Austin Locals Chris and Karin- Enlightenment gurus, Punjab’s Meditation Center and crafts draw this couple to India, more than 25 times and counting since 1985 

By Cali Bock

(Austin, TX)- On Sunday on Allandale street corners, day-old garage sale signs withered on their stakes and flapped in the light breeze.

The crinkled, crumpled neons grasped at their wilting dignity like the Veterans that beg on Airport Blvd. and 51st, hands oiled and clutching an equally grungy sign, their deep rivets and desolation haunting the car after you’ve gone.

Farther down road, a new recruit stood rigid on its wooden post, pointing energetically down Allandale Road.

The sign read ‘Indian Craft Sale’ and dazzled red in the sun. 

 Glitter. Nice flair.

 -Mental click of matching red Dorothy shoes-

 There’s no place like a craft sale on a Sunday. 


Austin local Chris and wife Karin - they didn’t really want to give their last name- sprawled their Indian wares across their front yard in a neat, booth-like display. Hand-stitched beadwork, vibrant tapestries and other trinkets gleamed in the streaming sun. 

Radha Soami Satsang Beas: The religion that started it all for Chris and Karin

Chris, now 57 years old- said God spoke to him at age 21, and told him to become a vegetarian. Thus he came to the Radha Soami  faith: 

                 "Sant-Mat (‘Science of Spirituality’) is the path to perfect liberation of the soul. It is the worship of the Supreme Divine Power (God). The expression Sant-Mat literally means the ‘point of view of the Saints’.

 Sant-Mat couples a powerful meditation practice with a dynamic, inclusive, positive way of living.

 Life Style: The path of Sant-Mat recommends ethical living. (I.e. inculcation of [asking for] forgiveness, nonviolence, mercy, sweet speech, charity, purity, non-avarice etc.)

 It’s also considered sine qua non- ‘essential stepping stone’- to Spirituality. It’s believed that it’s very difficult to become a good human being at first, but if one becomes good, it is easy to find God!

It is the overcoming of the lowermost aspects of the Mind.”  -RS blog

The meditation science also encourages you to be self-supporting, to maintain your freedom of choice and also any cultural or religious affiliations that you choose.   

                   “The basis of every religion is spirituality. RSSB is trying to maintain the core of spirituality without allowing it to take on a formal structure.

Radha’ (referring to the soul or spiritual master either of an individual or of the whole) and ‘Soami’ (referring to the spiritual master who guides the disciple to soul liberation)… and all this through one God.

Radha Soami Satsang Beas is a philosophical organization based on the spiritual teachings of all religions and dedicated to a process of inner development under the guidance of a spiritual teacher.”- site

The religion states four basic principles to adhere to:

1. Vegetarianism

2. No drugs or alcohol to alter your state of mind

3. Lead a clean, moral life

4. Each day requires 2 ½ hours of meditation 

                 “By performing the meditation practice according to the teacher’s instructions, individuals can realize the presence of God within themselves.

It is a solitary practice that is done in the quiet of one’s own home.

Members commit themselves to a way of life that supports spiritual growth while carrying out their responsibilities to family, friends and society.”RS philosophy 

When asked about his form of meditation to reach ‘God Consciousness’, Chris said, “If you can concentrate the mind on a mantra, on anything, the soul and mind leave the body. It’s a progression of one spiritual region to the next.”

‘God Conscious’, definition:

              “At the core of the RSSB philosophy is a belief that there is a spiritual purpose to human life – to experience the divinity of God who resides in all of us. It is through this experience that we will realize the truth of the concept that there is only one God and we are all expressions of his love.” –RS philosophy

Chris took his first trip to the meditation center, the ‘Dera’ in the Beas, Punjab (India) in 1985, and he said he’s now been between 20 and 30 times. 


Above: the Dera, where millions of Radha Soami followers travel each year to experience Satsangs, where followers meet with their spiritual guru to consult with him on their quests for the higher truth


Chris said, “I wanted to see the master, the guru in person.” 

In his and Karin’s religion, the guru is a spiritual teacher that guides people on their journey to reach the ultimate ‘God Conscious’ state of mind:

               “Central to the RSSB philosophy is a spiritual teacher who explains the purpose of life and guides and instructs members in a method of spirituality based on a daily meditation practice. The present teacher is Baba Gurinder Singh, who lives with his family at the main center in northern India.”site

“It’s a discipline in itself to be in the presence of an enlightened person.” Chris said, “ A matter of personal experience. You may not even like him, or you may feel an atmosphere of peace and love.”


