Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halfway

Tomorrow I go re-register for my second month at the shala, and it feels a bit strange to know that it also marks the halfway point of the trip.  My other three visits have all been for three months each, so this seems like a mini-trip in comparison.  Part of me is dying to go back home to Sydney, and be back in my life, but the time practicing in the shala here is so very sweet that I wish I could stay forever.    Or be here in the mornings for practice, and then be home again for the rest of the day.... is time travel an option? 

I have joined the level one Sanskrit class (for the second time), and somehow, surprisingly I am actually understanding what is being taught.  The first time I came, I took the class, but missed one or two classes due to some tummy issues, and then was completely lost the whole rest of the course.  My pronunciation is nowhere near perfect, and I don't know the whole alphabet, but what is being taught is sinking in instead of going way over my head.  Yahoo!

Practice in the morning is really something special.  That room is one of my favourite places in the world, stinky carpets and all.  Even when you have an agro/heavy breathing/malodorous neighbour, which doesn't happen all that often, you can feed off everything else that is happening in the space and soak it up instead.  Sharath has been teasing me nearly everyday that my arms are too weak, and he is very right, they are, but the are so many little changes, both mentally and physically, that even if it isn't yet visible, some strength is coming.  Slowly slowly. 

For the first time this trip, a couple of weeks ago, I went into a temple.  Many temples actually, all the ones on the way up Chamundi Hill.  I had been hesitating to go in and participate, because I am not Hindu, and also because I know there are specific ways to do things in temples, and I don't know how to do them correctly.  A friend who has also been here several times gave me a quick run down, and after my first misplaced kumkum, somewhere rather off center, everything was fine.  The attitude about foreigners participating in festivals and temple activities is so open that I don't know why I was worried in the first place.  There is a lovely Ganesha temple just across from the chai stand, right here in Gokulam and as he is my favorite of the Hindu deities, I might start taking in flowers more often. 

It is very nearly time for bed, or at least I have a fairly severe case of the eye rubs, so at 7PM on a lovely Monday evening, it is time to get ready for bed.  The street dogs have been doing choir practice right outside my window around 2AM, nearly everyday, so the stupid-o-clock wake up has been shifted earlier than necessary.   Thank goodness for coffee. 

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