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    Cows, India, and the Jiva Institute  

    I want to blog more, but school is taking up a lot of my time, and I am having a hard time being anything but present. India takes all of your attention. At least, that is what it seems like right now. It might be the fact that I am learning a new culture and a new language, but I also think that it is this place. It demands your attention in a way that no other place I have been does. There is a dichotomy here that I haven't seen anywhere else. Everyone here has a cell phone. EVERYONE has a cell phone. They are never without them. It kind of cracks me up.


    Airplanes, Paradoxes, and India

    I started my journey in Boston on the morning of the 24th. We landed in Delhi at night on the 25th. I am just now feeling coherent enough to begin this blog on the evening of the 26th. We are at the Jiva Clinic in Faridabad, which is kind of right in the middle of the city. It is austere and fairly tranquil, despite some city noise and the occasional dog bark. The taxi trip to the clinic last night was amazing - the drivers don't so much drive as fling themselves down the road in their dubious vehicles. As last night was Saturday night, we were treated to some amazing sights. We saw what looked like night clubs, all covered in little lights like Christmas lights. We even saw fireworks, which Sara decided were there to welcome us. Such an amazing place. Earlier today before breakfast, Sara and I walked down the road a bit and discovered some cows and puppies. These were normal for the people here, but spectacular for us. So far, the food has been amazing. Very simple dishes, and the best dhal I have ever tasted. I am missing my fiancé very much, but I understand that I am here for a purpose, although that was hard to remember earlier, when I was tired and hungry and confused as to where I was or how I had gotten there. That is the hardest part of this journey so far, leaving him behind. It is not a simple thing I am doing and the enormity of that is still sinking in.


    Snowy Roads and Ayurveda

    I did kind of a stupid thing yesterday. I drove from my friends' house in the hills of Western MA out to the Kripalu Institute. Under normal conditions, this trip would have only taken an hour. Unfortunately for me, it was the first real snowstorm that the area had experienced since the freak storm on Halloween, and the conditions were near whiteout, so it actually took me two hours. Did I mention that my tires were completely bald and that I had already had to be saved from slippery situations twice before I'd even set out? I got stuck on the road going to my friends' house, and they had to come push me out of the snow. Then my first attempt to get my car back up to the main road ended with a call to AAA and a LOT of chain. You can see how much in the picture. Those little headlights are mine. *sigh* It took about an hour for him to tow me to the top of that very icy hill.

    Back to the stupid thing . . . so I was driving down those hill-town roads with barely any idea of where I was going and completely trusting my Waze GPS program to get me there, chanting to Ganesh the whole time, promising that if I passed any place that sold tires I would get new ones (I did), and I realized that I have been taking huge risks like this my whole life, but that I just have never felt protective enough about myself and my life to care. All these things I have done in the last three years have given me a life that I think is worth not being killed in a snowstorm for. However, I apparently had not caught up with that fact, because I did the drive, although that was really because once I realized how freaking dangerous the roads were I was kind of past the point of no return. That made me realize that I was also past the point of no return in regards to Ayurveda and Yoga. There is no going back for me anymore. What I have seen cannot be unseen. What I know cannot be ignored. The drive was a little stupid, but those realizations are not. They are a good thing.

    They are a good thing, because I am at Kripalu to assist the new class of Ayurveda as they learn the things that will enable them to bring the gift of health and knowledge to their own lives and to the people they come into contact with. It is amazing to see them light up about doshas and dhatus and sneha! It is also a good thing because I am flinging myself into Ayurveda. I am going to go study at the Jiva institute in Faridabad, India at the end of February.  I will be staying on for two whole months to apply my knowledge and to work in the clinics and the free school. I think that India is going to break open my heart and my mind. I have no doubt that it will change my life. I just don't know how.


    Summer Comes to a Close

    Sitting here on the porch in Moultonborough, NH listening to the sounds of the rain on the lake, I am filled with mixed emotions.  Summer is coming to a close, and with it goes the relatively carefree gallivanting I have been doing after graduating from Ayurveda School in June.  It has been a wonderful summer filled with laziness and good food and perhaps a little too much indulging of my inner child.  As school begins to start in the world around me, I feel the familiar pull of responsibility.  Time to get back in the saddle and do the good work that I was put here for, not the least of which is getting this website up and running finally.  This is a good thing, but I am also feeling a little fear.  I am beginning to chart unknown territory, and I am finding not only a fear of the unknown, but also a fear of success.  What will happen if I actually succeed in this venture? I realize that some of this is my vata dosha feeling a bit out of whack after so much travel in the last several weeks, but I think it is also a normal anxiety in response to the unknown.  As I begin to settle into routines this fall, I will find that the anxiety is unfounded, and that I know what I am doing.  I can trust myself to find the answers if I need them.  Most of all, there are others to help.  I think that allowing yourself to open up and ask for help is so important, especially as we transition into the colder months.  We need to stick together as a race to help us all stay balanced and happy.  Let's remember to be open to others this fall, opening our minds and our hearts to the creatures we come into contact with, and allowing that to be a source of warmth to keep us going as the seasons change.


    And so it goes . . . 

    Life swiftly races by as we try to count down the days to things: the days to spring, to summer, to our next birthday, ro something.  So many devastating things are occurring all around us and we are still racing, racing towards some invisible finish line.  Japan is broken. Thousands are dead. Mother Nature has taken her toll.  She has shown us her strength yet again, ensuring that we know how inconsequential we really are.  In other news, a friend died on Sunday night/Monday morning.  He just didn't wake up.  They said it was his heart - that he was too stressed out for it to keep on beating.  These two events leave me reeling in a way, trying to figure out if we are really as inconsequential as Mother Nature has shown us - if we are, then what is the point of this struggle we put ourselves through, racing towards that invisible finish line?  My friend basically stressed himself to death; in Japan, Mother Nature did the work.  I have always had this theory about there being a lack of hierarchy of death, but this puts a new spin on it.  Japan isn't really known for having a laidback attitude, and I guess that several thousand of them were racing just as my friend was, just as most of us are. It seems cliché to ask "What does it all mean?" but that is the question left ringing loud and clear in my mind.


    What does it all mean?

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