Saturday, January 25, 2014

Swirling Thoughts and Possible Future Topics

We returned from our road trip to home base in Chennai a week ago yesterday, and this last week has been busy.  We went to an opening session of a Yoga as Therapy class that Ravi is helping to mentor.  We went to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society.  We went shopping at the city center mall, at the local health food store, and at our favorite clothing store, FabIndia.  We went out to dinner at a very nice restaurant.  We had a presentation from an expert on Ayurvedic medicine.  Barbara and I had mehndi, henna paintings on our hands.   Dasa and I had facials at a lovely new local spa, and Dasa and Kelley had full body massages.  I intend to go back for one sometime this week. Ravi and I rented bikes and we went biking with one of his friends, and even joined an organized ride with about 50 other bikers.  Most mornings we've done yoga early in the morning.  We do it up on the roof, and most mornings the sun comes up just as are doing sun salutations.  Very powerful.

Ravi's Yoga Studio.  We start most days with Yoga at 6, after coffee at 5.  Most of the Shankar household is up at 5, which suits me very well.  The girls are often the first up, studying for exams.

When we are not busy doing, we often sit and talk about every topic you can imagine.  Our group is shrinking.  Barbara left mid-week, and Dasa and Kelley will leave mid-week this week.  Then it will just be me and the Shankar family for a while.  Feb.1 I will begin studying the Yoga Sutras with Ravi, so life will take on a different rhythm.  I'm looking forward to it.

I still find myself needing to spend time doing nothing.  I come back to my room with all good intentions to blog, do email, read, or write in my journal.  But more often than not, I just sit.  I need the empty time and space to begin to integrate some of what I'm learning.

I'm also suffering from writer's block because there are SO many things I want to blog about, and I don't know where to start.  The pictures below are teasers.  I intend to post a full entry on each of them over time.  Other topics I am considering are:  Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine, food, language, the Shankar family, suggested reading, fashion, trash and bathrooms.   I'm sure there are others.  Please let me know if there is a particular topic you'd like me to cover.

One of the artisans at Dakshinachitra Heritage Centre, a cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India.

The Matrimandir at Auroville.  I plan to do at least one entry on Auroville, and perhaps another on Sri Aurobindo  and the Mother, the founders of Auroville.

Barbara and I at the Theosophical Society.  The tree behind us was grown from a sapling from the tree at Bodhigaya, where the Buddha became the Buddha!

My first autorickshaw ride!

We visited three temples on our road trip - Arunachala at Tiruvannamalai, the Rockfort temple at Trichey, and the temple at Srirangam, an island near Trichey.  Each experience merits a blog.

Mehndi, just for the fun of it.  It is usually done just for weddings.

136.1 Yoga Studio, where the Yoga as Therapy class is being taught.  A lovely space.

A delicious meal at the Shankar household.

The bike shop where we rented the bikes for our ride.  I wish I would have thought to take a picture of the young man who climbed up on top of Ravi's van, barefoot of course, to tie the bikes to the carrier on top.  I've since bought a bike to use while here.  Renting was a hassle.

Dasa snapped this picture of me riding with the group outing.

And while I loved the ride, I also managed to do something stupid.  I reached for a snack the ride organizers were holding out to us.  Unfortunately I was going a little too fast, so I lost control of my bike and collided with a cement post.  The good news is that I got immediate treatment from the ride organizers, and I rode the remaining 15 kms. of the ride!  It doesn't feel as bad as it looks, thank goodness!


  1. Relaxing and clearing your mind is OK, ya know? It doesn't have to be writer's block, or doing nothing, or any other negative names. I hope you are getting to experience calm and joy, and stop smacking into things at high speed.
    All your proposed topics are interesting, but since you are in such a different culture, different daily life, I have to vote for bathrooms! And trash! And how about animals? xoxo

  2. WOW!!! That bike ride looked like your kind of thing, until I saw the last picture! A "shina" in Chennai!!! BE CAREFUL!!! I vote for bathrooms and trash...