Calling all pilgrims: India awaits

Every now and then, we get a cheerful email update from Robert Moses about our upcoming pilgrimage to India. We got one yesterday saying there are still spaces left. We’d like to take a minute to encourage you to come with us.

Robert is the co-publisher (along with Eddie Stern) of the wonderful NamarupaHe’s leading us on a journey to India that is not tourism, but instead a sadhana yatraSadhana is “study as a means of spiritual practice.” Here’s a brief intro:

The ancient Puranas of India are huge volumes containing stories of the makings of the universe as well as thrilling tales of innumerable gods and goddesses. Countless places mentioned in these ancient texts are fully alive today and are important places of yatra (pilgrimage). These places where the sacred stories unfolded are sometimes called tirthas. A tirtha is a place of crossing over and most literally refers to fords of rivers. It also refers to a spiritual crossing place, where the divine is more easily intuited, recognized or experienced.

The Confluence Countdown household had a long, hard discussion about this trip. First, it’s over the December-January holidays. In addition to having to explain this to our family, it’s also pushing into the start of my teaching quarter at UCI. I’m basically having to take a quarter off to go.

Siva in the Elephanta Caves. Via Wikipedia.

But most importantly, a close family member is in a serious battle with cancer. The future is an uncertain thing for him, for all of us. When we first broached the subject of being gone for the holidays, we got this response: “I’ve learned not to wait to do the things you want to do with your life. Don’t put it off.” So, with that blessing, we’re going, and taking our prayers for his recovery with us.

There are so many things about the journey that we love. The guides are so knowledgeable. We’re learning so much already from Robert’s reading list. There will be yoga practice, too–but also darshan at many temples and festivals, talks with swamis, and ending with a visit to the Elephanta Caves outside of Mumbai. Really, there are too many things to mention (check out the link). So many, that I’ve made a short list on the back of my bookmark so I make sure to learn the names of places as I read about them.

If this sounds like something you’d love to do, come with us. India calls.

Addendum: Robert wished to pass this along: “We will see places and temples and experiences that will really help to fathom something inexplicable about the place and Her absorbing quality. Then as an extra the practice makes more sense.”

If you have any questions, let us know and we’ll pass along Robert’s contact information!

Posted by Bobbie

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theconfluencecountdown

Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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