Day 1 - Sunday, 12 November, 2006
Trip Start Nov 09, 2006
33Trip End Dec 21, 2006
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I was up just before 5:30 am and had an ice cold shower to wake up. Then at 6 am we went for a silent walk to the Dam wall. It was so beautiful. Then we did some meditation and chanting on the wall. I found the meditation difficult with all of the noises coming from the people that live nearby. I haven't learnt how to silence the mind and get rid of all distractions yet.
The first asana class from 8 to 10 am nearly killed me. We had an Indian guy do the class and I didn't really like his teaching style. He wasn't considerate of the beginners at all
After the morning asana class, when all of my muscles were straining at the exertion, I stupidly volunteered myself for food serving. Big mistake! It was so painful, lugging heavy buckets full of food and bending down to the floor to serve people. Some people were really quite impolite. Others smiled. It was a very humbling experience.
Then for Karma Yoga, which is selfless service that you have to do for one hour a day, Kerryn (an Australian girl that I share my section of the dorm with), Clara (a girl from Hong Kong which I also share my section of the dorm with) and I were given the task of helping out at the Health Hut. The Health Hut is sort of the cafeteria that serves normal food at the ashram such as fruit salad, cheese on toast, and smoothies. I thought it would be fun, but it was actually quite stressful in there with the amount of orders that they get. There is a possibility that we may get to keep this Karma Yoga job for the whole month
This evening during satsang we had our Inauguration Ceremony. We were handed two sets of our uniform (oversized white trousers and a yellow t-shirt), our course manual and initiated into the course. Our uniforms have to be worn during morning and evening satsang and all lectures (and always be clean!!). It took quite a while for all 180 of us to go up on stage, bow to the gurus and have a mark (can't remember what it's called) put on our forehead. In that time we went and changed into our uniforms. Then all of us had to go up and tell our name, where we come from and why we are here. I said "My name is Marisa. I come from Zambia. I don't know why I'm here, but since arriving here I know that it's to help me smash some major comfort zones!).