Welcome to India

taxi crowd mumbaiIt had all come to this. India was more than a geographical location on a map. It was more than a sub-continent that had collided with the Asian continent 50 million years ago and it was more than the home of one of the most ancient civilizations. India had become, in the past 9 months of my life, the focal point of everything. I succeeded in living momentarily, in not projecting a false future. However, there existed a very fine point when the dream was to become the way, and that point happened when the road opened before me and even the sky posed very few limitations.

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Andheri, Mumbai

mumbai anjali innI arrived safely at the Anjali Inn and couldn't be happier to have a flat surface to sleep on. The trouble was actually relaxing enough to fall asleep after nearly 22 hours of trying to sleep. I asked "Can I use your phone, or can you point me in the direction of a phone I can use, so that I can let my family know that I am safe?" They replied, "In the morning". It was 3am, I asked, "Can you define morning?" "9am".

I was eager to explore the next day. Though very soon after, I got the impression that this wasn't a place interested in being explored.

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First Week at the Yoga Institute Mumbai

yoga institute mumbaiIt is Sunday morning and the air is surprisingly brisk, compelling me to wear sleeves for the first time since arriving in India. Every living thing seems to be shaking sleep and gently coming back into movement. At this time of year the sun rises shortly after 7am and retreats behind the curve of the west nearly 12 hours later. Every morning, moments before you open your eyes, you can hear a subtle wisp as the groundskeeper begins his day with sweeping. Everything is swept, stairs, walks, patios and even the gardens. The consistency in the sound shows an acute focus of attention. After sweeping, the groundskeeper begins the task of watering everything. I've been in India eleven days now and haven't noticed a single cloud.

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Time, as we know it . . .

All the days have begun to blend together. I rarely ever know what time it is or what day of the week it is. Most days are like those that have proceeded it and those to come. I have surrendered to the process. In the States I found myself filling in each fraction of a second with some task.

I often thought that I was aiming to make good use of my time. Time, as we know it, is fleeting and I never wanted to find myself lying immobile with my breath escaping, wishing I had done so much more with my life, so I plan and plan.

Here, however, I have begun to really get to know space. Space regarding time taken to be, versus to do. I have intellectualized this concept my whole life and have met much resistance internally when attempting to practice it. In a country where everything feels congested and confined, it's interesting perhaps by contrast, to begin to feel a sense of space.

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Sightseeing in Mumbai

mumbai swamiAnother weekend had arrived and one of my roommates, Levi, invited me along to to see the Ishwardas Chunilal Yogic Health Center, Kaivalyadhama, Mumbai. The founder of this Health Center, Swami Kuvalayananda was also a student of Paramahamsa Madhavadasaji (teacher of Shri Yogendra, the Yogic Institutes founder). The Ishwardas Chunilal Yogic Center is located on Marine Drive, across from the vast expanse of the sea.

Our trip started at the Santacruz East train station. Levi and I boarded the train with ease, heading toward Churchgate. As expected the train was packed, so we stood hands over head clinging to handles hanging from the ceiling. We arrived in the station at Churchgate and proceeded to walk toward Marine Drive. Thankfully Levi knew where he was going, I was clueless.

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