And,unlike Elizabeth Gilbert in her book ‘Eat Love Pray’ (2007) who refrained-for reasons of privacy, to mention the name of her Guru or the ashram she visited. I preferred to tell you all about my experiences in my blog during that time.
In essence, the story went like this…
In January 2014 twelve Irish souls including myself, traveled with Korko Moses- see picture above, to the Tamil Nadu Region in India. We visited several famous Ashrams including Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville Ashram, Sri Ramala Maharsi’s Ashram, Bodhi Zendo Ashram as well as spending over two weeks in silence in Korko’s Ashram, Dhyana Vanem in the Dindigul District.
Picture Sri Aurobindo
Sri Ramala Maharsi’s Ashram
We also celebrated ‘Pongal ‘with Korko’s brother Philip in his farm, known fondly as ‘The Good Shepard Farm’ and traveled by Oxen cart to’ Pallipud’. Pallipud is a village solely inhabited by people known as ‘untouchables’ in Hindu tradition. They had never seen a white person before, so as you can imagine we were celebrities.
The Pongal festival festival is like Christmas in many ways. Families reunite to celebrate with food, flowers and games and the promise of new beginnings. Unlike us, many Hindu’s are vegetarian and the cow of course are sacred. In fact, they even have a special day. On the third day of Pongal known as ‘Mattu’ the cows are adorned with multi-colored beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and flower garlands. The resounding of their bells attract the villagers as the young men race each other’s cattle.
I love Christmas. I love meeting family and friends. I love the parties and family gatherings. I love the feeling of Good -Will that is almost tangible during this time and yet, in quiet moments like this morning I wonder about it all.
Today in 2016, I am in Ireland feeling heavy and bloated from over eating. I am full of sugar and meat. I ask myself, why is this season so immersed in overindulgence? Why do I feel the need to be such a carnivore? Our Turkey and Ham were both delicious this year. ‘Hubbie’- bless him, surpassed himself with the sauces and stuffing and I enjoyed it all immensely. Our Turkey was a ‘free range female’ which meant that during her life she could roam around a farm rather than being cooped up in a cage. Her carcass was wrapped in specialized hygienic plastic sealed bag, processed to insure quality and freshness. Our local chain store -Dunnes Stores, charged double price for this privilege. Silently on Christmas morning, I found myself thanking the animals who died for me so that I could eat. I keep thoughts like these to myself as I have a severe aversion to preaching. I do not like to preach and I hate to be preached at. I mean seriously,who wants to hear my thoughts on animal rights just before a delicious meal?
So there you have it my friends, some thoughts as we can ponder on before the New Year.
In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci ( 1452)’The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals they now look on the murder of men.‘
Photo taken in the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in Florence.
Note to self
In the meantime,
Be well my friends
Chill as much as possible.
Soon it will be 2016. A time of New Beginnings will be upon us.
Who knows what changes may happen in the year ahead
Hugs and love