- 6:00 Meditation (or perhaps additional snooze time…)
- 7:00 Yoga Asanas (lots and lots of poses most of which I am woefully unlimber for)
- 8:00 Breakfast (vegetarian)
- 9:00 Karma Yoga (service to the community, as in cleaning, cooking etc.)
- 11:30 Satsang ( basically sitting in the library, with the Swami answering questions)
- 1:00 Lunch (veggie)
- 3:30 Tea
- 4:00 Karma Yoga
- 4:30 Yoga Asanas (still unlimber)
- 6:00 Meditation (this includes some otherworldly chants from two phenomenal French musicians)
- 7:00 Dinner (veggie)
- 8:00 Cultural activities
- 9:00 Bed
As you can see the day is quite full in an very slow and mellow way. Technically there isn’t supposed to be any talking from after dinner until after breakfast, but in practice there is very little conversation at all. People smile and nod pleasantly, there are a couple of couples who converse sotto voce and then we have “discussions” during satsang and that is it. I believe the intent is to force you back onto your own resources and in my case I would say it is working – at least sporadically. I have had a few flashes of insight for which I struggle mightily to commit to paper before they disappear like a wisp of mist. Somehow they never seem quite as brilliant or insightful once I have committed them to paper as when they came to me but I will refine these ideas I hope over the next two weeks – it is what I am here for after all.
Our meals are interesting in that they aren’t interesting – all vegetarian served on metal plates with four different sized indents into which various semi liquid concoctions are ladled. Our only utensil is a spoon – which tells you a great deal right there I think! It isn’t unflavourful, its just not very flavoured – no onion, garlic, curry or particularly strong seasonings. There is masala chai at 3:30 and water the rest of the time; Indian sweets at one meal a day – sometimes breakfast (?) – and fruit once a day as well. I console myself with the thought that this was never intended as a gastro-vacation and I likely will come home a couple of kilos lighter – which will be entirely beneficial. And that is how I intend to go forward….
One thing I am having a hard time with is the humidity, the heat itself isn’t that bothersome – just have to make sure I drink lots of water – but I hate the way everything sticks to me, the frizz ball hair on my head and the rivulets of sweat that cascade down my back and my extremely sweaty knees – who knew? Add that everything takes forever to get more or less dry and that becomes my Waterloo. Perhaps I will adapt and again this isn’t a lux-vacation either.
Embrace the physical challenges as you are the spiritual ones.
What a gift to escape the noise and hear that honest voice inside again. Or better yet, as you said, to catch those insights to the self we rarely even glimpse in our harried lives. As I sip my Timmy’s and seal with Toronto’s humid 2nd of October, I am experiencing the envy of your frizzy haired, spoon clutching, Vegitarian nibbling soul and all the quiet glimpses and varied gifts you are gleaning on this journey. Hugs from us all Kim
Rob et al.