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I Want To Go To India Rt. Now!!

June 17, 2009

So let’s take a little trip down memory road.  Come with me!!View from my porch at the retreat.View from my porch at the retreat.

 

Hammock on our front porch in Varkala.

Hammock on our front porch in Varkala.

India changed my life.  It made me believe in God.  Before India, I never believed in god and was really scared and hesitant when it came to religion.  For some reason, organized religion didn’t seem like a positive thing to me.  It seemed like something people turned to in times of desperation simply to be told what to do.  I never viewed it as uplifting, as communal, or as joyous.  I have my guru (in sanskrit this literally translates to remover of darkness) to thank for showing me the light.  He showed me that devotion and gratitude are the path to happiness (not materialism) and that it is ok to embrace your spiritual side.  

 

 

 

 

dog chilling under a truck.

dog chilling under a truck.

 In India, belief in God can take so many different forms.  Its not a white bearded man in the sky who’s here to judge.  Its colorful, beautiful deities who play out the dramas of human life in the stories about them.  Devotion is loud and passionate in India.  It’s exciting and plays into every aspect of life.  When you see how happy the people in India are, how grateful for their lives, it is impossible not see a fundamental difference between our culture and theirs.  There are advantages to desiring material wealth and giving priority to material gain… look at our progress as a nation, our quality of life, etc.  However, in the process we have become depressed, anxious, and completely detached from nature.  We have damaged the planet and forgotten the most basic ideas of respecting one another. In India, they have nothing, but they are happy.

monkey swinging in a tree.

monkey swinging in a tree.

For me, embracing this sense of gratitude was liberating.  Being thankful and expressing it (even if just through my thoughts in a quiet moment) felt empowering.  When I left the retreat, my mind felt pure and my thinking was calm.  I feel eternally grateful for the time I got to spend at the retreat and for my incredible teacher Senthil.  Because of India, I felt free to believe in God and excited by the idea of learning more and defining my relationship to spirituality in whatever way felt natural and right to me.  I like to think of doing good, helping others, and being grateful as expressions of my devotion. 

Little colonial town, Fort Cochin

Little colonial town, Fort Cochin

Oh India!!  Such an amazing place to go, so welcoming, so incredible! I have already sent two of my good friends to the retreat and they both loved it!  Jump on a plane!!  Go!!  Have faith it will all work out… Next trip down India memory lane won’t be so heavy, I promise.

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