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I am home.. Hare Om - February 26, 2010 - Rishikesh, India

So wonderful to be back at the ashram and find all the wonderful faces happy to see me just as I am to see them. Their warm hugs and genuine smiles are heartwarming and infectious.

I sat by myself in my old spot in the courtyard for an hour early in the morning until my friends from registration arrived. Saw so many familiar faces who just greeted me with a warm “Namaskar” “Hare Om” a simple bow of the head, or hand on the chest or fingers on heart indicating their vow to silence this morning. All acting normal around me as if I never left.

I recognized a few Rishikumars who are now a bit older. They were boys last time I was here and now they’re young men with new responsibilities and chores. It was wonderful to watch them walk to the big hall to feed the homeless as they’ve done for years. The older ones now walk alone and take a different path while the youngest walk together and chant.

My friend Narendra made me his specialty Indian tea.. I was impressed that he didn’t forget. He was impressed that I was wearing the mala beads he gave me after having them blessed by his Guru. I’m glad I kept the beads, their power is back.. As a matter of fact I realized —albeit a little late— that their power never left me, I’m the one who left for a short period of time. Glad I kept them, sorry I ignored them and doubted their power for a short while.

Peace in Rishikesh is amazing..

I’m sitting at an internet cafe along with a few other foreigners typing away on old computers with a very slow connection. But no one seems to mind. The peace in the room is unmistakable. Insense is burning everywhere here and outside; Vedic music is blasting from a music store nearby. The manager here is conducting his business as if no one is around. His tone of voice goes up and down depending on the mood of the conversation. He whispers, he yells, he laughs totally comfortable with all of us in here. We are fine with him as well. All the while outside life is starting to become more evident. Bikes blow their horns occasionally or pedestrians greet each other politely.

Hello Rishikesh.. Thanks for welcoming me and making me feel right at home. I want to breathe in all your goodness and keep it with me for as long as I can.. Help me my dear Rishikesh. Be generous as you’ve always been. Give me your peace, your compassion and your bliss..
Shanti Om.

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