Amritsar, Anadapur Sahib, this is India
Sat Nam divine souls! Sat Siri Akal!
I am overwhelmed, honestly in every way. Â Every single sense is overwhelmed, but most of all, I keep feeling and hearing in myself, “wow, I did not expect this!” And then I realize I had expectations, which I thought I did not. Okay, where to begin, right this moment I am in Anadapur Sahib, city of Bliss at Dashmesh Sedan, which is a gorgeous estate that Yogi Bhajan dreamed of creating as a place for him to live out his days, and for others to come to for meditation and relaxation. It is an oasis in this land, and a welcomed one for us all after our week in Amritsar.
Amritsar is a very busy, bustling little city, in every way India, and sitting like a little jewel in the center is the Golden Temple. First surprise, the Temple is not so big, but very GOLD! but it sits in the middle of a body of water, called a Sarovar, and surrounding that is what surprised me, a gigantic structure with a huge open marble walkway all the way around. There are a series of rooms where men sit and read the sacred Sikh document, the Siri Guru Granthi Sahib, which is the “Living Guru”. It is being read 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non stop, and many, many men are reading it. Yes, no women, YET!
As our group of lovely women, all in bani, or rather, our white clothes, turbans and flowing shawls, would walk through the area, everyone would stop and look at us, some would bow and smile, some took our photos and most were treated us with great reverence. At first this was just weird, then it was nice then it went a bit too much for me, as all of the attention freaked me out. I went through “my stuff” a LOT there, it is impossible not to. We were meditating everyday at the temple, on the roof, all around the place and it was filled with so many people, not a quiet meditative experience at all. But, very profound. I found it too much, even though I also found it profound.
One day we drove out to Goindwal, where Guru Amar Das lived and we walked these 85 steps down into a well of sacred water and then chanted a mantra on each step coming back up. This moved me beyond words as I pressed my forehead against the cold marble wall with each recitation and held so many in love and prayer.
We were incredibly blessed to be allowed to enter Guru Amar Das’s home and we sang kirtan in the very room where he did healings hundreds of years ago. This meant more to me than anything else, as he is the one Guru that I feel a kinship with. His kindness and love of all and especially his support for women and the changes he made to the laws to give women freedoms and privileges they had never had.
We shopped, bought saris, shawls, and trinkets, and plowed our way through the crazy, insane streets/alleys with dogs, bikes, mopeds, horse drawn buggies, cows and people everywhere. The horn beeping never ever stops, as it is their way of communicating, not in anger but in care. The roads are totally crazy, the people are kind but they will just totally stand there staring right at you, and then come up and take your photo!
Okay, we had many amazing experiences in Amritsar, the food was pretty good, everyone has stayed well, and our small group is fantastic. I am travelling with women from Vancouver and one teacher from New Mexico! Our lead teacher turns out to Â be Nirinjan’s mother!! The new cd I love, Adhara!!!, her mom is our lead teacher, Guru Raj and she is great!
We drove to Anadapur a few days ago, and after several days of intense sadhanas, at 4 am, then yoga, then meditation, and then Gutka, Punjabi styled sword fighting lessons, we get lunch and then an afternoon of visiting the Gurdwara’s which are the sacred holy sites of the different gurus.
We are immersed right now in the Punjab region, which is mostly Sikh, and very steeped in the culture and religion and history, a lot to absorb. That plus the unexpected feelings from the meditations and just being deep in this vibration is showing me a lot about me. I have not begun to process it yet, I hope the time in the south in Trivandrum will allow that.
Right now, I am doing my best to keep up with the program, to allow myself space to be and to fully participate. I think surrender is the word here, it keeps coming up, guess I am looking at my desire to predict and control things right now, and you know, you just cannot do that in India.
Miss you all, love to all and know that each morning, I hold you in my meditation!