Only women can raise women.” Mahatma Gandhi
I hold the vision that you are all well and enjoying the beauty with each day of this wondrous abundant New Year.
I wandered the streets (this is getting to be a habit) looking for a bus stop and a handsome young man gave me a lift on his motorcycle to the main road to catch the bus. I see many of the women with the colorful sari’s riding sidesaddle on the bikes so I was glad to have the chance to do the same.
I took the 1.5 hour bus ride to Pondicherry to visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and a friend of mine has been living and working there for the last 50 years. The ashram was closed when I arrived so I went to find the music store that had been recommended to me. Turns out it was on the same street some blocks away. I found an acoustic guitar that I purchased. I had started to learn to play last year but of course one has to practice every day to get anywhere. One of my new year's gifts and also as I head into my 50th year, I have made a commitment to explore more of my artistic and musical side. We shall see how much there really is.
I thought that Pondicherry was much smaller and was amazed to see how large it had grown. It is a city with a French flavour and very busy. I am not as attracted to the city as much as I thought I would be. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram is one of the best-known and wealthiest ashrams in India. It was founded by a Bengali philosopher – guru and his chief disciple personal manger "The Mother”. I was introduced to this ashram and philosophy from one of my teachers who had been there over 25 years ago. It is located in the old French Quarter. The streets are cobble stone and quite wide. I did manage to find my friend Kamal - that was a fun adventure.
The ashram is spread out over a large area. It has its own infrastructure which has grown organically as it requires. My ashram friend is working in the knowledge center teaching computers. He was delighted to see me and gave me a tour around, including a visit with his family. I know my friend through emails, which was an introduction from one of my teachers who had worked at the ashram about 25 years ago. Here is a view of the seaside walkway in the French quarter taken from one of the ashram buildings. Shhhh do not tell anyone!
That night it poured rain so I decided to have a sleep in day and get caught up on writing the blog. The power kept going out so it took the whole day to get that sorted out. Tanya and I went for a south Indian meal for my birthday. I have decided to head off and blow this popcorn stand. Rain, mud, mosquitoes…no thanks. At this point I am not sure where I will go. I still have the chance to head north to Katmandu, to Auroville, Pondicherry or south to Kerala. Let's see where the inner guide moves me.
Until then, have a wonderful day and I will be in touch when I know where I am going next. I leave you with words from The Mother.
Be Like a Flower
“A flower is open to all that surrounds it: Nature, light, the rays of the sun, the wind, etc.. It exerts a spontaneous influence on all that is around it. It radiates joy and a beauty.”