Sunday night I got a little travel fix, or at least an international culture fix. The girlfriend of one of my old high school friends is planning a trip to Southern India and she was interested in ashrams. When she discovered that I spent eight days at Sivinanda Ashram in Nyer Dam on my last trip she was excited. She frequently attends satsang at the Chicago chapter of the organization, Sivinanda Yoga Vedanta Center, on the North side. When she invited me to satsang on Sunday I jumped at the chance to do something that related to travel and to see how the service compared to the ones I was forcibly waken up at 5am for in India.
The service consists of thirty minutes of meditation followed by chanting and singing. Some of the same chants that you hear in my videos from Nyer Dam were used on Sunday night. Sitting indoors on carpet with ten people was a little different than sitting outside at dawn with seventy people but it was similar enough to leave me with a smile, remembering the good parts of my yoga vacation in India. Sivinanda has centers all over the world and satsang is usually free so if any of you are interested in seeing what it’s like I suggest you go for it. I am not a religious person but I do find the cultural aspects of satsang interesting. Just because we’re not on the road doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the effort to find some culture when we can.