Ashram Life in Pondicherry

Here is the beautiful meditation garden that is between us and the sea. (pre-cyclone)

Just beyond the black rock is the Bengal Sea. this rock barrier was put in place after the tsunami of 2004. I was curious about the impact of the tsunami on Pondicherry but did not want to ask as it was a very traumatic time for all. however, yesterday our tuk-tuk driver told me (just out of the blue!) that no one had died and that he felt this area was protected by its founders.

We love this place. the presence of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother for over 50 years has created a setting of peace, tranquility, cleanliness and focus on spiritual development. the flavour is French, as this area was a former French colony – so we even can buy croissants and eat European cuisine. We have many impromptu conversations about consciousness, divine plan, evolution of spirit etc which we really enjoy. We have met people from all over the world who are here to study the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Friday evenings we go to the Ashram center and join others in OM chanting. we sit in candlelight and have short readings of the founders, a period of silence and then chant OM until it fades into a time of quiet again. We do this for an hour and it is peaceful and rejuvenating. On Tuesday evenings we take a bus from Pondicherry to Auroville to one of their beautifully constructed centers and we did the same chanting but with about 50 others from Auroville.

BELOW – this is a shot of the promenade (pre-cyclone) in the evening, taken from our balcony. the street is barricaded (no cars etc) at 6 pm so that everyone can walk on the road or the walkway. it is filled with families, children, couples (no touching!) and tourists – catching the cool evening breeze from the sea, enjoying an icecream cone, freshly roasted peanuts or fresh pineapple dishes.

the temperature is in the mid-80’s in the day and mid-70’s at night. the humidity is in the low 70’s instead of the 90’s we experienced in Kerala – so I LOVE that change!

The sea is a constant presence – the surf always heard in the background. sone days there are huger rollers coming in – loudly crashing, one after the other. other times the weather is brisk and the whole sea is choppy and white. Always the breeze/winds are quite strong and I appreciate their cooling a/effect on me.

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