Where to start. It’s ended up being such a big day. I think sub-headings is necessary in this instance or my tired mind could end up all over the place…
Amongst all the noise in India, when it’s 5am in the morning and most of Gokulam remains asleep, you can hear people chanting in the distance. Their vibrations echo up the hill and reach us in our Shala. It really is quite beautiful, and in a way eerie, to hear. Our chants would no doubt be heard echoing through the streets here also. It’s the smaller things like this which make this place very beautiful and, in an ironic way - calming. Chanting can be such a relaxing and beautiful practice and sound.The resonance can reach your bones when you’re really present with it. I hope to invoke this same feeling in my classes one day.
PROTECTING THE HUSBAND
Every morning you will see all the women washing their drive ways and constantly sweeping them throughout the day. This is because each morning they draw, with rice flour, a small image designed to protect their husbands as they leave for work. Some of the patterns, all done by hand (not stencils), are incredibly intricate. You could spend a day here looking at all the different patterns people make. There really are some stunning ones.
This evening we completed our technique course in our teachers other studio, in the main area of Gokulam. We were slowly taken through Surya Namaskara, learning about all the limitations, benefits, common mistakes and variations. We need to know this sequence by Monday. My eyes are closing as I write this so maybe I will leave study to tomorrow.
Our teacher has given a lot of homework for tomorrow, in preparation for Monday, but as he said - we are here specifically to train. He is also clear that our certification should be considered an honour, making it more valuable, hence we must put the effort in.
Tonight my friend Mitta and i decided to eat at my favourite restaurant Depth and Green. We were both so tired we decided against going to the High Bar and just wanted to get home then go to bed.
Mitta is a lovely, gentle, loving Indian woman who lives in New Delhi however will be moving to America in the near future. This is primarily for the sake of her children who miss their father who lives in the USA. Mitta took time to explain her morals, the effort she is going to to be a good mother and just an all round good person. She then opened up and told me she and her husband are separated and have been for 2 years now. This was her decision as they wanted different things. Mitta said i speak gently and pleasantly, which makes it easy to talk with me. I thought that was really sweet.
Whilst walking home from the restaurant, I noticed Ganesh’s temple was open and full of people. Upon closer inspection you can see Ganesh at the end of the hall, covered in all different types of flowers. There was a gentleman in gold (priest equivalent) waving candles all around the statue. Why - I’m not sure?
This concentration on the ceremony was then abruptly ended when I jumped out of my skin after some of the biggest fireworks i have ever seen were suddenly set off in the street. I was about 40 metres away from what looked like one of the most dangerous stunts out there. There were fireworks flying in every direction! Up, down, side ways, backwards, down… it really is quite fascinating to witness the different acceptable behaviours in different countries. I guess that’s what makes traveling so fun.
Tomorrow is our first day off since the course began 8 days ago, However, considering it is expected we know 1) the chants off by heart 2) the teachings stages and 3) the foundation postures, most of us will stay in our apartments and study. Funnest Sunday!
No doubt there is much more to say however I physically can’t keep my eyes open right now. I am truly exhausted.
Enjoy your sleep.