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Published: April 21st 2010
Late night construction has been going on at the OM Ashram site. I took some fruit over for the supervisors, that is, the Karma yogis who work there. They oversee the Indian farmers who are hard at work doing.... I'm not sure what with a lot of cement mixers and cranes. It was certainly a hive of activity with some chai to keep everyone awake during the sleeping hours. It's one amazing project, the OM Ashram development. Being quite an eventful evening, I also saw Peter Pan from my veranda. Not sure what a boy was doing so late on one of our balconies....
The kitchen grass where our dishes were being cleaned with ash is now a beautiful shade of green. The challenge has been stepped up since the position of the bins has changed. They are now about 20 meters away on another area of thirsty grass and this seems to be one of the factors putting the ash washing option as a low priority for many of our resident group. The good news being that there are a few still making use of the alternative system.
Canadian Yashodaji is now well on her way to the
next destination. We sent her off with a party and it was the culmination of many challenges, including the projector saga! Tuesday meant the Ashram projector was already being used to show a weekly series that local and surrounding villagers come to enjoy. I was informed I could collect another projector from the school and headed over to check it out. I arrived to find a puzzled Principal scratching his head and looking at his locked office. He explained to me that when he left there was one lock on the door and now there was clearly two! This was the start of a funny projector-searching Lila.
In the end I returned to the Ashram with an old-school slide projector that is used to display teaching resources that have been photocopied onto the transparent paper! I'm sure this item has not been used any time recently so it will now receive some TLC and a revival in class 3A where I am now teaching! Back to the party; we waited for the movie night to end for the local Indians and then the modern projector was relocated to the party venue so we could watch a few of Yashodaji's
Jadan memories on the screen.
I've enjoyed the spontaneous mango milkshakes, breakfast atop Surya Temple, late nights lying under the stars, walks up Kailash Mountain, contemplation in the fairy garden and doubling on the bikes. My stunt double will be a missing factor from this Jadan Lila. Two Yashodas in one Loka.... Hmmm.... The law of Rare Events or the Law of Similars??? The likes of Jung and Wolfgang Pauli would have a field day if they were here to muse over some of the goings on! Thank you SO very much for your help with the boys. They adore the time with you for English classes. Your 'monster game; rocks and teaching is definitely calling you!! Wish you safe journey forward Yashodaji....
The practical side of my yoga teacher training continues. I have a new yoga student who is inspiring me to manifest more players to join the beautiful space that is the grass in summer Ashram mornings. It is certainly my favourite place to be for the morning hours. Clear air, vast sky and green grass. It's the perfect accompaniment to morning yoga.
I had the pleasure of an interview with Swami Niranjan Puri Ji
who I have been talking with over some time about the vision for expanding the Earthkeepers project in school. With his experience in India and background in ecology, he certainly shared some very useful wisdoms that we will be able to make use of and implement. As with any culture that has gone through some form of invasion or occupation, it's all about 'bridging the gap'. There's nothing new to teach, it's merely a revival of the original truths and practices.
The laminator situation is incredible. We don't have a lot of resources here and the ones that do exist are treated as rare as hens teeth. If you want to borrow something you pretty much have to beg or steal it or have someone on the inside who can do one of those things for you. Not really Ashram virtues that we are going for.... It remains my mission to bring some awareness here about the trust factor...
When I put it out there that I could really use a laminator in the school, much to my surprise, very shortly after, a brand new one was procured! We have compromised the expense of the user-friendly pouches, for
the single roll film. It means a lot of patience is required when attempting to use this film. Sometimes, we have burnt plastic stuck between the rollers and this is not a fun exercise to rectify! I was having one of these days and while someone was out in a bigger city re-stocking random items for the Ashram, I put my order in for two new laminator heating elements. In the meantime I was given the use of another machine. Can you imagine?! The double of this machine already existed and has been in the Ashram for around five years. Well kept and in it's original box sitting on a store-room shelf... Now being well used to create classroom resources and preserve some of the art masterpieces that are being created in the school.
The enthusiasm and pure joy created with the help of one packet of coloured pencils is something I can not put into words. Other school projects this week have been playing with our shadows, learning to read Eric Carle's animal books and lots of drama, such as pretending we are in the vegetable garden, at the market or on the scene of a medical emergency.
We also visited the Dentist and love our new coloured toothbrushes! While at the Hospital we took the opportunity to ride up in the lift and take the stairs the final way to enjoy the panoramic view from the top balcony. After taking it all in, we went back down in the lift and lay on the floor in the Beautiful Space that is the centre of the building. We gazed up at the roof and sought inspiration for more art projects back in the classroom.
There was one classic Jadan moment a few evenings ago on the grass. The College girls asked me to come with the camera to take some group pictures of them as it was Manisha's birthday. We had some fun posing in the garden amongst the flowers. Premji was in the background playing frisbe with Cal. He soon became the center of attention and seemed to enjoy having an audience. Premji began to teach the girls a few frisbe moves. "When you dance or do any movement, it's from here.... you move your hips like this..." A few moments later when he spotted the girls gleefully posing with his hat: "I thought you
gave them a hat. Then I thought... that hat looks familiar. Then I realised... that's my hat!!" Then they spotted his backpack. Kaushalia: "Can I please borrow your bag?"... Premji: "Do I have a choice? I don't think so.... Why not!!..... You can not refuse so many Shaktis!!" It was a significant effort on my part to focus on taking the photos. The theater was so very entertaining!
Morning music classes are progressing very well. I'm also picking up some Hindi... When we last went to Pali, we had lunch with our music teacher and met his Mum and ate way too much food in a country where it is difficult to refuse more food in. These Indian people are the masters of hospitality.
The funniest/craziest bit was when we bumped into another teacher we know. We attended his wedding last year. He tried to cut in and tell me to just go to the Musos house for five minutes to check out his Harmonium and then come to his own house for the lunch! They were somehow fighting over our company. Not pretty.
I let the boys ride on the second ones motorbike to the first
ones house and then clarified our short schedule, promising to return soon to visit the other one soon. Our music teacher has two sets of cow and calf. So lovely and we had a divine lassi. The cow was so interested in me when we left. All the people came out on the street to see the commotion! I was just saying thanks for the yoghurt and butter!
Elsewhere around the Ashram, preparations have begun for the much anticipated arrival of Swamiji. 'The Big-Fill-In' has commenced as pipe-line trenches that have been open for months are finally receiving dirt again.
With the warmer weather we are also trying some of the local lotions and potions of the season. Neem flowers are ground up and taken with water four days in a row as a blood purifier. We colour our milk pink with the addition of an Ashram-made rose jam - Gulkand. It is used, amongst a myriad of other things, as a cooling tonic for the body and is most beneficial when taken in the early morning. Incredibly inspiring the work that has gone into growing and maintaining our rose garden here in this desert oasis.
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