A Spiritual Adventurer shares her experience
November 15, 2013 • Spiritual Adventures
The best way to gain an understanding about what a entails is to speak with someone who has experienced the trip. As we continue to highlight our March 2014 Spiritual Adventure, we asked former participant and now friend Amy Young to share her experiences of Chidambaram with us, particularly in the Thillai Nataraja Temple and at the home of the Temple Priest. As our Q&A reveals, our immersive spiritual adventure is a life-changing experience perfect for those who are ready to go deeper within themselves while exploring the cultural wonders of South India.
Be sure to read the last question if you are considering joining us this March.
Had you ever been to India prior to this trip?
No, this was my first trip to India. However, I had wanted to travel to India for over 12 years, but had reservations due to the vast differences in culture; language barriers, safety concerns, risk of infectious diseases from foods and beverages. After meeting Dandapani, I knew this was the way I could travel through India and experience as much as possible without any of the above concerns. I also realized that I was going to be able to do things that I would never get to traveling alone in India as a Westerner.
How did this adventure differ from other traveling you have done?
I was able to experience more with minimal cultural barriers. Everything was arranged too, which allowed me to focus on being fully present in each place we went. I didn’t have to plan everything. It is like going with your best friend to their home country and getting to see all of their favorite places. We had connections every place we went. We ate the best food! Had the nicest accommodation that each town had to offer and got to travel around and see so much. It is the best way you could ever imagine to travel through India! My experience was so full that I felt like I spent 2 months there even though it was only 2 weeks!
What was your experience like when walking through the Thillai Nataraja Temple? Can you describe the feelings or thoughts you had?
Exploring the temple surpassed all expectations I could have had. You can’t imagine what it will be like until you are actually there. The Hindu culture deeply believes in the energy created from ritual, worship and in communing with ‘inner world beings’. So much of what we learn through yoga in the western world is part of everyday life in these temples. Walking through the temple, we were shown each part by the Priest’s son. He explained the temple as if it was his beautiful new bride — with more love and devotion that you could ever imagine.
What was your favorite part about visiting the Thillai Nataraja Temple?
One of my favorite memories is sitting and mediating to the beautiful voices of the Priest’s chanting. And outside it rained all around us.
How was your visit to the Temple Priest’s home? Can you describe it a little bit for us?
It was so incredible to spend time at their home. It brought everything into perspective to see how 5 people lived in this 1 bedroom home with NO furniture, a cow in the backyard and love birds to greet you at the door. It was so simple, but full of more love than any home I have ever been to.
We were invited for dinner. We sat on the floor and ate on a palm leaf which was composted at the end of the meal. The food was amazing, as was every meal in India! We were able to see what real life is like in an Indian Priest’s home.
What is one piece of advice you can offer to a person who is going on this adventure for the first time?
You are about to take a trip of a lifetime!!! Don’t pack too many cloths, you will want to just buy some beautiful ones there. Spend a lot of time thinking about your intention for going. Take a step back from your life and look at where you are and what you would like to bring more of into your life. This trip will deepen your relationships in profound ways by helping you to go deeper within yourself. You will also meet amazing like-minded people on this trip, and they will support you and help create memories to last a life-time.
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