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Better late than never... by Amal (USA) 2007
Classes just ended today, so here I am, finally writing you about the india tour...
Going on the India Tour was just about one of the most intense experiences of my life. Ever since I was a little kid my parents and other Margiis have been relating various different India horror stories, but really, now that I've been there, I understand that -nobody- can prepare you for the reality of India -- either you've been there and you understand, or you haven't and you don't. I'll never forget what it was like first arriving in India -- I was totally traumatized, hahaha.
Being in Delhi for two days on my own was just an utterly terrifying experience. Everything, from the animals, the crowds, the chaos, the filth and pollution were so overwhelming, I just felt like I would never be able to handle it, would never be able to adjust. Funnily enough, after traveling through places like Bihar, when I arrived in Delhi again after the tour was over I thought "hey this place is pretty nice for India," haha. It's amazing how much your perspective can change once you've come across things like the Gaya train station.
All this sounds terrible and negative, I'm sure, but really, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I got sick so many times -- I even managed to land myself with dysentery on my very last day (Dada Krpa will fondly remember me keeled over in the Delhi hotel room one hour before leaving for the airport telling him that I couldn't go to the airport, that I should go to the hospital instead, hahaha) -- but in spite of all the clash, physical, mental and certainly spiritual, I really feel like I grew immensely during the tour. In a place like India you just have no shelter, just absolutely no relief. The only recourse is to go deep within during sadhana, haha.
But even India was such an amazing place -- the more time has gone by, the more I appreciate India itself. What a strange and wonderful place, to contain within its borders places as far set apart as Delhi and Ananda Nagar. Speaking of which, I loved Ananda Nagar. Being at Ananda Nagar was a profound experience for me, the first time in my entire life that I ever felt like I was "home," even in spite of all the organizational nonsense surrounding the whole DMS-cancellation. I didn't care. I walked around in ananda, perfectly content, even in spite of my high fever and diarrhea, haha. Being in Baba's room there was also incredible. I felt like I was sitting in the room from which the universe was being controlled -- I was really shocked by how strong the vibration was -- far stronger than any other place we went to, including Jamalpur.
Even apart from all the incredible sights (and let's not forget smells) of the Himalayas, Jamalpur, Pushkar and all the rest, one of the most valuable experiences for me was just being a part of the tour -- to be a part of that family. I was truly inspired by how diverse our group was -- not just in terms of nationality or ethnicity, but in terms of personality and temperament. Every single one of us were so unique, so different from one another -- it really gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with people I might not necessarily have spent time with otherwise. Even in spite of the different squabbles that might have happened from time to time, and in spite of the personality clashes, I was really inspired by how strong of a family feeling came over us, especially towards the end of the tour. We all came from different backgrounds, all came for different reasons, but in the end, we were all fundamentally one. For that, I really want to thank everybody who went! on the tour, and give them my deepest thanks, especially to our four fearless Acaraya leaders, always leading us by example.
I'll definitely not be forgetting my experience on the India Tour, and as far as I'm concerned, I experienced more spiritual growth during those tour months than any other period in my meditating life, with the exception of LFT training.
In Him, Amal
PS -- if any one of you ever comes anywhere even -near- NY, let me and Mohan Krsna know. You are most welcome :)
Ed. Sounds scary? Well most don't get sick more than a little stomach trouble and many don't find it that shocking...
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