I had a great time in India. The Ancient School of Wisdom was like a little piece of heaven here on Earth. I’ve never seen so many butterflies or species of birds in one place. It was full of flowers and meandering paths and the peacefulness calmed and restored me on a really deep level.
Each morning we got up at sunrise and explored the surrounding countryside. We walked through little villages just as they were starting their days. It was like stepping back in time and they were as curious about us as we were about them. One village had Mother Theressa’s Hospital tucked behind a small farm.
The retreat itself was amazing and the energy of India enhanced everything we did. The land spoke to me so much that on the first day, I kept hearing the Circle of Life song playing in my head and seeing cycles of life and how I fit into it.
Through the retreat, I felt like different parts of myself were taken out, polished and put back in a completely new and better way. I feel more centered and grounded than I ever have. I feel a sense of freedom and peacefulness, too.
The last couple of days, we explored the city of Bangalore. On the shopping day, I wore a mid-thigh skirt, a tee shirt and my Oakleys and the men openly gaped at me from head to toe. The women did a double take, too. I don’t think they see many Americans or people in Western dress very often! It was really funny.
The next day we explored Bangalore Palace, a temple to Lord Shiva, and a spiritual energy pyramid. All were excellent. I enjoyed the Lord Shiva temple the most. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and explained all of the rituals and practices and they were really happy to have me join them. I’ve never felt so welcome in another religion like that. It was really moving.
Bangalore itself is a city in flux. There is construction everywhere and you can see throughout how the old traditions are meeting the 21st Century. It’s a country that affects all of your senses from the colors of the ladies saries, to the spiciness of the food, to horns beeping constantly, to the sheer number of people going about their daily business. Underneath it all there is a peacefulness in both the land and the people that really moved me. I welled up at the airport when I left yesterday morning, but I know that someday, I’ll be back.