At the airport.
What a trip.
Heading home – see you all in a Zip!!!
(PS – since last update the Taj Mahal was witnessed amongst loud crowds, Delhi was maneuvered through, the Gandhi museum was appreciated in excellent Noni company, a two-day train ride with decent food and card-playing was survived and then I got to see my friends in Bangalore for a final visit. This time! What a blessing it has all been. Thanks to Manvitha for making my journey altogether awesome thanks to her lovely friends and family! Now it’s home to see mine
I can’t believe it’s been over two months. I am currently in a Buddhist nunnery outside Dharamsala where I likely shouldn’t be finding ways to occupy my mind like writing blog posts. Alas. The days are longer here as we get up for prayers and meditation at 5:45am. I feel like I’ve been exposed to so many systems of belief and pathways to enlightenment/God here in India that it’s almost overwhelming. I am definitely closer to developing my own practice of meditation and body awareness (yoga asanas) but in terms of a system of belief — well I’m still cherry-picking the gems from the market-place praying that it will help me find or bake my own perfect pie of understanding…
I now have just one week of travels left and later today I begin the return journey by heading towards Delhi with my new Hungarian friend Noni.
So there’s a beautiful feeling that emerges when you realize you have no where to be – no where to go and not much to say.
Sitting in the mixing bowl of worlds that is a Dharamsala cafe with a chowmein and an almost guilt-less coca-cola – I feel once again this freedom. I am filled with peace and thanks for the ability to watch the clouds and young Israelis play backgammon.
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So I made my way by beaten road and bus back to Bangalore – where they have a quota of tourist train tickets and I was able to secure a passage to Delhi. I met two women at the station, one traveling in the same direction (we are now sharing a compartment!) And another who spent her afternoon discussing the Cosmos with me.
I joined the lovelies: Ekta and Chikky again – in their truly hospitable style they FINALLY allowed me to treat Them to supper! We had a lovely evening and it was so nice to check in with them again.
The next day I followed my friend Manvitha’s father’s advice and went to the beautiful temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON)! I was graced by the presence of a group of women from a local Ashram who included me in their group – we were able to skip the cues, they taught me what we were bowing to as we proceeded, and when we finally made it to the beautiful Golden Krishna (and his brother, and his partner) I was immersed in the devotion and chanting of the Sri in their group. She bought me a book to read on the train, I thanked them and made it back to my taxi just in time to be early for the train! Wheee!
Leaving Sadum this morning…
(I waited a couple days before posting the last one – as the astute may have noticed, I referenced the Full Moon)
I’m going to miss this place – where my name is replaced with Akka, a term of respect that means elder sister and where tonight as I walked under the light of the full moon the sounds drifting from the windows of the girls dormitory were singing children interspersed with laughter. I have really enjoyed teaching these students and mixing in with the more permanent fixtures on campus: sitting in the staff room at juice break, discussing education on the roof with Ellie and Olly the couple from UK, talking social change and meditation with school’s academic director, and Buddhism with the Hindi teacher (who has so far memorized half of the Bhagavad Gita)! Alas, I have three more days to enjoy the school and drink tea with Manvitha’s parents… And then off I go, granted I’m able to secure all the train tickets! Wish me luck