And so we find ourselves at the computer again! After a couple of weeks struggling into a somewhat steady routine, we are maybe, somewhat close to feeling a smidge of settled "in." Meg, a good friend of Jonah's Mom has asked us some questions. A wonderful way to write a new blog post. We like these questions very much and will try to answer them according to our own unique perspectives :)~
1)What is a usual day like @ the asharm?
Jonah: I have yet to fall into the usual yet, all seems to be rather unusual, yet I am typng with a smile because underneath the current of new sorroundings an energy of love is constant. Two days ago I was carrying a friend and devotee in a wheel chair down the temple steps with some other guys, and as a step of the last step I brushed up next to a very large ELEPHANT named lakshmi. Haha not a usual encounter in my past california life. Maybe a garbage truck, but you can hear those comming, Lakshi was almost silent. Along with the Elephant experience I have had similar experiences with Cows. At the Tulasi farm (Tulasi is a highly sacred and medicinal ayurvedic herb) I was carrying buckets of compost, when I saw a beautiful white crane standing on a sweet grazing cow. India has been beyond my imagination. I have many more experinces to share and lookforward to in the days to come. As for the routine of the ashram, which I have done my best to follow thus far, and now that I have a new alarm clock will do in a more timely manner is as follows: 4:30 Wake up, pump a water bottle or two of water and bathe/wash the sleep off, 5:00 Archan (chanting of the 1000 names of the divine mother), 6:00 Chai, 6:45 Meditation or Yoga, 8:00 Breakfest, 9:30 Prayers at Tulasi garden followed by seva till 12:00 (usually heavy lifting or deep weeding!), 1:00 Lunch, 2:00-4:00 Dish Washing, 4:00-4:30 Chai (which to the residents is very important, they take their chai breaks seriously),4:30-5:30 Relaxing/reading/or rm cleaning ect, 5:45-6:45 Meditation at the beach or in the temple/hall, 6:45-7:45 Devotional singing, followed by dinner and rest/bed, On darshan days (days amma is in the hall embaracing all with a hug/blessing 7:00 is when Whitney and I sit on the stage next to Amma)... I hope you are all not to tierd now after reading this meticulous schedual, forgive me just thought you may be interested in the exact details!
Whitney: Every single day has been different for me. That's why the "sort of routine" remarks earlier. I go through roller coasters emotionally, where in the morning sometimes I have gotten up at 4:30AM and went to Archana (devotional chanting), and then later in the evening I am exhausted and crash. Some days we've done meditation classes, or yoga (like today), and those are usually uplifting. It seems that here at the ashram everything has more weight to it, words, thoughts, deeds, everything is like moving through quicksand. The heat makes it more difficult to move, the sounds, the bustle of people who look at you funny and you have no idea if they are laughing for joy or at the silly foreigners. It can be a bit much, but I expected something like this. It's India, I was warned.
2)Will you be traveling with Amma, or is she even There?
Jonah: (Out of time in the computer room...Be back soon!)
Whitney: Amma is here, and we won't be traveling with her when she leaves to Europe, though her Birthday is on Tuesday... Going to be nuts here!
3)Do you do any community service stuff?
Whitney: Lots, and LOTS of seva service. I am really happy doing work in the Tulsi herb garden. Dishes everyday, not so enthused about.
4)Are you cooking your own food @ the ashram?
Whitney:We have a stove but have yet to cook with it. Mostly boiling water for tea.
5)Do you go the local market.
Whitney:I want to go to the market. It's called "The B.S. Market" which I think is funny.
6)Where on the map are you guys???
Whitney:Kerala, South Western coast, very south, and the town is Amritapuri.
We love you all so dearly, thank you for your support, we send our gratitude and deepest heartfelt smiles back to all!
Jonah and Whitney