Just over a week till India trip 7 and I am getting excited. Those who have never gone ask over and over about certifications and greater permissions and will never know how impossible it would be to quantify this annual transfer of knowledge and self realization. But one more person will now get to experience it for herself. This trip I am taking my student Allison with me.
Answering Allison’s questions about making the trip to Mysore has brought back tons of memories and reminded me of all that makes India so special. I hope the answers will help you whether you are traveling to Mysore or simply envisioning this great journey.
1. Get a massage at the 3 Sisters
2. Walk up Chamundi Hill
3. See the Mysore Palace lit up
4. Go to the Market
5. Eat at the Green Hotel
It was my teacher who influenced me to make my first trip.
I remember exiting the airport and smelling the air thick with incense. The car ride from Bangalore to Mysore was like a feast for my eyes. I was amazed at all the animals in the road. The first taste of chai was equally unforgettable. I remember going to the shala for the first time and being overwhelmed and under dressed for Guruji’s birthday celebration. Feeling shy and dirty! Practice was amazing every day. After that we’d have long breakfasts at Green Hotel and go on day trip after day trip to temples and waterfalls and to visit Indian friends of my teacher. It was exhausting but also invigorating. I stayed with an Indian family. I remember the sounds of the family eating dinner and watching TV at 10PM and the vivid Malaria pill induced dreams. Mostly I remember feeling unbelievably happy and free.
There is no typical day, as the trip can be anything you want it to be, but there are common practices. Most people get up well before their time to wash, drink coffee and prepare for practice. After practice it is customary to have a coconut or two or three and sometimes a chai. Breakfast is the biggest and longest meal and there are a couple options of where to go. After that there is time for chanting, studying, reading, touring, volunteering, resting, etc. Around 5:30PM you’ll usually see students at the coconut stand for ‘Happy Hour’ before heading home to watch a movie on their computer or read before an early bedtime. Getting crazy in Mysore might mean getting an ice cream or going to swim at the pool in one of the local hotels.