A friend asked me to talk about my India trip to her library group on Wednesday, October 24. I told her that it was too soon to talk about my trip in front of a group yet. I am still processing everything that happened and all of the lessons that I learned, most of which came about because of my illness. I am still not ready to face a crowd of people yet either. The few times that I have gotten out this week have really drained my energy. I feel like I am still on India time. I have been in bed between 9:00-10:00 p.m. every night since I have been home and I wake up between 4:30-6:00 a.m. just like I did in India. Rather than get out of bed that early, I will usually turn on one of my meditation tapes and listen to that until at least 7:00 a.m. before I get up. Before this trip, I would go to bed between midnight and 2:00 a.m. and get up between 10:00-11:00 a.m. every day. I am over jet lag and have been emailing and talking to friends about my India experiences so I decided it is time to start writing about all of those experiences.
Before I started writing, I went back and reread my articles that I wrote about my previous India trips to make sure that I don't repeat what I have already written. So here goes.
From my journal entry on Monday, September 24, 2007, somewhere flying over the Atlantic Ocean. (I don't know how many time zones we have gone through, so it may be early Tuesday, September 25 already.)
"What do I expect from this trip to visit Sai Baba? I feel a bubble of joy go through me when I realize we are really doing this. I want to meditate more and write more while we are in India. (I took extra ink pens, paper and notebooks to have on hand to be able to do all of this extra writing, none of which happened. I did get one article written that I will post at a future date but I was too sick to do any other writing than in my journal each day.)
I want to hear the Universal OM that I experienced on my last trip to Puttaparthi where when I listened even the heavy construction machinery seemed to be saying OM. I want to hear and feel that Universal vibration of creation again. (I didn't hear the OM that I heard my last trip, no matter how much I tried. What I did hear was almost constant chanting. I couldn't tell you the words but I knew it was chanting.)
I want to feel and know that I am God, that we all are God united as One. I want to come home with that inner glow that Ric says I came home with after my first trip. (No one has told me that I am glowing but I "KNOW" that I am different than when I left home on this trip. I also came home at least 10 pounds lighter because of being so sick and not eating much.)
I want to give cheerfully of myself in service at the food cantina helping to dry dishes after meals. (We were too busy doing other things and learning other lessons to do much of this on our first trip to Puttaparthi. I told Swami that when I came back to India on my next trip that I would do more service in the kitchen after meals.) During our first trip to India, when we were working in the kitchens at the Brindavin ashram in Whitefield, I was given the honor of drying Swami's dishes after one of the meals. I wanted to keep it to myself and I wanted to share it with Sherryl and Ki and the rest of the world that I was chosen for that honor from a whole room of women. (Swami had other plans for us this trip too. We only ate in the cantina 3 times and the only time we helped dry dishes, Sherryl's fingers started to bleed from being in the hot water. This wasn't the form of service that Swami had in mind for us.)
I want to experience the joy of meeting new friends from all corners of the planet. In KodaiKanal in 1998, we sang bhajans (songs of worship to God) with ladies from Russia who had beautiful voices but didn't speak any English and we didn't speak any Russian.
On a roadside in the middle of nowhere, I sang bhajans with a black man from Jamaica who was my teacher at the time and a beautiful spirit of a lady from Romania who spoke more with her heart and her beautiful, loving eyes than she did with her broken English. We sang while we watched the sun rise and everyone else was asleep in our broken down, rented van while we waited to be rescued. That was an experience that I will always cherish because we were three hearts touching and becoming One heart beat as we watched the beauty of Nature unfold for us in the quiet of an early morning."
These were my expectations of what I thought would happen on this trip to India. These were the things that I wanted to happen this trip. As you can tell from my added comments, Swami often had other plans for us.