Hello from the beach,
I'm sitting in a room smaller than my office in Edmonton that has 6 tiny cubicals set up for internet service. I'm about 20 yards from the beach and can see the waves coming in as I type. I don't know how hot it is, between 25 and 30 Centigrade and wish I had some insect repellent with me because this one fly keeps on landing on my ankle. I've probably swatted him away about 10 times in the time it's taken to write this.
I can't believe it. I'm about half way through my holiday. It then on to Tiru vanamalai ("Tiru". as many call it) was such a rich experience for me...a bit overwhelming and new. I was glad to be with Lela who seemed to me to be at times, my only link to "home" After Tiru. we went to Amma's ashram and got a feel for what it's like to be a devotee. My experience of it was that there is something about her that makes people want to be around her. Time with her is precious now as she has become so world famous. And to be able to go to Sri Lanka with her and about 35 others was a privilege. I was asked to video-tape her giving darshon (blessing) in this case hugs and got to stand right behind her for 2 hours of the 4 she sat there.
So from there we took a taxi ride (about 1 hour: approx. $15 US) to Kovallam where the Aryuvedic Spa is. This place, called Agastya Gardens is an absolute paradise. We get at least one massage per day (many people get two for an additional fee) with coconut oil, or the "powder massage" that is done with a combination of different herbs and remedies. Lela liked them but they are a bit too abrasive for my delicate skin. So I opted for just the regular "Marmar" massage. I did request one special massage and got the, "syncron" which is two people massaging at the same time. It is quite an amount of information to process all at once. A unique experience to have two strong men have their way with you simultaneously.
The food they serve is very clean and non-oily. Southern Indian food is very light, lots of rice and traditionally no bread. Bread is a more Northern Indian food. The Manager of the spa, named SriKantan, said that when he was a child, they could not get wheat at all. In Kerela, it was rice or nothing. Things have changed now and internet places are available...as well as wheat.
So Lela and I have decided to go back to Sri Lanka. Our plane leaves tonight at 10pm and is only a 30 minute ride. There is something about being on a smaller island that seems much more manageable than being in India. While we're there, we're hoping to go to Kandy to see some tea plantations (which look so beautiful), go to an animal sanctuary and spend a few days at a Buddhist monastery and do some meditation.
Needless to say that I am having a wonderful time. I've seen a few things about myself on this trip. I'm quite a high-maintenance person. I'm also seeing how my mind is always looking for problems. For example, earlier today I'm sitting in this hammock, reading a book. I can hear the waves crashing below me. There are coconut trees and palm trees all around me creating just enough shade to keep me from baking. There's a breeze that is quite soothing to the skin. And here I am sitting in the garden of Eden ...feeling "unease." I don't know what other word to use for it. But as I'm sitting in paradise, I can see that the only thing that is wrong with this situation is ...me. And I'm seeing that there has probably always been some undercurrent of depression or unhappiness there.
Lela and I are doing well together. We've had some "hiccups" as we call them, but seem to come together again quite easily before too much time has passed. We've had some really good giggles too....the kind that keep you laughing and then you stop for a while and think of it again and start all over again. We had a day apart today. She went with a friend of hers ( whose trip coincided with ours for one day) to a Hindu temple for a "women only" festival in Trivandrum (the big city near here) and rather than go into the city again, I opted to hang out in a hammock in paradise. Not a difficult choice. Trivandrum is like all big Indian cities- noisy, crowded, hectic, smelly, polluted and relatively stressful....especially compared to taking yummy naps in a hammock and leisurely going to the open air restaurant to have your delicious meal prepared for you.
Speaking of which... they told me that my Dosha type (3 types in Aryuvedic medicine is Pitha. Surprising. I always thought I was a Kapha. Also, my skin has been so good here. I don't know if it is the food or the climate, but my red face I occasionally get in Edmonton seems to have all but cleared up. I think a visit to a tropical climate would be healthy for anyone actually.
Ok...My hour is up. I thought I was a much faster typer than that. Thanks for checking in. I will write again from Sri Lanka if possible.
With love and kindness,
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