Meditation Techniques at the JCC

Shabbat

Shabbat
Land Yoga sent me over to the JCC  to teach a free yoga and meditation class this past Saturday as part of their R&R Shabbat Saturdays. If you’ve not been there, the upper west side location of the Jewish Community Center is a huge, lovely building on Amsterdam Ave. near 76th Street. Saturdays are buzzing around the center with community members attending playgroups, movie screenings and other activities designed to give their day of rest some positive vibes. After our hour-long Ashtanga Yoga asana class, I guided participants through a meditation. I’d like to share the three simple techniques I used because they’re super accessible for anyone looking to clear their mind!

Simple Meditation and Relaxation Techniques

Take a comfortable seated position, either in a chair or on the floor. Make sure it feels comfortable and that your spine is in a supported, upright position. If you find tightness or discomfort during your practice, move around a bit so that you are relaxed. Try not to fidget all the time, but be aware and allow the body to feel at ease. Turn your palms to face up and rest your hands on your knees or thighs. Close your eyes.

Begin by observing your thoughts, noticing where your mind naturally settles. Allow each thought to come…whether it’s about food, family, your relationship, financial problems, tonight’s plans, or your mile-long to-do list. One by one, accept each thought. Acknowledge it. Thank it for being there, and then send it on its way. Work slowly, observing each thought or sensation that comes up. Gradually, as if you were cleaning clutter out of a room, make space in the brain. Try not to judge yourself or become frustrated when more and more thoughts come up. Repeat the practice of acknowledging, accepting, and letting go until the thoughts slow down and you feel softer and more centered.

With the newfound space and emptiness in the brain begin to focus on the breath. Notice the natural rhythm of the breathing. How the body feels as each inhale comes and each exhale goes. Place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly. Notice the feeling of rising and falling in the chest and belly as you breathe. Allow your mind to focus on one idea or thought of positive nature. For example: thankfulness for good health, or more generally just the sensation of happiness. On each inhale allow yourself to take in the positive. Allow opportunity and newness to flood your body via your breath. With each exhale allow any obstacles to this positive happy thought exit your body and mind. Inhale the positive, exhale the negative. Inhale the opportunity, exhale the obstacles. Feel the physical sensation of each breath. You can keep your hands on the chest and belly for as long as you like, or let them return to their place on your thighs or knees. Repeat.

Finally allow your thoughts to slow down again. If you’ve been sitting you can come to lie down on your back with your palms facing up and your feet relaxing away from each other (if you prefer to stay seated that’s always an option). Beginning at the tips of the toes, trace your awareness up through each part of the body. Move slowly and allow each one to relax and soften. End with the very tip of the head. Settle in and rest for at least five minutes.

Do you have any of your own meditation or relaxation techniques? Let me know if you try these!

That’s Me! In the lululemon Window…

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A few weeks ago lululemon invited me to do a few yoga demos in their store window. Of course I agreed! So, for the past two Saturdays after teaching two packed classes at Land, I hopped over to their new location on 75th Street and Broadway. Everyone over there is so super nice…They set out a snazzy  mat right in their front window and invited me to ‘do my thing.’ It’s pretty strange to practice in front of a busy section of Broadway, in front of what seems like the entire world, but once I got the hang of it I actually really enjoyed! I even had a little audience at times. Hopefully my work helped inspire a few people to being an Ashtanga Yoga practice.

Here are a few pictures from my time in the windows:

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Sapta, navasana! 1/19/13
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jumping through to a seated pose. 1/19/13
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One of the lulu girls asked if I could demo this, her favorite pose, called Titibasana, or Firefly! 1/26/13
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Marichyasana D, a twist from Primary Series. 1/26/13

Stay tuned for some more exciting new about lululemon coming in March! Until then enjoy the pics and keep practicing 🙂

Warm Winter Soup

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, the white part, diced finely

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cup lentils

2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 carrots cut into equal size pieces

1/2 small hot pepper, chopped

2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

around 50 – 60 oz vegetable broth

1 teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste

½ teaspoon cumin powder

salt, pepper to taste

I’m a big salad fan, but once temperatures drop into the 30’s, I don’t always find myself ready to eat a raw plate of cold veggies. Soups and stews are a really great way to get lots of important vegetables in the winter months.  They’re also wonderful time savers…I make, store and eat soup for several days. I started making my own soup a few years ago, and usually don’t use a recipe anymore. They’re hard to mess up if you use a simple formula! I created this recipe to highlight the seasonal winter sweet potatoes…it’s a lovely, warm, orange soup! You can use red lentils to continue the orange trend, or opt for brown/green lentils as I used.

