Mt Arunachala

Trip Start Nov 24, 2006
Trip End May 24, 2007

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

In the early morning light, I walk up Mt Arunachala, my golden sari billowing in the cool breeze. My steps are slow and deliberate. I am bare foot as all Indian pilgrims are paying homage to the sacred mountain of Shiva. I appreciate this walking meditation in so many ways. Although my awareness is focused on each step, I also notice the birds fluttering and singing, a spider wrapping up a beautiful butterfly, bands of monkeys eating their breakfast in the treetops, the sounds of the city below, a breathe of fresh morning air and the tap, tap, tapping of the stone carver's tools. 

My destination is are the two caves that Ramana Maharshi meditated in for over 24 years.
For much of my life, I have been drawn to caves - exploring, spelunking, snorkeling and scuba diving in cenotes in the Yucatan. Today in meditation it comes to me; it feels like I'm back in the womb - nurtured, enveloped lovingly, grounded, connected to the Source in the warm darkness.

In the lower cave, I drop into a deep meditation effortlessly. This is what all those Rishis were seeking, a moment of bliss, the feeling of nothingness and everything interconnected.
Hours go by and I'm drawn to stay longer.
I walk down to the big temple below. It reminds me of a Mayan temple but with Hindu deities adorning the towers.

The cows are being milked and you can buy fresh milk right out of the cow. This sad calf is muzzled as not to suckle all the milk out of mom. It reminds me of the song Dona, dona, dona....  
On my way home, school is out for lunch and I have a conversation with these cute girls. Check out their braids. Only in this town have I seen them done this way. It maybe a new fashion trend

Coming from the "in your face" of Varanasi and heading to the intensity of Amma's Ashram, Tiruvanamali is a much needed place of peace and refuge for me.
Joyfully in the moment, Pujita
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