Guest Blog #2
Dear all -
Before I continue with Steve's words, I'd just like to give a super quick update!
We are all back from the beach safe and sound, and most of us now are asleep (it's 9pm currently in Mysore on Sunday, as I'm typing this).
I'll have a MASSIVE blog for the weekend trip coming tomorrow! Lots of photos and stories and good times but for now, here's some words about Thursday and Friday. I was getting a little burned out by the daily blogs, but this past four days of not writing have been wonderful, and the weekend has been a refreshing time to press the restart button on all of the forward momentum I (and probably many other's in the band) had at the beginning of the trip two weeks ago.
Also while I'm in frank-talking-quick-update-mode, I wanted to point out that most of the photo's on this blog have been provided by Kevin A. with a few coming from Cat. I just wanted to take a moment to credit them on their photo taking skillz, and I'll be making an attempt to credit each wonderful photo for the final two weeks.
And now over to Steve-Ji.
Hello folks, this is Stephen Rush – the guest blogger from time-to-time. Lucas and “the band” as he calls it will leave for Kerala tomorrow AM, a well-deserved break because…Well….wheww….we are getting to the end of the 2nd week of this program! India – it’s an exercise in maintenance (self/emotions/hope/sleep/body) and also a kind of “endurance contest” – and then you realize Bammo! – we’re leaving tomorrow!
It’s right about now when I encourage the students to really BE in India. Really let go of home for a little longer – it’s okay – it’ll be there when you get back, with all of its joys, burdens, and more. Some of the students are horridly homesick, and some of them are actually realizing how sick of home they are! (many paths to the same truth). Either way – WE ARE HERE. And darn lucky to be so.
What are we up to? Most of us have had or are about to have our 10 lesson with our gurus. Our minds and bodies are exhausted! Challenged. Embarrassed. Each student ADORES their guru – it’s not even “like” or “appreciate”. It’s adore, in the truest meaning of the word.
We saw two amazing concerts this week – one written about below with the great Taranath on Sarod, and the other by Kripa Phadke – our Bharata Natyam guru. She was powerful, graceful, beautiful, terrifying and more, as she danced the “birth of Ganesha” (as a gift for me, honestly) and sections of the Ramayana – which the students understood completely. Why? Because the previous night we hung out in John/Kevin A’s room and group-told the Ramayana to each other, interspersed with contradictions, feminist interpretations and wild interjections (It was a Hoot – ask anybody that’s come on the trip – it’s a blast!!!). We’ve also had some lectures on the History of India (not so hot) and the History of Yoga (amazing). Yoga itself is revving up – asanas are coming fast and furious, and shavasana at the end does not come soon enough for anybody (dead body pose).
Shopping? It happens, sure. Kilos of coffee bought, gifts for you the dear readers are being purchased, and students are experimenting with various local rickshaw drivers of varying honesty. Let the hijinx ensue. The stakes are NOT high….roll with it!!!
There are tears. Everything gets amplified in India. Or, as I tell anyone interested in the trip – India will kick your tail – you WILL probably get sick, and anything “bothering you” back home will get amplified. There is no guarantee that those problems will get “solved” here…but they WILL get seen in a different light, and that IS a good thing. All in the safety of this loving and caring environment (and I really DO mean that).
I’m not going to the beach with the students this weekend. I need a break from the program, I guess. And they need to bond/have fun without an old codger around. They will see Wookie river-temple priests, a gorgeous Pacific beach, a textile mill and an ancient fort. And gorgeous jungle roads that inspire and nauseate – off and on. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Be safe my dears. Be safe.