This trip has been so much different from what I imagined before I left. I imagined myself a free bird, wondering the planet from place to place and dancing my way through this life with fellow ex-pats, just like in the movies. Ha! So naive!
Little did I know that I would feel so grounded in India. The moment I landed, I had a feeling of being home. The craziness I had imagined was nowhere to be found. Well, it was there, but not at all overwhelming. I saw it as if I were a child seeing a new playground. My heart feels calm here in a way that it didn't at home. It feels safe and supported here to do the work I need to do.
When we came to Tiru, we spent a lot of time at Sri Ramanasramam, and also climbing up the mountain to Skandasramam, which is a cave where Ramana meditated. At some point, I started feeling that I didn't want to do that anymore. I didn't want to run around and visit all of the temples and holy lands that everyone comes to India to experience. The mountain accepted me in, as a lovely gentleman explained yesterday over lunch. It doesn't accept everyone. Some people come here and get sick, and some come and realize immediately that there's nothing here for them and leave the next day. I experienced that with a beautiful pair of women who traveled to the guest house from Israel. They came looking for asana and couples massages, and there is none of that here in Tiru.
I started sitting at the guest house in my lovely wicker swing chair or sitting up on the roof watching the mountain and the way the clouds and lightning dance around it. Or meditating. Or just sitting in my room in the AC, which feels really good in the South Indian heat. I think to myself, "Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and visit the ashram," only to wake up the next day and want to be still more.
This stillness is something I don't offer myself at home. Or when I do, I feel guilty about sitting still when everyone else is working. I used to sit in my camper and watch my mom run around doing her busy work at the farm actually, much like I watch the people work at the construction next to the guest house. The difference here is that I have no attachment to that strong, beautiful Tamil woman, and watching my strong, beautiful mother do similar work is heart breaking. Maybe it's that the pace is different. Here, it's slower. The work will get done when it needs to be done. At home, everything has a hurriedness about it that creates a buzz.
We used to rest more as a whole. As a general population, we might work our butts off, but we always took rest at the end of the day and on Sundays and maybe even Friday's as well. With a 40-hour work week, we've gone away from that. The nights and weekends are times for running errands or catching up with friends. If we don't work 40 hours a week, we create other work for our selves. How often do we just sit, still, listening to the wind blow through the trees or watching a hive of bees as they fly around and climb over each other going about their work.
My teacher keeps telling me that the answers come in the stillness and the silence. I'm finding more stillness in my body, but my mind is still buzzing with thoughts. I'm sure it will come. Or maybe it's already here. Maybe that's why the words haven't come when I sat down to write this week. Maybe I'm getting closer? Or maybe it's just all part of the illusion.
The beautiful bees outside my room.