Above: Beas, Punjab, the location of the Dera

The Dera: An Incredible Mini Township with a 32 and 42-acre roof

Pictures and text credits here, from the RSSB site. 

Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, or simply the ‘Dera’ as it is generally known, is a mini-township with 6,000 residents.


The Venue

In order to provide a sheltered venue for these gatherings, the Dera’s engineering department has constructed one of the largest covered structures in Asia, designed and fabricated on site using a lightweight space-frame technology. The roof covers more than 32 acres and can accommodate a crowd of 275,000. A computerized digital audio system was specially designed for the venue to provide the best possible sound for such a challenging environment 


The Community

The Dera seeks to be as self-sufficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Every year thousands of trees are planted. Many lawns and parks beautify the colony and provide space for visitors and residents to rest and relax. More than 1,000 acres of land are cultivated for growing vegetables and fruits that are used in the langar and by Dera residents. Organic farming methods are being adapted to local conditions. The Dera has its own water supply, water treatment plant and solid waste treatment facility. It has its own electrical sub-station and large electrical generator back-up facility to supply emergency power to the whole community. 


The Food

To feed the visitors three meals a day, several approaches are taken. The Langar (a place where food is served free of charge) is the primary means. The free langar complex covers over 48 acres and operates around the clock. Capable of feeding up to 300,000 people per meal, 50,000 in a single sitting, it has a mostly volunteer staff who prepare and serve simple but nourishing food suitable to local tastes. As an example, in 2006 the langar cooked more than 150,000 kilos of rice and used more than 2 million kilos of wheat to make the traditional flat breads. Meals are also served at canteens and snack bars at a nominal price.” 


All rights reserved by Jogindra Singh Danewalia                                                        

Above- Candid inside the Dera in Beas, Punjab


Chris and other Radha Soami adherers believe that peoples’ journeys to God Consciousness can span across lifetimes, rebirth is optional

When we die, we’ll each have a personal choice to say if we’ve accepted that there’s only one God and that we live as expressions of His love, or we can continue the quest for this realization and opt be born and live again.

Chris said he would not want to be born again.

“When you become detached from this world, you realize how unpleasant of a world it really is,” he said. “It’s not heaven. When you experience something, a better world than this, why would you want to come back?”

The Indian Craft Sale: A driveway-turned-Indian-street-vendor imposter.

The couple is committed to their religion, but they also stumbled and seized upon their other affinity, the handmade Indian goods that they now bring back home in bulk to host craft sales in their driveway three to four times each year. 


They sell the modestly priced, handmade Indian wares that the two have gleaned from their travels, browsing through more than 50 vendors on the streets.


 Handmade Indian rings, priced at $10 each

Chris said they normally buy the goods from Rajasthan and Maharashtra, India. 


Above- Rajasthan, where Chris and Karin shop for their wares and the largest state of the Republic of India 


Above- India’s richest state and second most populated, Marharashtra, Map courtesy of Wikipedia

The yard off of Allandale was also saturated with the undulating spectrum of batiks- products of the ancient craft of dying cloth using wax and dye- as they danced and lifted gracefully aloft. 

Above- Chris said batiks are typically used for bedsheets, tapestries and other traditional Indian home decoration.

Craft Sale Update Email: Subscribe

Chris and Karin said anyone’s welcome to sign up for their email list that alerts subscribers to the date and times of their upcoming sales.


You may also be interested in: 

Batik high fashion 2012: Meet Nanang Halim, revolutionizing yet preserving the cloth-making tradition 


"If it’s Friday, then chances are there are a lot of people wearing batik, and that’s all right with Nanang Halim. You see, it’s his job to give lovers of the fabric new choices. With his sister at the designer’s table and himself…" - Read more 

Click for Indian Traditional Jewelry:Meenakari 


"The art of Meena work came to India with the arrival of the Mughals. During the 16th century, the Maharaja of Rajasthan, Raja Man Singh introduced the Meenakari jewellery to Rajasthan. Due to its rapid increase in popularity, Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan became the hub of Meena work jewelry…"- Read more  

‘From Traditional Batik to Wedding Dress’- Read more 

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