Sunrise over Arunachala is the backdrop for rooftop morning asana. The group needs a more mellow stretching practice. So Desiree delivers a sweet mix of hip openers, and hamstring stretches and a nice long savasana. Good prep for a day of activity and lots of sitting.
After yoga I head back to Ramana Maharshi Ashram in an auto rickshaw with Michele and chanteuse. Betty Roi. We missed bookstore hours yesterday and also want to sit in the meditation hall for a little while. Mala bead shopping and chai tea follow. We LOVE India!
In the afternoon we attend satsang with a wise man named Mooji. From our brief visit my take on him is that he is interested in illuminating the sameness and unifying forces amongst people and practices, not the differences that separate. I am way into this. He talks a while about big questions in life like ‘what is my purpose’, ‘who am I’… It always comes back to the essence of our embodiment is unchanging forever present divine nature and our bodies and minds are temporal. We sit for meditation again, this time led by Mooji. Very peaceful. A real blessed experience.
Oh, did I mention it’s full moon? Every month on the full moon hundreds of thousands of people pilgrimage here to walk around the base of the mountain which is about 9 miles. Michele and I set out for the adventure. We are DEEP in the culture here. There are very few Westerners.The people and the energy are a massive current and we simply step into it and go with the flow. This is the definition of Anusara. And we are in it tonight! Words and photographs just can’t capture the experience. The paradox is that between the two of us, walking together for nearly 6 miles for 2 and a half hours in this river of Hindu men and women in a devotion to Shiva as an expression of Mt Arunachala, Michele an I have quite different impressions of the walk and we talk about it afterwards. This doesn’t surprise me in the least and also takes me back to Anusara. We all adhere to the same Principles of Alignment and to the templates of the teaching methods yet, every teacher does and should have a unique presentation of the material. As well, each student digests the info individually which manifests as varied because we are experiencing with the body and mind. What is the same is this: the essence of our being, the divine light within has the same experience of union and oneness with all of these amazing friendly souls. Although at times the energy is frenetic and ecstatic, completely foreign, and admittedly out of my comfort zone, I feel safe and protected by the light that I share with every person– whether in Fairhope, Alabama or Tirunavalai Tamil Nadu India.
It is our last night in the South. A night whose energy will, on some level always be with me. The insane rickshaw drive home is the subject of another story some other time–holy cow!
– YogiPod posting from India using iPhone