Start by heating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Once it’s warm add the diced leeks and let them sweat until they’re almost transparent, usually several minutes, over medium heat. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Make sure to stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the cup of lentils, mix and cook over medium heat for several minutes. I usually drizzle a little extra oil in as well. Add the spices, 1 or more teaspoon of curry powder, and about ½ teaspoon cumin powder, salt and pepper, you can always add more to taste, or any other spices or fresh herbs that you like. Add the chopped hot pepper, I called for ½ of a small hot pepper, but you can use more, or less depending on your spiciness!

After a few minutes add the sweet potatoes and carrots, stir and simmer. Add half of the broth and let it come to a gentle boil for around 10 minutes. Add the cut green beans and the rest of the broth, cover and simmer/gently boil for 20 minutes.

To check if the sweet potatoes are fully cooked, insert a fork into one and make sure it slides in easily. I like to make my soups thicker and chunky, like a stew. To do so use less broth and larger chunks of veggies. If you prefer a more liquid style, add more broth and chop the veggies smaller. This recipe makes around 5 – 8 servings.

Adventures in Parisian Yoga: Episode 3

Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche & Be Yoga

As you all know I’ve been slowly making my rounds through the Parisian yoga scene, trying classes here and there to get a taste of what it’s like to practice in this city. My ventures these past weeks have been two great studios, Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche and Be Yoga.
Rasa is simply a beautiful space. It’s located near Metro Saint Michel, on the left bank in the Latin Quarter. This section of Paris is home to the Sorbonne and has been the hub of student culture in Paris for centuries. The studio, like many in Paris, is nestled in a courtyard, between buildings. I really like this about Paris…the street view is never the whole story…there are gardens and calm alcoves located just between the exterior facade.
Once inside Rasa is bright, white and calming. There’s a large retail and reception section, with chairs and benches. The main studio has windows right into the lobby area, so you can actually see what’s going on in the class. I stopped by for a late evening led Ashtanga class with Charley, an American teacher, who also runs their morning Mysore program.
The class was quite full, but not overcrowded, and I enjoyed the energy of the other students. Charley keeps a great pace in his class…pretty fast, but not rushed at all. In fact, the class is scheduled for an hour and 45 minutes…and we used the time! He challenged us with specific details on refining our jump backs and throughs, something that weaves his strong teaching style together.
The next week I got a message from my teacher Lara telling me that her dear friendDorion was in Paris teaching. I was excited to make it over to Be Yoga for her evening led class. Be is really adorable. It’s located in a cobble stone alley off the main road, and is covered in a perfect little arch of trees. The front of the studio is painted a jovial green color and it was the perfect, warm, welcoming place to end up on a rainy Parisian night!
Dorion is just about one of the loveliest ladies I’ve ever taken class with. I was happy to catch up with a friend of my teacher! Her class was smart and detail oriented. We took the Ashtanga standing series and some of the primary seated series and slowed it down a bit, to focus on the ease of each posture. I was really happy to see the joy, lightness and care she takes in teaching.
Last week we moved apartments, from the super trendy Oberkampf area in the 11th district to the Gambetta metro stop in the 20th district. It’s a little further out of the center of the city, but still super accessible. I love our new apartment, which we’re renting from the acting coach from Michael’s production. It’s got a great energy partly because it’s been arranged using the principles of Feng Shui, something I’ve always been interested in, but never taken the time to implement fully. I challenged myself to take home practice this entire past week, and have really enjoyed it in this space. This week, however, I think I’ll venture back out to practice in some more studios around Paris!

 

Adventures in Parisian Yoga: Episode 2

Mysore Yoga Paris

I’m finally setting (and sometimes even obeying) my alarm again. I’m trying to get up 7:30am as opposed to sleeping in our haven of a bed till 10:30 with Michael (who deserves that, btw- he doesn’t get home till midnight and after dinner and organizing his thoughts, often doesn’t sleep till 3).

