Every morning and evening we gather for "satsung", meditation and chanting. It's been really peaceful and I'm becoming a master of the tambourine.
Every morning and evening we gather for “satsang”, meditation and chanting. It’s been really peaceful and I’m becoming a master of the tambourine.

After the emotional roller coaster of leaving Sri Lanka, I’ve been spending the last week in an ashram in southern India. (During down we can connect with the real world but the internet is painfully slow ensuring we exercise patience as needed in meditation.) An ashram is essentially a school for yoga and meditation. The particular ashram I’m staying at is the Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram.

Days are comprised of the following.

Basic Ashram Schedule

0520 hrs WAKE UP BELL
0600 hrs SATSANG
0730 hrs TEA TIME
0800 hrs ASANA CLASS
1000 hrs BRUNCH
1100 hrs KARMA YOGA
1230 hrs COACHING CLASS (optional)
1330 hrs TEA TIME
1400 hrs LECTURE
1600 hrs ASANA CLASS
1800 hrs DINNER
2000 hrs SATSANG
2200 hrs LIGHTS OUT

It is peaceful and free from the distractions of everyday life. However, it means I’m alone with my thoughts a lot which can be a little scary at times.  The following gives you an idea of what I mean. You may remember reading my entry on things I think about when I’m supposed to be meditating – well this could be the sequel. This is what essentially goes on during a standard meditation session. My dialogue is of course just want is going on in my head when I should be achieving inner peace.  Hopefully it is somewhat coherent.

Instructor: Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.

Me: (thinking) That’s an oxymoron.

Instructor: Close your eyes and observe your breath.

Me: Another oxymoron.

Instructor: Draw your attention to the third eye, the spot in the middle of your forehead . . .

Me: I wonder what it would be like to have an actual third eye. Would I see more clearly? Maybe it would give me the ability to see in the dark or through walls. But then again the stigma that would go along with it would be too great. All these people should “Hey three eyes”.  Who can up with this third eye idea anyway – no wonder the Hindu gods look so crazy. I think someserious drugs were done by the swamis.

Instructor: Ensure your back is straight and your hands are in chi mudra.

Me: Shit, I’m slouching again. Oh my back is paining me. Why am I thinking in Sri Lankan English now?

Instructor: Continue to breath. Inhale deeply, exhale completely.

Me: Breath, breath, focus, focus, third-eye, breath, inhale, focus, focus . . . Do I hear a mosquito? It’s going to look really bad if I kill it in the midst of all these peace loving, kindness to all creation types.

Instructor: Now we will chant. Om . . . Om  . . . Let the vibration take you deeper into relaxation.

Me: It is cool that the room actually seems to vibrate with the sound. Om . . . Relax, relax, focus, third eye . . .

Instructor: Now continue your practice. Focus the mind and breath.

Me: “Here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I’ve ever known.” – Why must this White Snake song always be stuck in my head during meditation? It was pretty cool though that we saw a poster for them playing when in Singapore. That would be a strange concert to attend. Definitely not as much fun as Shaggy though. I can’t believe I heard a Sinhala version of It Wasn’t Me on the bus. I really hope Tharushi gets back to me with the translation cause that will make an awesome blog. God my mind is like a monkey- constantly chattering. I love monkeys. Especially the one the Buddhist monks had in Thailand who would smile when you’d say yim, yim, yim (smile in Thai). But those merkat monkeys are gross really like big rates. Those are definitely cheeky monkeys , but not cute cheeky – evil cheeky. I love the expression “Let’s go for a cheeky beer” (meaning a quick beer). Ah- beer would be good right about now. Actually, red wine. Red wine and a piece of juicy steak . . . Oh no, now I’m into evil territory. I’m supposed to love beans and rice and want to go on a cleansing fast to rid my body of toxins.  . . .

Oh right breath . . .

Focus the mind . . .

Om . . .

Damn, that mosquito is back. Mosquito I’m sending loving kindness your way. Please leave me alone. I’m trying to be peaceful. You know, let it be like The Beatles.

SMACK

Oh well, sorry buddy you wouldn’t listen and it is survival of the fittest. Even John Lennon was a jerk to his son. That really broke my heart to learn about. Is there such thing as a hero any more? First Garth Brooks goes crazy and becomes some crazy alter ego, then Lance Armstrong really was doping all these years, next the Blade Runner kills his girlfriend and now Snoop Dogg is Snoop Lion and thinks he is the reincarnation of Bob Marley who really appears to be no more than a stoner. Disappointing . . . Aw well . . I guess it proves we’re all messed up. Like my messed up  non-focusing mind. Okay really it’s time to focus.

Breath . . .

Om . . .

Third eye . . . .

“Here I go again on my own”. . .

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