So much of this trip is about an inward journey, which is why I choose to head north to Dharamsala instead of sticking round here in south goa. It is sunny and beautiful here but I am in need of stillness, silence and of surrender. I am so grateful for my time spent here, and I'm especially grateful for the love, hospitality and friendship that has been showered upon me by Jess.
I'm more than half way through my "week of Ahimsa", and have found that the path of non-violence is becoming easier with each passing moment. There was one night that I felt irritated by a woman in our circle, but once I brought some awareness into the thoughts ("why am I feeling this way towards her?"), I realized that my negative emotions were a reflection of my own bullshit. I noticed that whenever I feel threatened by a strong, know-it-all woman (or man, but more often than not its women) that I put up a defense and close them out. What I recognized most these past few days though was my violent thoughts that were directed to myself. My body, my slow spiritual growth, my lack of patience and self confidence...which is made worse by the negativity and pressure that I put upon myself. When I recognized these thoughts coming up, I didn't punish myself or force a positive mantra on myself- I just closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths until the emotions and thoughts passed. I am not this body, I am not my emotions, I am not my thoughts....surrendering the ego. After just two days of that mindfulness, I've found less and less negative thoughts- and now more relaxation and peace within myself.
The whole being vegan thing was a bit of a bust. Ordering "soy" masala chai's is a luxury that is both expensive and only available in touristy restaurants (which I don't frequent except for the rare splurge here and there). So whenever I was at one of my local spots, I had masala chai (which is made with cows milk). Almost every Indian dish has ghee in it (clarified butter), and I broke down once and enjoyed and insanely delicious, definitely-not-vegan egg curry. But on a positive note, no animal died for my meal this week- no fish, no poultry, so that'll have to do. I also found myself using heaps of honey, which some argue for and against as being vegan. I've been absorbed in my book Prakriti : Your Ayurvedic Constitution, which claims that ghee, honey and milk alone will support a long and healthy life- so I decided that honey falls under "vegan-friendly".
"So my bags are packed, I'm ready to go"...leaving for Dharamsala tomorrow....4 hours worth of flights, 12 hour train ride, 4 hour bus ride and then 20minute taxi. I'm preparing myself for a meltdown, because they seem to come every time I transition from one place to the next. And that's okay, at least now I'm not caught off guard and can be a bit prepared. And that reminds me of a song that I sang for my dad...I even wrote it in one of the cards id made for him...
"I'm leaving on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go.
Every place I go,
I'll think of you
Every song I sing,
I'll sing for you..."
Been having a rough two days, missing him a lot. But last night as I jammed with all of the musicians here in town, I sang every song for him. And as I strolled the beach this morning, I strolled with him in my heart. And for now, that'll do...