Time is speeding by, as it has a tendency to do after the age of 30! We find ourselves already in 2010. I send good wishes to you all that it will be an outstanding year in every way!
In India, each day is quite full for me with studies, practice, and the day to day of laundry and groceries. In this post I will attempt to explain just what I am doing with my time here.
The alarm is set for 4 or 4:30am. After a glass of ground flax seed and powdered wheatgrass in hibiscus juice(!) I have a morning meditation and prayers that I learned when living with the Tibetan Buddhists. At 5:30am I set out, in the dark, to pick fresh flowers for the Hindu puja that begins at 6am. Puja is a term used for various forms of devotional ritual. A Catholic mass could be seen as a form of puja with its incense and candles. The puja here is entitled the Bharata Samaja and is a 30-40 minute service of Vedic chants acknowledging the blessings of the elements of earth, water, fire, and light. I am learning to chant the Vedic mantras and I find the service to be powerfully uplifting.
Back in my room I have an asana practice which is my own sequence taken from Ashtanga techniques. At this point my intention in asana is maintenance more so than increased prowess. Then onto the dining room for breakfast by 7:30am, followed by group meditation at 8:00am in the meeting hall of the School of the Wisdom.
The School of the Wisdom is a yearly course offered by the Theosophical Society to its members. In this years School thus far we have had a meditation intensive with Ajahn Sumedho Bhikkhu of the Theravada Buddhist tradition, a two week course on the teachings of 20th Century philosopher, J.Krishnamurti, and a two week course on the Theosophical writings of Annie Besant, revered in India for her “stateswomanship” in helping India gain its independence. We are currently finishing the School with a course entitled “Practical Theosophy”. The intention is to show how Theosophical philosophy can be incorporated into one’s daily life. Classes run from 8:30am till 11:00am. In some of the courses there have been afternoon sessions and papers to present in class. For additional information on the School go to www.ts-adyar.org
Another aspect of my study takes place at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, the school founded by TKV Desikachar to further his father’s teachings. I have been a student of Desikachar and Viniyoga since 1986 and completed a course in Yoga Therapy in 1991 with Viniyoga America.
Since my arrival in Chennai, I have participated in weekly classes at the KYM on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the source text of Ashtanga yoga philosophy, as well as classes on the Gayatri Mantra. Next week I will begin a class on Vedic Chanting. As seen in the photos, the KYM is housed in a beautiful new facility and is a hub of teaching activities for national and international courses. Their website is www.kym.org
Many of you know I have waited impatiently for my schedule to be free and allow for my time here in India. I am so grateful to all of you who have played a part in getting me here by taking my classes and supporting my studios. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send me a line or a post. I am very aware of the blessings involving my trip and will hope to share some of those blessings upon my return.
For a better view click back and forth on the photos.