The people here in Tiruvannamalai work so hard. Everyone at the ashram is truly dedicated to their service and seems more than happy to do their part. And, after reading more about Ramana Maharshi I can understand why.

But, in the city of Tiru the daily grind of hard work seems to never cease. Sellers are always near to offer you the best price for their wares. Sadhus are hard at work begging for alms. And, people on our street are working tirelessly to dig a ditch (for why purpose I do not know).

It puts a lot into perspective when I’m frustrated at the wifi speed at the local internet shop while a small 12 year old boy drives an ox cart, screaming at the animal, down the road.

But for the record to the man at the front gate peddling Ayurvedic massages…no I don’t want a massage from you just because you think we shared a past life together.




So I’m sitting here at The Dreaming Tree on my birthday dinner enjoying the nice breeze from the fan and listening to the bells off in the distance for some procession happening. We have been in India for two days and are slowly beginning to acclimate. Here are some things….

1. I saw my first dead body today…in a funeral procession walking down the main road. She was strapped to a table like structure on a moving car with people all around walking and ringing bells. A loud boom went off and the man we were speaking with explained that it was a cracker (firecracker).

2. It’s hot. I mean I knew it would be hot but I didn’t expect the muggy nature. It’s sticky but wonderful. And the cool marble floors in the ashram feel lovely. As does sleeping without blankets.

3. The Indian head bobble is amazing. It is truly wonderful to see the smile spread from ear to ear in concert with the wiggle of the head.

4. I’m kinda tall…

5. The ashram food is freaking delicious. But what I never thought is would be eating off of a banana leaf with my fingers. It’s an art form I have yet to master.

6. There are lots of wild dogs…and cows…and cow poop.

7. People remove their shoes to go into most places. Businesses and religious places. This is fine…and I even believe in the reasons for it. However, one should not walk through a main temple a noon on the first day in India. Why? Your feet will be burned to a crisp. And everyone who you thought might be watching you because you are a tourist…is definitely watching you as you run as fast as you can from each shady part to the next.

Soooo much more to come!

Namaste y’all… I don’t want to be late for dinner!