So I’ve finally been able to enjoy a morning Mysore practice here in Paris. One notable difference I’ve seen between NYC and Paris is that here mornings don’t start quite as early. Teachers are at shalas in the US and elsewhere often by 4:30 or 5am (or 1am if you ask Sharath) to practice and then begin teaching by 6. Here the earliest Mysore program I’ve seen is 6:45…Which is fine, by the way, with me!

After India this time around, morning practice is getting a little easier. A little. I’m up early in NY by 5:30am to teach Pilates or yoga, but I normally prefer to practice in the afternoon. My body feels more awake, less painful, less shaky and more ready to find some stillness.

But these days, being on the mat in the morning is fairly enjoyable. I might just be turning into a morning practice person! How’d that happen?!

Anyway, I dedicated a week (last week 9.17-9.21) to exploring this particular shala after getting a few recommendations. Mysore Yoga Paris is located on the right, north bank, along the canal St Martin in the 10th district. From my house it’s a 12-minute velo ride past the quiet water and quaint bridges of the canal to reach the shala.

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The practice space is located in Paris’ Shambala meditation center, a perfectly zen atmosphere that’s got palpably calm, sacred vibes going on. It’s adorned with dozens of tea light candles.

Kia Nadermier is the owner and main teacher, and she’s just lovely. From what I can gather, she’s Swedish, but we speak English in the shala. She’s kind and attentive with all of her students, and her adjustments are really top notch. She’s also a professional photographer, and on the website you can see some portraits of the yoga students she’s done over the past year.

I’ve been having some (normal) back pain, and she’s very helpful in offering advice on how to avoid it and work with the postures, instead of letting them work against you.

The shala is a large room and There are several white Indian cloths (like the men wear as skirts in India, called lungis) in the back that we cover ourselves with for rest after practice. I bought an eye pillow (a frivolous thing I’d never considered until I saw this one and am now quite enjoying it!) and rest after practice is really sublime here in the morning.

There’s a glow about the space and the people at Mysore Yoga Paris. I’m thinking I’ll continue to go back for regular practice, though next week I’m going to check out a few other shalas. I’d really recommend this place for anyone in Paris or visiting that’s looking for a peaceful atmosphere and a very kind, attentive teacher.

Adventures in Parisian Yoga: Episode 1

Ashtanga Yoga Paris, Samasthiti & Make Me Yoga

I arrived in Paris two weeks ago, only to leave again for a few days in Switzerland with Michael’s grandmother. When we finally got back to our apartment, I was feeling a little sick. Let’s just call it the too-much-cheese-chocolate-and-travel syndrome. :/

Last week I was finally feeling almost back to normal and was ready to start exploring the yoga scene in Paris. I’ve gotten a few recommendations from friends, colleagues and fellow ashtangis about where to practice in Paris, but there are quite a few places, so I’ve decided to explore little by little. Yoga is even more expensive here than in New York, so before I buy an unlimited month or delve into a place, I want to try around.

My first stop was Ashtanga Yoga Paris, which happenes to be about a two minute walk from our apartment! I attended the mixed Mysore and Ashtanga Level 1 class, taught by Agatha. The studio, I found out from one of the owners, Linda, has recently moved to a new location. It really is a lovely place, tucked into a courtyard between buildings. The walls of the lobby space are a deep, rich turquoise. The main practice room, the Krishnamacharya Room, is bright, with a ceiling full of skylights and walls tastefully adorned with black and white photos of teachers.

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A class was just finishing as we waited to enter the room, and once in the room Agatha asked those of us doing our own Mysore practice to go to the front of the room while she led the class of semi-beginners behind us. There were probably five of us doing self practice, and more than ten in the led class.

She’s a very talented teacher, and I liked hearing her soft French instructions peppered with Sanskrit. I was a little distracted being in a mixed Mysore and led class, but the language barrier helped me tune that out. I wonder how the experience is for those who understand French..? I’ve never been in a class like that, but it’s certainly an interesting concept, and definitely a good use of time for students wanting an evening Mysore program. Kudos to her for leading a class and giving individual attention to the rest of us!

