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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jan 5, 2009

Odds and Ends

Here's a few odds and ends that might be interesting.

Communications:
I am writing my blog on our little computer. We have about 2 hours of battery life and Eli and I share it. It is not always a sure thing that we'll get a place to recharge. Then – whenever we can bear to stand in line in a sweltering hot hallway here - we upload what we've written. Time on the computer is strictly monitored so we don't have time to do much in the way of e-mail....I always make it first priority to try to send a short note to Chris and Leo and to use our zip drive to post what we have written. Then if there is time we will check e-mail, facebook, etc......mostly not time for that sort of thing.

Laundry and clothing: by hand and up to the roof top to dry. I brought only one pair of pants and I have to say – it's been over a week – a very hot, sweaty and grimy week – but tonight when I decided to wash them, it was only for the principle of the thing – they still don't look or feel dirty. So now I'll bet you'd like to know “what kind of amazing pants are those?!” Well, at the expense of sounding like a Prana advertisement I have to say they are Prana cargo pants, the kind made out of tech fabric. The have leg bottoms that zip off....so in Cochin which is more relaxed I could wear them as capris and here (where you even have to wear a swimming dress to swim) – I am wearing them in the long version. They look good with a western top or under a Kirta. I wish the cargo pockets zipped instead of snapped. And I wish there was a snap at the bottom to hike them up a little for walking in dirty or muddy areas – I just used a couple of safety pins to do the trick. Other than that they are brilliant. So there's my ad – maybe Prana will pick it up and give me a free doo-dad.

Money & Shopping: Cochin lodging was very pricey by India standards – 1750 rupees per night ($37) But here at Amritapuri it is 150 ruppees - about $3.- and that includes food. You can buy more western food for a little more – another dollar or so. But how boring would that be?!

There are so many beautiful fabrics and jewelry and ayurvedic products and on and on – all of them very inexpensive - but the problem is you have to carry what you buy. It is no easy thing to find a post office that is trustworthy or to find packing materials......it's really quite a daunting prospect to me at this point. So shopping is naturally limited by “you buy it – you carry it.” This definitely works in favor of moderation!

What I did in the last 24 hours:

at 9 am I ate my South Indian breakfast of very spicy curried dahl and rice with some very weak milk and rice water. Sounds bad – tastes wonderful.

9:30 – started standing in line for the “Amrita Internet.”

11:00 – did some laundry and walked around with Eli and did some study (trying to do 1 – 2 hours of study of the materials from Paul every day.....could be way too ambitious – we'll see how it goes.

1:00 – ate lunch – pretty much the same as breakfast just different flavors.

2 pm – bought a latte' – did Seva – laundry work.

4 pm – practiced Yoga Asana

5:30 – 6:30 – meditation

6:30 = 7 – did “my own” meditation. I have a commitment to meditate twice a day using the technique from Paul (I'll just call it Entering the Heart Studies from here on out) and I find that with all the beautiful chanting and music going on here at almost all time, I have to slip away to a somewhat quieter place to focus on my “own” meditation technique).

7:30 – dinner – as above

8:30 – Strolling around with Eli & people watching (there are mostly Indians and also tons of people from every country of the globe);

10 pm – reading and eventually lights out – Eli and I are trading off reading Autobiography of a Yogi & The biography of Ammachi. Eli is also reading Three Cups of Tea.

Couldn't sleep until maybe midnight or 1 am because so much music and chanting on account of Ammachi was still doing darshan - receiving in people with blessings and a hug) until well after midnight.

4:50 am – 6 am– up and at'em to listen to the monks and nuns chanting the 108 and the 1000 names of the Divine Mother in the temple – monks in one temple , nuns in another.

6 am - Chai

6:30 – 7:30 - meditation on the shore of the Arabian sea as the sun rises.

7:30 – 9:30 - Seva (work at the ashram) – I peeled mountains of ginger, cubed bushels of tomatoes and cukes.......working side by side with people who kept correcting my cube sizes in various languages I didn't understand.

9:30 – waiting in line again – this time to get an appointment with a Jyotish named Mohanji. Stayed tuned and I'll tell you all about it if we actually get an appointment. No guarantees.

After the line wiating, Eli and I plan to go into the jungle – no kidding – to find a little village with a little thatched hut where legend has it there is an Internet service that is fast and cheap – and if luck is with us we will upload this blog.


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