Saturday, March 10, 2012

December in Tiru

<p>Tuesday Dec 13th I was just a little tired from the trekk to the top of Arunachala the previous day. No signs of dehydration and I just felt my quads and hamstrings a little bit. Going downstairs at The Dreaming Tree after having lunch with Devi and Charles, I felt like I had Arunachala thighs...but still high from the experience of being held by Johnny Re and the mountain.<br>
Wednesday Dec 14 I hired our guide, Ashok, to take me to an ancient temple bathing ground from 1,600 years ago. It was nice to get out into the countryside. Ashok explained that there aren't very many rice fields left in Tiruvannamelia as we were leaving town on his motorcycle, due to land being sold to build houses...sad. Fields of sugar cane, peanuts, rice and a planted similar to the potato stretched before us.<br>
It took probably about 2 1/2 hours to get there. The pool had filled up from a recent rain, so we were only able to see the carvings on the 2 foot wall surrounding it and the ones lying around the pool. Everyday life was shown- a woman churning ghee, dancing, war, meditation, vrksasana tree pose in hatha yoga and a few tantric scenes. Ganesh was at the front protecting &amp; Nandi a form of Parvati -depicted as a cow for the divine feminine- was on all of the corners. <br>
We had lunch at a roadside restaurant on the way back- iglie white rice formed into patties, vegetable soup and peanut chutney.<br>
Ashok dropped me off at Shanti Niliyam and I took a 1 1/2 hour nap on one of the futtons and cushions on the roof top restaurant. The I did a 20 minute savasana reclining on one of their yoga bolsters.<br>
Friday wsDec 15 I attended to laundry by hand in my bucket in the shower and marketing. Then I met Virginia for dinner at Manna Cafe. We discussed what to do for Christmas, while swatting mosquitos as it was dusk. I'd decided to stay through Christmas, to not have to resettle and make friends elsewhere. After dinner we went to a Papaji satsang video. Papaji had been a disciple of Ramana's. It was a compilation of talks, but very sweet. He stressed the timeless simple wisdom that meditation is not a technique. And that all you need to do is be quiet and sit in total innocence for God to come...that we all come into and we leave this world alone.
Saturday Dec 16th was the 1st day of their month with a celebration to all goddesses. After my morning japa, meditation with affirmations and sun salutes, I recalled Johnny asking  years ago in 2003 the 1st time he had cancer if I would be his yoga teacher. So I asked Johnny out loud, looking toward the altar with his box of ashes, "Will you be my yoga teacher?" A little bird sang outside, my answer "yes"
I walked to the main temple in town, about an 8 or 10 mile walk. My cough was gone and I seemed to be exhaling at all of the right times when buses and auto rickshaws came by.
I walked down my street to the main road and then to Hill Round Road. I went to the 1st couple of outdoor temples, but they seemed to be just a way of getting donations and I decided that I'd prefer to donate here and there to someone in real need...and I wanted to reach the temple and have some time before dark. Then I saw a beautiful temple across the street that attracted me. Shiva with his cobras gaurded the intrance. Looking through the window, as it was locked was Saraswati (goddess of music), a lingam (phalus representing Shiva and male creative energy in the Universe) and Nandi (the cow representing Parvati who is Shiva's wife in the form of Shakti the feminine principle of the Void). An orange robed sadu came up to me and told me he could get a key to let me in. A few minutes later, after he let me in he stepped out so I could have some silence there.  The lingam was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers. I placed my palms together, bowing inwardly thanking God as father, Arunachala Shiva & to Johnny for bringing me here. I asked for blessings & help from my beloved Johnny for protection along my path. A bell sounded in answer outside...I had given no visual cues in my demeanor. Then I whispered in Nandi's ear. I had seen women, men and children do this in utter devotion at some of the outdoor temples. So I thanked Divine Mother for being here & I asked her & Johnny to help me drop into endless Shakti & awakening. Again a bell rang at that very moment & before I pulled away from Nandi's ear. I walked out and thanked the sadu, giving him 10 rupees. I garnered from what he told me, that they feed people at this particular temple. No wonder I was drawn to the energy. I told him that I love the Krishna temples because they sing and dance for God, and they feed people.
Along my way I enjoyed my view of Arunachala, women in bright saris with their babies, monkeys in the tree branches above me, well fed dogs... I stopped to have a coconut, delicious. And later I saw people gathered around a hand grinder for making sugar cane juice. They were using glasses that they rerinsed to use again. I really wanted to try it, but also stay safe. So I picked up a glass and put a little of my bottled water in it to swirl around, making sure I got the rim as well. I repeated this and then handed him my glass. The freshly made juice was a pretty pale yellow like lemonade. I suddenly had a desire to have a picture of me with "friends" drinking it. I sat down on a chair with a family there and handed my camera to one of the men. I clinked glass with someone that I think was his wife. He took a great picture of us laughing with the glasses and then scrolled it back so everyone could see the picture. Everyone else was able to see the picture except her and he ended up looking at all of my pictures to find it- lol. They got to see that I went to the top of Arunachala, and the reverence for their mountain. And they saw the arm balance on my way down it. So we got into a little discussion about my being a yoga teacher.
A couple of families along my way wanted to adopt me and take me home for lunch...but very little English was spoken.

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