She gave me a few wonderful, strong Mariychasana adjustments (though only on one side so I felt rather unbalanced). When I got to backbends she encouraged me keep my feet much more parallel that I had them, which I tried with varying degrees of success. Then instead of holding my waist in drop-backs, she helped me keep my feet parallel by pressing in and down on my thighs, which felt pretty lovely.

The biggest surprise was when I stood up she asked if I’d be doing handstand! Sure I thought, why not? I told her that I don’t practice that, but I’d give it a go! Though I’ve never heard of that and it’s certainly not traditional, I suppose it must be a way to begin practicing for tick-tocks, which come sometime after second series. Her adjustment was great, and there I was, doing a handstand in Mysore class.

I liked the studio, the atmosphere and the students. Agatha is a smart, busy teacher! I will certainly go back, especially since it’s so close to our place. I’d also like to try the morning Mysore classes with the owners, Linda and Gerald.

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Next I checked out Samasthiti Studio, also pretty close to our apartment. It’s located right near La Bastille, so I hopped on a velib bike for the 10 minute ride to take an evening Mysore class. In true Dana fashion, I was really early, and happened to meet a fellow student while waiting for the door to be unlocked who had been in Mysore the same time as me! Small Ashtanga world.

This studio is a simple one room space. The practice area is a nice size and takes up most of the space, and in the back there’s a small changing area and place for shoes and bags. I met the owner Caroline, who was actually practicing with us while a young man named Eric taught.

This class was a self-led Mysore style, however, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the completely non-traditional sequence of postures my fellow students were practicing…!

Full disclosure: I got distracted. I know that I should have been focusing solely on myself, but my dristhi began to wander as soon as I saw full splits between standing postures, a warrior three thrown in after parshvotanasana, and an out of order mix of primary, intermediate and third series poses! It was really quite remarkable.

I must say that despite my confusion over why they were doing what they were, all the students were practicing earnestly, calmly, quietly, and breathing beautifully. I guess they’ve just been taught an adapted, non-traditional series of poses…!

Eric, the teacher, was kind and attentive. He was a little insistent with some alignment details and often uneven with adjustments, but he clearly cares and knows quite a lot about what he teaches. He did think I should keep going after my last pose, which I kindly declined to do.

Drop backs were again a new technique (for me) that I quite liked, where he used his whole forearm to support either side of my spine as I went down, and simply pressed into my thighs as I stood up. When he suggested hand stand (I guess it’s a thing ), I this time declined.

I liked the studio, the location, and the teacher, but I’m not sure I will go back to practice there. It’s a bit too distracting to be amongst people doing such completely non-traditional things…I totally love that they are! I just think I’d be better served going there for a vinyasa flow class if I’m feeling creative.

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My next stop was Make Me Yoga, which is literally right across the street from my apartment. I didn’t notice it at first, but as Michael and I were taking a walk the other evening, there it was! It’s got a great location, and a good class schedule. They have only led classes, no Mysore program, but I figured it was worth a visit since it’s so crazily convenient.

I dropped into the 8:30pm led “Ashtanga Vinyasa” class and was very impressed at my use of French.

“Bon soir! C’est ma premiere fois ici. Je voudrais prendre le classe d’Ashtanga.”

The instructor, Laetita, was kind when I explained that I’m an American yoga practitioner and speak limited French. I told her (in French again – points for me!) I’d love to just follow along and listen to the class in French.

There were six of us in the cute little space, and the others were mostly beginners. It was a very slow, basics-type class, which was nice for me to practice physically, clear my mind mentally and hear teaching in French. We practiced meditation, discussed bhandas, and moved through surya namaskaras and the 6 fundamental standing poses before sitting for a bridge pose and then rest.

Laetita was perfect. She made sure I understood a few words after class that might help me teach in French one day, and she gave me gentle suggestions as adjustments, not hard ones. I was more focused in this class, so my drishti wasn’t wandering to the other students! It’s a perfectly cute, kind studio, but not exactly what I want from a class. I think I will definitely go back…you can’t beat the location.

I still have the morning Mysore programs to check out. That’s where I think I will find my perfect Paris fit and I’m really excited. I want to check out Mysore Yoga Paris and Rasa Yoga…but I need to change my sleeping schedule around a bit to accommodate that…right now I’m staying up late, practicing at home in the evening or at one of these places for a night class and sleeping in late in the morning!

