On this final day, it’s almost midnight and my body, mind and soul are smiling. I’m almost too tired to write this but I simply need to reflect and milk this beautiful day the same way, if not more, than I seem to milk the sad or emotionally turbulent ones.
I made the decision last night to wake up an hour earlier and go do a meditation practice before yoga. I then opened “Wherever you go, there you are: Mindful Meditation”, the book I’m reading, and it spoke exactly to that ~ the power of waking up early to meditate, living consciously and starting your day with the best possible advantage.
“By grounding yourself in mindfulness early in the morning, you are reminding yourself that things are always changing, that good and bad things come and go, and that it is possible to embody a perspective of constancy, wisdom, and inner peace as you face any conditions that present themselves.”
So that’s what I did, even though my thoroughly Hatha’d body and restless mind were sleepy, I got up and in meditation I took myself through an aura cleansing (my google search from the night before is quite amusing), a visualisation of gold light running through me and clearing out all the crap, followed by wrapping myself in bright white clear, protective light. And then the sun rose over the mountain and I felt it hit my eyelids.
Yoga was great. The repetition of the same poses (or very slight variations) can feel monotonous but at the same time seeing progress and knowing what’s next so therefore fully committing to pushing yourself just that much further is an incredible discipline. I appreciate this method a lot.
After yoga it was time, not to even begin the shower head water negotiation but, to crouch under the tap and wash my hair again. Lathered from head to toe and feeling the fresh water wash away yesterday’s turmoil til the water ran clear.
Then I blew my hair dry. Yes I did – because today was the Puja (Hindu prayer ritual ceremony) at the house. I was wrapped in a fuscia sari and sat apart of the most beautiful burning of woods and ghee and sprinkles of holy water and marigolds. And red paint and rice dotted between my eyes. And mantras and singing. And holding hands to the blessed fire and bowing our heads.
It was long and hot and smokey and all I literally understood was Shanti (Peace) but I felt like I understood everything else too, the Sanskrit and Hindi took on its own translation in my ears and I felt a personal connection to this ceremony. I shed a hidden tear as the emotion welled up in my eyes, although I could have blamed it on the aromatic smoke, I chanted words and gave them my own heart.
Then I got a reeth of marigolds put around my neck and was fed a sweet dough. I was blessed. I am blessed. I need to get smacked in the head with a shanti stick when I get so caught up in letting the world around me, define me. The world within is so much kinder and more loyal and forgiving, perhaps my mind isn’t, but there is love and compassion in my heart and I need to let it flow through me… Not straight out of me without touching sides. Something in me has woken up.
I rested ever so slightly this afternoon and had my lecture, yoga routine and dinner. I was then rewrapped in my sari (a slightly different style) and although I was (am) knackered I went with Deepa to the festival of dancing again. And, oh my, I felt like I was the star in my own Bollywood movie. Whirling and twirling and clicking sticks to the beat and getting lost in a sea of Saris in all colours, patterns and sizes.
Walking back home, passing the sleeping cows in the road (so normal now), lifting my Sari skirt over whatever strange unrecognisables lay in the half-moon lit street, I realised “I am here. This is it. I am doing what I dreamed of and more.” And I thought my laissez-faire attitude toward India and just going with it when I got here was turning out to be a terribly misguided, unrealistic notion. But look how it’s worked out for me. A week of yoga in a beautiful town, living a fully immersed existence with this family. I thought I wanted an ashram experience. What I really wanted was a yoga course home stay. It found me.
I’m going to nod off in this warmly satisfied state. All is well. There’s something making it all work out in the end.
Thank you for hearing me when I couldn’t even understand what I was wanting for myself.
Om Shanti ~ Namaste and good night ☆