Going to Ananda Ashram
This weekend I will be going away to Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY instead of to New York City with my husband who is working at a conference there. This was not intentional as I am in love with NYC entirely but it is already teaching me why I decided to add this item to my proverbial “Bucket List”. Going to a retreat, a real retreat not a spa weekend, is about going into yourself and pulling out the poisons. Selfishness is one of those poisons. However, I like to think I am replacing the selfishness that is bad with a different kind of selfishness. One that is more focused on taking care of myself and taking that time to care for myself when I otherwise may do something to appease others and support others and allow myself to fall apart. I truly think we all do this at least some of the time. if you are a parent, I am sure you do it more than anyone knows.
So I am looking forward to this because for the first time in my life I will be entirely alone on purpose with no hope to meet a friend or converse heavily or party around the town. I will be volunteering and eating a clean vegan diet as the Ashram is Vegan and Vegetarian, no caffeine, no alcohol, no junk. I love this. I love that I will be somewhere where my already developing “self” is not strange but instead the rule and not the exception. I think this will be a good change of pace. I will also be working 3 hours a day to volunteer. The duties will be at the mercy of the Ashram although I am sure they won’t have me roofing or anything! I just think the reminder of selfless and focus on self is an interesting dynamic. It seems like they are opposites but in truth they are like a yin and yang that are totally in harmony with one’s body & minds & needs.
I think this will be worth the $35 a day it costs with all food included and I hope to find it worth even more in what I take away. There are meditation clinics, chanting, sanskrit classes, and yoga. Although I am not good at any I hope to be. I need a way to wipe out the noise in my head and get back to basics the way I am sure everybody does sometimes. The work – eat – sleep regimen gets old and tiresome. The anxiety overwhelming. If I learned anything from the other night it is that even things that we think we brush up will sneak into our heads at night and if we do not know how to clear them out we will be a mess in the morning.
So I encourage everyone to do this. Take a day or a weekend and go to a retreat. Clean out your body, the noise in your mind, and the stress on your soul. I will report back how it goes on my end. I am sure I will be struggling but it will be worth it.
Food is Love.
The Hippie Gypsy