More to come from the Paris Yoga Scene…

Why am I in Mysore?

Screen shot 2016-01-10 at 6.28.06 PMI just finished reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, and one thing that struck me from her many insights was a really simple idea about identifying passions.

Think about what you enjoyed doing when you were 10 or 11 years oldThat’s probably your passion.

This is not what your parents thought you should be doing, or what your friends did, but what you honestly liked spending your time on. For Gretchen, it was always writing and journaling, and though she spends her life as a professional writer now, it took some time for her to realize that her passion and her deepest joy is really in books and writing books.

I began to think about my passions and why I was really here in India. It’s harder than you might expect, because, as Gretchen points out in her book, a lot of our ideas about ourselves are actually things we think we should be doing. (ie: We think we should love listening to Jazz, art and fine dining, when what we are actually truly happy and passionate about is a little less exotic or classy sounding: staying home to read, 80’s pop music, cartoons.)

I thought about yoga, the practice to which I have devoted my life and the reason I’ve traveled to India twice in the past year, and wondered if the seeds of my practice were in fact planted long before I took my first class at age 16. Suddenly I was struck with memories of me as a child (something I don’t actually have much of)…

At age 10, I loved the idea of travel and I loved reading about different cultures. There was a period of time where I completely immersed myself in studying ancient Egypt. I had book after book on the subject, I would play outside in elaborate ancient Egyptian fantasies, I pretended to learn to write in hieroglyphics and I even dressed up as Cleopatra for Halloween (mom, let’s see if we can find a photo!)

I had the same deep interest in Japanese culture. I played in tea ceremonies, wore kimonos, almost perfected origami, and created homemade sushi with my dad (I think we still have the sushi roller).

Coming home after school around 3:00 or 4:00pm, I’d be thrilled that I’d just made it in time for my favorite TV show: Lonely Planet Globe Trekker. I was obsessed with that show. I soaked up any and every country the hosts (Ian and Justine were my favorites) traveled to: India, Greece, Australia, Cambodia, Thailand…I loved them all.

So I thought back to the original question: why I am here in Mysore? The answer for me, is seeped in my true passions, which are more complex than just ‘I like to travel.’ I’ve always longed for immersion into cultures other than my own. I longed to feel included in practices that are foreign to me. I love the idea of learning something from the masters.

A few years after I began practicing yoga, I realized I wanted to learn yoga from Indians. I wanted to understand the culture it comes from. I wanted to see India, to feel its pulse and to understand how this very Indian practice translates to me.

A lot of adults I know think that high school or college were the best years of their lives. I am shocked when I hear this. Being an adult has meant, for me, the beginning of the realization of my passions. My yoga practice is a mirror, a tool, I am using daily to connect with my passions, while creating stillness and stability in me at the same time.

And that’s why I’m in Mysore.

What’s your passion?

Wandering Towards Gratitude

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I was lying there on the upper floor of the dressing room, finally in rest after Mysore practice the other morning, when my mind began to wander.

My mat was slick with sweat, and I’d used one end of my towel to cover my eyes. I was perfectly still. I’m sure I looked serene. But, let’s be honest, my thoughts had been wandering all morning. Though I find the exquisite power of dristie to be an incredibly useful tool to keep overall concentration in check, that unsettled mind of mine has some pretty elusive tricks.

But instead of scolding myself into a forced, shallow ‘meditation,’ I began to follow my mind. To watch it wander. And to play a sort of game: what could I unearth in the layers of my mind?

I followed my mind as it thought about food, what would be for breakfast, omelette or porridge? And then I said to myself: “Yes. Nice. You’re hungry, and food will come. And what’s beyond your hunger?”

I dug past the dull pain in my lower back, and left knee. Again: “Ok, and what’s beyond your aches and pains?”

I dug a little further and missed my boyfriend and my family. “Yes, valid. You will be reunited and separated many times in this life. And then what’s underneath that short-term longing?”

I played this game, allowing my mind to ramble through every distraction it wanted. I meandered around all of these temporary diversions and continued to pose myself this question: “but what’s underneath that? What are you left with if you take that away?”

And, as I alluded in the title, I was left with gratitude.

