The energy in McLeod Ganj is really reaching a frenzy of excitement as the Dalai Lama teachings begin tomorrow. It is the first time he has done teachings on an Introduction to Buddhism so it’s an even more so special event.
I saw him drive by on the street the other day, with his hands in prayer nodding to everyone. Seeing him bought tears to my eyes which really caught be by surprise, he really has a strong presence. So I am very much looking forward to the next 3 days! People are already down at the temple today putting down their cushions with their names written on, so hopefully there will still be a little spot for me somewhere.
A funny thing happened to me on Saturday, it was 2nd June and I woke up thinking today I must find some fun! After all it is June’s intention. I said to myself by the end of the day something will have happened and I will have found some fun. I spotted a concert was on so thought that might be the best way forward so was planning to have a quick dinner and go to that. On the way out I checked my emails and a friend here who is on a retreat had written to me saying she also needed some light relief and could we meet up the next day. Perfect I thought, but still I knew something would happen that evening.
As I walked up the stairs, I bumped into the very same girl and we ended up going out for a beer. This may not seem too crazy to those back in the UK but I have had about 2 beers in the past 2 months so this was quite crazy 🙂 Well maybe not crazy but it was fun to be out having a drink and a girlie chat about girlie stuff. We even managed to catch the end of the concert.
Sunday evening after an amazing long distance Reiki session with one of my best friends and a super relaxing massage, sickness hit me. Your typical traveller in India type of sickness, you get the idea. I was gutted as on Monday I had planned to go to an active Osho meditation group, Osho was a way out there controversial Guru who was very popular in the States and has a big ashram here in Pune. He is dead now but still has many followers. I knew that could be potentially fun and almost definitely crazy so I thought it would be perfect for this week. I called them to find out if there would be another chance to go and they seemed to think if I could just get there I would feel better by the end of it.
So on the night of the Buddha Full Moon (a very special powerful moon as it is Buddha’s Birthday and day of enlightenment) I hiked up the mountain to a venue way further up hill than I expected, thinking I really should be in bed! However what an experience! I did somehow find the energy to take part fully, even if I did feel exhausted by the end. The idea was that we went through as a group 12 different stages to eventually bring us to silent mediation of just being.
It really was not like mediation but more like a therapy session. To begin with after some freestyle dancing around the room to “get the energy fired up” we had to stand in front of a partner and shout all out pent up anger out at them!!!! Now I don’t really feel anger, when I do it passes quickly, I laugh at it and then I let it go. They told us to find a partner we could really vent at, if we found someone we couldn’t then we were to move on. A funny thing happened, people kept coming up to me, then smiling, saying they couldn’t get angry at me and then going off to find someone else! There I was trying my best to summon up my inner anger but no one to shout at, maybe it was because I was laughing a little while shouting. I ended up having to go stand on the “safe blanket” on my own as it just wasn’t happening.
Next up was love, once we got the inner anger out we were then to go around and hold hands, look into the other persons eyes and give them an authentic compliment and if we could tell them we loved them then hug! Not very English at all. I found this much much easier though, it was actually very touching.
After a couple more emotions we got to “craziness”, where we had to go around the room pretending we were in a mad house. This is where it reaching the peak of insane. I really was not sure what to do with myself so I just lay on the floor and swam like a fish. It really was a chance to have a lie down as I was quite tired by this stage but fun all the same.
Other emotions were sadness, laughter and “dance with a lover”. By the time we sat down to do silent mediation it was amazingly easy just to ‘be”, after releasing these emotions there was simply calmness. Then we walked around thanking each other by saying “The light with in me sees the light with in you” (Namaste) and hugging, by this stage it was really lovely especially as quite a few people told me I was a laughing Buddha. Probably as by this stage I totally had the giggles. We ended the session by chanting the well known Tibetan Buddhist chant Om Mani Padme Hum for compassion, as it was the Buddha Mooon after all. Then I floated off down the mountain together with a couple of guys I had met there feeling very happy I had made the effort to go.
So does that count as crazy silly fun?! It felt a bit like it!
After a day in bed yesterday with this sickness, I felt a bit better this morning so ventured up the stairs to get some breakfast. A lovely Irish girl ended up sitting on my table and I ended up taking her shopping, my kind of fun 🙂 We got lost in the time warp of my favourite crystal and scarf shops, I am considering buying a bulk of these scarves to sell back in the UK. They are really beautiful. It was really fab to meet her, we ended up going for lunch after and chatting about all we have been learning here.
So that’s my second to last post, just one week to go before I fly home to the UK. I can’t believe it. Next week I will be able to report all about my Dalai Lama experience!