one family's yearlong dare to live their dreams

Creating a Spiritual Journey

In less than three weeks I will hit the pause button on my life as a mother in Woodstock, New York, and I will press “play” on the soundtrack of my spiritual journey to faraway India. Iq-forex Broker

I like to think of this as a spiritual odyssey, filled with yoga and temples and meditation and the names of the sacred. But really, I have no idea what this journey will turn out to be. A fellow yogi told me, “Whatever you expect of India, it will be something else entirely.” So I will go with openness and no expectations. India has its own plans for me.

I have just a few hopes and prayers for how things will turn out. My initial fervent wish is that I will survive my first day of travel, which will be a doozy. Four flights (yes, four), starting with a red-eye from JFK to Cochin by way of Dubai. Then two one-hour plane hops to Mysore by way of Bangalore. I will arrive at my destination two days later in god knows what state (sleepless, no doubt, but mercifully pumped up on adrenaline and novelty).

In Mysore I plan to seek out an octogenarian Ashtanga yoga master named BNS Iyengar (not to be confused with BKS of the eponymous Iyengar school). Like his more widely known namesake, Mr. BNS was once a student of Krishnamacharya, who is considered the grandfather of modern yoga. Not a bad pedigree. I also like the idea of studying with someone in his 80s who has a lifetime of intensely dedicated yoga under his belt. But Mr. BNS, and India, might have other ideas for me. Another teacher might step forward. Anything can happen.

In the evenings I hope to study philosophy and chanting with a Sanskrit scholar of renown in Mysore and abroad. I have her name and address, and I’m told that this woman of vast knowledge holds classes in her home after dinnertime daily. I will show up and hope for the best.

On the weekend I plan to visit Sera Mey Monastery in Byllakupe, a Tibetan Buddhist outpost. A friend is lovingly arranging for a monk to meet me for a grand tour of the temples. I hear that the sound of monks chanting wakes you at dawn. Here’s hoping that I don’t sleep through it.

Really, it’s a Whitman’s sampler of a yoga holiday in Mysore. I will be there only a week – just enough time to peek behind the curtain of a world of mythic importance in yoga circles. The next week, it’s off to Kerala for a friend’s weeklong 40th birthday celebration. If you have to turn 40, this is definitely the way to do it. About a dozen of us will sleep in a 300-year-old heritage hotel in Fort Cochin, take a cruise of the languid Kerala backwaters, and explore tea and cardamom plantations at the Munnar hill station. I might just have to put a strike-through in “spiritual” for this part of the journey so I can work in a few really great shopping sprees and Ayurvedic massages.

But we’ll see what India has in store for me.

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2 Responses to “Creating a Spiritual Journey”

  1. Sue Lipkins says:

    Wow Wendy! Sounds like a fabulous time and a dreamy itinerary. I think your openness of attitude to become a bit of flotsam on the ocean of your journey sounds right on the mark. Being fluid in travels makes one retain sanity and I imagine that it’s at least doubled while traveling in India!

    Bon voyage to you – travel safely – and come back home inspired, refreshed and willing to share lots of cool stories!

    Love, Sue

  2. Wendy says:

    Thanks, Sue – your encouragement means a lot to me. Stay tuned, as I will be blogging from India!

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