It was as if I’d sifted through the mud and been left with a shimmering piece of gold. Thankfulness. I wrote about gratitude last year, when I was here in Mysore on Thanksgiving, but this fell a bit different. This didn’t feel forced, it felt unearthed. It didn’t feel circumstantial, it felt all-encompassing…

I smiled, and allowed myself to sink a little deeper into gratitude.

What are you left with?

Trip Two: Ready for Love

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And so I find myself, again, sitting in London’s Heathrow Airport waiting for my connecting flight to Bangalore, India. It  was actually only eight months ago that I was making this journey for the first time, to study Ashtanga Yoga at the KPJAYI in Mysore.
Last week a student asked me what I loved so much about going to Mysore to study. He used those words, “love so much,” which I have to admit, caught me a bit off guard. I actually can’t say I ever thought about loving my first trip to Mysore. I needed it. I appreciated it. I respected it. I am thankful for it. I am, though cautious to use this word,proud of it. But I’ve never actually thought about whether or not I loved it…
The journey was challenging and rewarding. It was frustrating and beautiful. It was complex and yet, in some ways, so utterly simple. It was an extremely important time in my development…a critical moment, in which I took steps to devote myself to this specific practice, re-evaluate my creativity, witness my evolutions (physical and spiritual) and learn a lot more about world travel.
But I felt a bit off during my time in Mysore last year. I was overwhelmed by the fervor of the other students and wound up in the mystery of my weird Indian-induced hair-loss. But at the same time I was incredibly inspired. I wrote poetry. I felt my body in new and exciting ways. And there was a warm, challenging comfort during my study with Sharath, Saraswati and Laksmish.
So when I think about returning to Mysore, actually, the only feeling that comes up is this new intense longing love. I’m longing to see those worn-with-use rug-covered floors in the shala. To taste the fresh perfection of a coconut after practice. To remain still in the sensory bombardment of colorful Indian smells, delicious sights and strangely textured sounds…
I’m already falling in love this time.

 

Trip One: Mysore Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, Mysore Style

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This Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend and fellow yogi Shannato a school in the outskirts of Gokulam where she volunteers to teach weekly. The class of ten girls and ten boys (all about twelve years old) were thrilled to see her, and meet me, “Miss Dana.” We taught in a small room with two benches (no desks or chairs) and a chalkboard.

The students are precious. They are smart. They are beautiful. They are blessed. They are so interested to learn, and so bright and hopeful for their futures. These kids could probably jump into any American class of their grade level and be ahead of their American peers, even though their English is still not perfect. They want to be doctors and software engineers and teachers and one lovely little girl, a dancer. Another darling girl says she writes poetry.
Shanna’s lesson plan includes personal journaling and drawing in their special notebooks (which she donated to them). We then taught the basics of Yama and Niyama, the first two limbs of the path of Yoga. We helped the students write sentences describing daily actions that might fit into the categories of Yama and Niyama. For example “I help my mother clean the house,” or “I wash my face and come to school to learn.” The kids are sweet and social, and extremely polite, even though they’re a little rowdy!
Then we took a rickshaw all the way downtown to a restaurant called RRR, where they serve food on banana leaves. After a mix of rice, chickpea curry, spinach lentils, and some other amazing and delicious concoctions we were really feeling the Thanksgiving spirit! We finished our feast with some traditional Indian desserts from the bakery nearby. Mysore Pak, made of pure ghee and chick peas, was delicious, as was the ball of sweet dates, raisins, and shaved coconut.
Later that night we stopped by a kirtan at Chakra House (a restuarnt in Gokulam, near the shala) and finished with a mini evening feast of papaya, dosa and chocolate chip cookies from the Chocolate Man.
Now, back in my room, on a new moon day, I’m meditating on gratitude…

I am thankful for:

The unusual and wonderful Thanksgiving I was blessed enough to experience this year.
The space I have from the commercialized American holiday craze.
Having a close and healthy bond with my family, and the confidence that time away does not mean less love.
Health all around.
My partner, and the unselfish and insightful support he has given me during the time we’ve known each other.
My job. And the ability to take time away from it.
All the wonderful and diverse teaches I have learned from.
My physical apartment, and the increasing realization that home is not always the same space; it can exist wherever I am.
om santih santih santih.