Greetings from Mamallapuram! My name is Mike and I am one of the participants in the 2010 South Indian Odyssey.
Well we’ve finished our second day in Mamallapuram and are preparing to head out to Chidambaram mid day tomorrow. Before we head out of Internet range for a couple of days I wanted to take some time to share a couple of thoughts that I’ve realized in the past couple of days with all of you in Internet land:
Investigating our habits – I’ve decided to take this trip (my second) through India to practice a little self study experiment. I love experiments and I feel it’s the best way for me to concretely see what affects certain actions I perform have on my life. My experiment is to commit to eating only an Indian vegetarian diet (take a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and cut out the eggs) as well as cutting out all of the alcohol from my diet while in India on this trip.
I’m not a strict vegetarian back home (my friends in Edwards, Colorado can attest to my love of our weekly Burger Night at eTown) and I have been known to imbibe in a beer or two (Colorado has some pretty great micro-brewed beers available locally).
My reason for this little experiment is to show myself that my life is perfectly fine without meat/eggs and alcohol. This little experiment could be considered a form of tapas and while not as extreme as some forms of tapas it will still be a great undertaking for me. It won’t be terribly difficult because here in India vegetarian meals are plentiful and alcohol is somewhat “expensive” so there’s no need to think “how will he get through this”. I will still have to make some conscious decisions at meal time since some of our group will be partaking in a bit of drinking at meals (although we’ll all be eating vegetarian so that part is easy) but I’m confident that I’ll make it through unscathed and probably a little narrower around the waist as well. 🙂
Remaining open to others – If you’ve been to India you may have experienced the difficulty that occurs when interacting with locals. The Indian people are wonderful people but due to cultural and language barriers I find personal interactions are hard to come by.
The other day Dandapani and I were out in Mamallapuram at the tailor shop (India has wonderful tailors and the clothes they make are inexpensive and very nice) and we were talking to the shop owner. Discussions were going well but the mood very business oriented. All of a sudden something changed and the next thing we knew we were having a cup of chai tea with the man. I can’t put my finger on what shifted but I am glad that we were both were open enough the recognize the shift and explore it further. The next day I went back to the shop to collect the shirt I had made and spent a good 30 minutes joking and laughing with the shop owner. As I left the shop, the shop owner shook my hand and even gave me a hug as I left.
I may never see this man again in either of our lifetimes but I know that in that short period of time I had a positive affect on his life and he had a positive effect on my life. The moral of this story is that even though it may seem hard and you may feel like a connection may never happen if you stay open to people around you every once and a while you’ll form a connection with a person that may touch you deeply.Read More
We started our 2010 South Indian Odyssey today with an orientation class this afternoon. The class was held outdoors under some shady trees by the beach and the resort was a perfect setting to begin our journey. Though some of us are still slightly jet lagged we are all happy to be here and eager...Read More
Aaah India! It conjures up all kinds of memories. It’s been 7 months since my last visit and it doesn’t feel soon enough to be back. My friend, Mike, who is participating in the 2010 South Indian Odyssey, and I are heading to India a few days early. It was a long flight from New…Read More
An article from the Chicago Tribune. Research shows daily attention to mind-body dynamic reduces anxiety, strengthens immune system. Newer research from the University of Wisconsin shows a meditation habit can strengthen the body’s immune function, plus increase brain performance in the for...Read More
Eagle, Colorado, USA. The weekend visit to Colorado was truly uplifting. Eagle was the place that I had given my first workshop little over a year ago and it was nice to be back there. So many familiar faces and some new ones. The first workshop on Saturday was titled “Relationships” and the one ...Read More
Fri, 7th Aug 2009 – Our theme for the week of study is “I am a Hindu and I …”. Each camper had to finish that sentence based on what they learnt. The older campers had to write 30 statements of “I am a Hindu and I …” and the younger ones 15 statements. Cl...Read More
An article from the New York Times. “It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ten years ago, with yoga transforming into a ubiquitous pop culture phenomenon from a niche pursuit, yoga teachers banded together to create a voluntary online registry of schools meeting new standards for training instr...Read More