Positive Possibilities Living: Hello from India, by Sunanda Jordon
This month, Parvati Magazine contributor Sunanda Jordon is visiting the Amritapuri ashram in Kerala, India, the headquarters of the Mata Amritanandamayi mission. This is her first visit to India, and she made the journey as part of her own quest for awakening. The following is excerpted from her first letter home.
The day after I arrived, I pretty much slept the whole day. Not only was I extremely tired, I also felt like I wanted to hide, not ready to face this big experience just yet. I was worried that I wouldn’t last with the cold showers, the thin plastic mattress on the floor and toilets that do not take toilet paper. But I am starting to adjust.
I’ve bought some used clothes and some new ones in order to be respectful of the ashram culture and also to be comfortable. Anything too tight and you feel like you’re wrapped in plastic. Even though I have changed my wardrobe somewhat, I still manage to look stylish, which is something that makes me smile as it reminds me that I am still very much attached to appearance (although I went without makeup this morning).
I am getting up at 4:30 in the morning for morning prayer and meditation. By the time 9am rolls around, you feel the day is half over and you are ready for a nap, but then you realize it is only time for breakfast.
Yesterday we visited Amma’s orphanage. These children were so beautiful. So open and affectionate towards us. These young girls would just come up and give you hugs and touch you. They’d look at you with these big brown eyes, so open and trusting. It was a beautiful experience and I can see that when children are taught with true love and devotion, they turn out differently. Our children in the west would be better off with less computer games and more spiritual education.
A few of my friends are here also and it has been great to have the support here and people to show me around a bit. There are a few people from Holland too, one of them a boy of 16 who came with his parents last year and return by himself this year. He’s a really cool kid. Actually, all the kids and teenagers here seem to have a depth and a maturity about them that is unusual and a light behind their eyes that is very special. It is beautiful to see that these kids are choosing something else than partying.
When I left for India, I thought I knew what would come up for me in terms of negative tendencies and what I was here to work on and release. It is not turning out that way. The atmosphere of peace and overall mental and spiritual well-being that surrounds you here can lull you into believing that you are half enlightened. I believe that the state of blissful expansion I feel is a reminder of how it can be all the time (when one revels in the Self), yet the work is to remain vigilantly present to the tendencies that are so automatic, so ingrained that we think that that is who we are. Stuff comes up in the form of sadness, anger, judgment and irritation, wanting to hide, feeling that I don’t belong and things of that nature, but there really isn’t anything to do but witness and relax. And trust the Guru.
Sunanda Jordon launched the Wellness section of Parvati Magazine. She is a practitioner of CranioSacral therapy in Vaughan, Canada. For more information about CranioSacral Therapy, please visit her website at www.sunandajordon.com.