Published: March 23rd 2010March 7th 2010
The challenge is: 'all Bhaktas at both morning and evening prayers and all meals, together, in Mauna'. In the words of Canadian Yashodaji, "God Help Us!" Now we're sitting in rows, Indian style for eating and being waited on by servers who carry buckets of dhal, rice and chapatis. It's the classic 'eat as much as you like, but be sure to eat all that you take'. It means you need to be very observant of self and aware of others and have your hand ready to motion when you do not want more of food that is continually being offered.
Background info to give you a small insight into what these new rules mean for us: currently there are only ever about five of us at morning prayer and previously the kitchen remained accessible at all times if one could not make the designated meal times. Swamiji says "Yoga means to follow firm discipline." This challenge is some change that was inevitably coming to shake things up in Jadan. What happens at the end of the week, remains to be seen.
Cal was in his element trying everything when we were out in Jodhpur after a successful visit
to the Ayurvedic Doctor for Cal's skin! He is such a hoot to be out with. He was looking quizzically at the knife and fork that appeared when the mini pizza arrived. He asked me "Do you know how to use one of these? Grandpa does". Then there was the toilet incident. While waiting for 2kg of wax to go on the cloth wrapping for Yashodaji's parcel at the Post Office, he asked a man where he could go to the toilet. The man said "You are in India, you can go to the toilet anywhere!" He repeated that line many times in the afternoon and was still chuckling about it when we met Lauraji, on her way back to join us for some more of the Jadan Classics.
We had a very surreal, empty bus ride back to Pali and then ventured by rickshaw the 25km back to the Ashram. It's on a national highway but it feels like you truly are in the outback. Our chauffeur picked up our other two Ashramwal's who were waiting (not so patiently) at the Ashram gate to ride in all the way to the workshop back entrance. It was very 'big
bag' friendly to accommodate for less carrying distance to Laura's room!
Yashodaji and Dhyananandji, my Ashram Stalwarts, surprised me with a new bike! SOOOOOOOO lovely of them. I was, for one of those rarer moments... speechless! I guess it means I should stick around?! The bike is much fancier than Mulga Bill's and has some nail polish OM graffiti to be sure one and all know who it came from and who is looking after it. I only miss swimming and my bike so... now I have one less vritti! In High School... people said I had more friends than Superman. I didn't really keep track of how valid that was, though the facts remain: I really do have the best friends in the Universe and am still much better at giving than receiving!
Other notable news is that I have had the go-ahead from both my University and this School, to carry out my final teaching prac here! While I am now currently teaching and rotating through several classes throughout the days, I will have one class to work with for the duration. The experiment is a welcome challenge and sure to be a lot of fun!
There are more photos below