Emily's Dec. Inspiration 'Dear India'
People keep asking me, how was India...which continues to be an impossible question to answer, and yet here I am wanting to tell you everything. Of how it cracked me open in a way I've never been. Of how the divine chaos of the cows, motorbikes, rickshaws, and sadhus trafficking the streets exhilarated me. Of how everyday I was blessed, numerous times - by its temples and peoples, and fine street chai. I want to tell you my heart broke there, and a part of me feels like somehow I'll have to sew it up or tape it so I can walk on the streets tough again. Have I changed? Of course. Because to see the beauty around you - the hazy lit, artist-skies creating the most surreal of moments against the poverty and underbelly of this sacred culture is life-changing.
Deep in the land of Tiruvannamalai, I sunk into its vibe. A vortex of intense Shiva energy so strong I craved some days for a mellower Krishna. Never in my practice have I so deeply received the prayer, Om Namah Shivaya. We exist to offer it all back to God - Love. To that same divine within me, I bow. The mantra and energy of transformation enveloped us. On the top of Skanda, where Ramana Maharshi stayed and meditated for seven years straight I found peace I have never known so deep. I wept, exhaled, let go... The level of devotion in India is phenomenal, and an honor to transmit through my teaching. The yoga is all around you, in the sparkle of the children's eyes with their impeccable English and striking presence. In the way millions of people enter the push and co-exist with each other equally.
In Tiru, we met an ex-sadhu named Happy, who told us to go to Pondicherry. We rented motorbikes and went out on his land just outside town where he shared his fitting philosophy that people take life so serious. That this life is meant to be lived, and playfully. That one should be having – fun. And so it was that some things I already practiced were solidified for me in a most magical way there. Over two weeks in communion with the scene outside our Ramana hotel balcony of a make-shift bedroom; a mattress covered with tarp, and cows and horses and dogs roaming around. A fire started every night even though the humidity lasted all day, and the road behind it led to adventure and neighborhoods of people living life. This I sat and watched most days. I closed my eyes and took in the smell of jasmine and others indescribable, and let the meditation take me. In Pondicherry, a Ganesha temple and ocean was our bridge back to the States. A zany shift from Arunachala and Tiru to beach town, Pondi's kitch, French fusion.
Dear India, I shall never forget you. Even now as I integrate, sink into winter ahead my being holds you deep. And then, how blessed to live and love back in Santa Fe. The coming home has been most nourishing. My teachings of this ancient practice stoked, by flashes and sensations of that timeless time spent. Here's wishing you and yours a holiday season of bliss and grace, of holding close those in our lives who change us, challenge us, remind us – to live life happily.
Happy Solstice & Holidays,