Here am I, in Tiruvannamalai, holy city located in the south of India, enrolled for 10 days and willing to reach peace and happiness !
I am not scared. I expect it to be hard and I know why I am doing it. I had to face a burn out a year ago and since then, I kept on experiencing new ways to heal myself and reach inner peace and happiness. I am actually excited about spending 10 days with myself, focusing on curing my crazy mind. I have huge expectations even if I know it is not good to do that… I can’t help it !
It is Summer time in Tiru, 40 degrees, no trees. I have the feeling that it is going to be particularly hard, but I prefer not to thing about it. When I arrive to Dhamma Arunachala center, I am asked to let my personal belongings at the reception : no phone, no computer, no book, nothing that could be a distraction… For a second, the idea of keeping a notebook and hide it in my suitcase crosses my mind … but I decide to cooperate. I am here to live this experience fully and I will follow all the rules, even if it is not my favorite thing. I am here to learn to discipline myself and to purify my mind. Better to give it a good start !
We start with an introductory meeting. The person who holds the meeting starts to announce the rules. For 10 days, men and women will be separated. We are asked to be on time at every classes, no cigarettes allowed, no alcohol, no sex, no talking, no phone, no computer… I am already not listening anymore. Too many rules, it drives me crazy!
I am here to work on myself and I will accept everything for the next 10 days. After the introductory meeting, it is time to go to bed. It is 9pm. Walking towards the dormitory, I have a weird feeling of being in a prison. Maybe because of the barbed wire around the dormitory or the dry landscape ? Never mind, I am not here on holidays. I enter my room : very basic. No mattress appart from a very thin futon set down a concrete base…
I really don’t feel like going to bed and the heat is unbearable. I take a good shower and I feel much better. My roommate seems to be nice, but no right to talk to each other. It is going to be 10 silent days.