Monday, February 23, 2015
Last week I went up north to Frankfort, Michigan for vacation. While I couldn't do much research or planning with no WiFi and spotty service, it did give me a better idea of what life at the ashram will be like. Limited access to my phone and friends was very different, and I found it easier to focus on what was going on around me rather than on social media. The frozen lake was also a very nice place to practice meditation.
Monday, February 9, 2015
This week I did some research on the meditation and reflection focused on at Shantivanam. Though the ashram is not devoted to one religion, it believes that meditation is important to all spirituality. Central to this ideal is the Hindu practice of Sannyasa. This lifestyle revolves around simplicity, including life without excess and even eating with the hand. The goal of this simplicity is to focus less on the present material world and more on being. This is reflected on in sunrise and sunset meditation hours as well as group readings and hymns. While I am at the ashram, there will also be a ten day period of silence. This means we will not speak and focus on meditative exercises. I am excited to discover a more contemplative way of life, but the I'm also getting a little nervous that I might not be cut out for ten days of silence. Better brush up on my meditation skills!