I can’t believe that it is 3 am and I can’t sleep. I have been up since one this morning but I am starting to get sleepy again so I should be heading to bed again shortly. Sorry I haven’t written in a bit but I was/am having some technical difficulties. Technical difficulties included crappy wifi (or y5 in India) with no data plan plus I have repeatedly dropped my electronic devices on concrete (not good). My devices are very sad looking and I think all the moisture in the air with the large cracks did BAD things. I am currently on the internet trying to make determinations as to my replacements choices but rumors abound that next generation devices are imminent. The question then becomes to try and wait or not?
It has been a long couple of days as you can imagine. I had Sunday at the ashram and I left there at midnight on Monday to make a 4:30 am flight to Dubai with a 2 hour layover there after which I had something like a 16 hour flight to LAX. My cousin had baby – Congrats Marissa! I am really glad everyone is doing well and the baby is cute. Meaning I once again got to experience the best feeling in the universe. That feeling of bliss when you finally make eye contact with the guy holding a sign with your name on it. He is waiting for you just outside of customs. He lead me to a cushy black car or as I like to call it my floating nap mobile to my Aunt’s house; he had water and candy for me. I was out of American dollars so I gave him a tip in Indian Rupees. He seemed really excited to see how much it would be once it was converted. He was like “wow – this seems like a lot”. Didn’t know how to say, “Umm not so much”. It was so lovely to talk to friends and family explaining I was back in the USA; people who understand my language or at least pretend too. I had dinner of BACON pizza (oh how I missed the), wine and Moose Tracks Ice Cream. It was amazing (it is what I imagine heaven will taste like, if it has a taste). I took a night swim; I love night swimming and then I took a nap until 1 am and you know the rest of the story.
I think the wine club is coming over tomorrow. I hope so! ;-)
Anyway I kept notes of the days between my posts, so I should get caught up soon.
All my love- Angie
So for the 2nd time in an embarrassingly short amount of time I found mystifying hiding out in my room during Satsung. What can I say, singing crazy long chants that are never quite sung the same way twice since no one pronounces the words the same, is awful in my opinion. The day started out like usual with meditation, chanting, and yoga. But Armelle (cool French girl) and I went to the local village for lunch. It was amazing to sit in a table and chairs for lunch with cutlery!!! The meal was nice brown food stuffs (beef curry and some clove and onion thing) with a pancake like food. But their was Mountain Dew, coffee and bottle water. Also – it was lovely!! We took an auto rickshaw for my first time to town. Plus there were more floral displays. Can’t tell you how lovely this experience was..
I am back to killing more ants. I would like to say I am getting more proficient but I think they are just getting better stuff. Apparently they like tumeric; the ants invited heir extended family over and there was a fiesta! But the new killing stuff works great! I went to beginner class for the afternoon. I think my head stand is looking better. Got a few compliments on my crow too. The rest of the place took a group to look at the light display but I think they missed the good bits. Instead I stayed back for some internet time and I downloaded some Dr. Who – I am embarrassed to admit how much I love it!! Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this!
Today is the processional!!
Cat, my new friends from Northern Ireland, says she likes “a lie in” meaning she is sleeping in. Love her vernacular.
All my love-
Not a lot to report today. Yoga, chanting, meditation, killing ants, some reading, some lecture, some talking and some sleeping. I took part in a pujob for Swami Svinanda’s birthday. There was also a feast on a banana leaf plate (picture later). Yoga felt awful in the am so I napped in the afternoon and I missed dinner. So my friend, Indian Prince gave me an apple. Have been feeling a bit off will try to consume more salt. ;). In satsung this evening they read some daily sayings from Svinanda and leader said good thing they weren’t testing him to see if he was a maniac. Thought it’s was funny cause he sounded quite mad.
Better get some rest!! My new friends Cat is from Northern Ireland. Love, love the accent and her words. Like she says starkers for naked.
All my love-
We took a walk this morning and had our meditation by the lake. It was beautiful with midst and the lake looked like glass. I skipped the end of satsung for a nap. At yoga I had an excellent surprise as Natarash was leading my class as most of the staff was off for Onam. Its kind of a cool story (the story of Onam) that I will look up and share at a later date since I want to spell the names right. Natarash is from South Africa and I could understand all his directions. After yoga we had a prayer for Swami Svandanas mother. At brunch, we had good stuff (cabbage and coconut) with a special dessert that tasted pretty good but was way to slimy to actually eat much.
I karma yoga-ed at the boutique but I didn’t get to kill anything. Everyone else feels bad about it; not sure what that says about me. :). We had an apple for snack and it was amazing! Afternoon yoga was nice except a new person came and I find it amazing how much one person can change the dynamic or energy of a room. He strolled in late and during meditation he wears wool socks and some kind of padded goggles with a Superman T-shirt. He was wearing the traditional Indian male skirt thing so the teacher had him move. After a light dinner of porridge (aka watery rice), lentils, and pickled mango in curry (why wild you pickle a mango?), the real fun began. On a side note, once a week we eat a typical meal of the gurus. After which, I am not sure why anyone would want to be one.
We went to town to check out the flowers, lights and noise for Onam. We saw a little parade with dancing boys beating pots and scary Halloween looking guy. Everyone chanted Happy Onam for us. We saw a Wall of Death show that was CRAZY. We made friends with lot of Indian boys ranging in age from 11 to 28. There is even a huge damn decorated in lights. They have loud speakers piped into the trees playing music. It was an unbelievable sensory experience. When I get real internet again – I will post pictures. There was even a huge swing on a tree. We had ice creams that came in a box minus cellophane. ;)
But we came in late and missed satsung I think I might be in trouble tomorrow. Oh well! Glad i saw it. I am so proud of myself as my laundering skills in a sink have improved remarkably!!!! I found buckets so I take a shower and my clothes get one too. I think i am getting pretty awesome at it. The water out of the buckets was really gross, hope it was the water not my clothes. The last 2 days I been enjoying the cold shower. You see jam thousands of people in small space with 90 degrees heat and 85% humidity – you can’t imagine the feeling out cold water running all over your body.
I better but the hay… Should be a long one tomorrow! I think there might be an Onam processional on Wednesday.
All my love-
Yesterday was a weird one for me. The teacher that I thought wasn’t a fan of me, we sat and talked; she shared her banana chips. She doesn’t speak English well so it makes her very reluctant to talk. I think about how hard it must be for her to talk and admire her courage when she does. The yoga sessions were good; I can slowly feel my hips begin to really open after years of stuffing emotions down. But the process makes me cringe because it hurts. One of the teachers even finally explained locust in away that made the pose really clear for the first time; I even got my legs up.
Karma yoga made me laugh. I killed more ants although the intelligent little creatures made their way into the cashew bags. So I was supposed to check which ones had ants and throw them out. Apparently I was taking to long and the cook was like, “it’s okay, it’s okay”. We did end up throwing away the anty nuts I found. :)
There was a talent show last night and 6 Japanese kids got up and sang “country roads”. It was really cool and pretty darn funny. There were several surprises to include a German who got up and sang an aria with a keyboard. It was truly beautiful. After satsung, I chatted with a lovely Indian man who is staying at the ashram for three months. He was lost and angry after a particularly awful divorce. My heart felt for him but after a bit we finally got sent to bed by security.
The internet has been down a bunch.
All my love-
Today I made friends with the cat, I think her name is Bhakti. I shared my granola bar with her. She was totally a fan! I promised to be back tomorrow with more. Morning yoga was not my favorite. There is this teacher in training who keeps telling me the beginners are downstairs; its much easier there. That took a little effort to get out if my head. Afternoon yoga was great! I loved the teacher and he gave great adjustments. Lunch included beet root and coconut (it was the red food)! Totally love that stuff plus there was green banana and potato, I also really liked that. They talk was on Ayurveda; it was interesting at least the pieces I could understand. The Ayurveda doc makes English sound like Hindi and I was really happy when another yogi noted the same. Chanting is getting better as I can say some of the words. Me and a couple of students are going out on an adventure tomorrow. Yippee! :) I even washed some clothes – dirty me and dirty clothes go into a cold shower and I am pretty sure we all come out clean; there is soap and scrubbing.
I think I realized a difference between me and the other more European or Indian yogi’s – I am super fidgety. I mess with my hair, scratch an itch, suddenly notice my chipped nail polish. I usually go in into poses nicely but I rather fall out of them. The other students are very disciplined. Something for me to work on – this Saturday!! Friday = adventure day!
All my love-
We adventured today – 8 of is headed out to Varkala. We ended up splitting up as 4 of us went by taxi and 4 went by bus, train and rickshaw. Can you guess my group? I went the taxi group which was 2 – 2.5 hour trip each way versus 4 hours. Yes- I realize not a very yogi way to think. :). There were 2 French girls, 1 older German man and me. We stopped for traditional Indian breakfast on the way there. It was pretty yummy. It was a pancake with a red tomato stuffing plus some savory doughnut like thing. We walked along the beach a bit but the water was high and the current was rough due to monsoon season so we didn’t frolic in the water. Our German man lost his shoe to Neptune and when he ran in after it, he got knocked over and ruined his phone. After which, we are drank pineapple juice and dried off in the sun. We did a little shopping and the French girls were excellent haggle-ers.
One of the French girl’s and I got tattooed!!! Don’t worry mom – they are only henna tattoos. :) Then we got food – lovely fresh fish and rice. But the electricity went out so everything was cooked under an open flame. Best part was the BEER. Don’t worry mom, it was only one. Them as we were heading home we got to see decorations (flowers and lights) for Onam which is a huge festival in the area. The big day is Sunday which includes a parade of which we will be a part- I am pretty sure. In a coming up post I will explain Onam. I want to make sure I get the names right! Anyway- I am heading to bed; I am really tired.
We missed satsung this evening which I wasn’t sad about since I didn’t want to sit cross legged anymore today.
All my love-