Out of 7 of us, 4 have become sick. Tom and Dhruva must have eaten some bad nuts. Krishna has some kind of fever. And Ashok, for some reason we can't explain, drank the waste water from the water filter. Matt, Aaron, and I are still holding strong. For how long, we know not. We're hold off the bacteria for as long as possible.
We've been doing a lot of meditating since arriving at the Ananda commune, one hour outside of Pune. Jemal, Jaydar, and the other monks taught us some simple meditation techniques yesterday dealing with breathing and clearing the mind. I didn't understand this at first, but our experience here is involving a lot more spiritual learning than I expected. The theology here is basically a mix between all religions with a little yoga twist to it all. Before we start meditation, we do some chants about Jesus Christ, some saint, and other stuff. There are prayers said to divine mother, heavenly father, holy Mary, and others. It's definitely different than what I'm used to. But I am in India so...when in Rome...?
Today, we went to downtown Pune's marketplace. Basically millions of people and cheap clothing and other goodies makes for a good time. Really exhausted, but so good. I got some traditional indian attire. I'll post pictures soon.
The poverty here in India is so difficult to see. Everywhere we go, there are children asking for money...or even worse, mothers carrying their sick children asking for money for food. We are encouraged not to give to them, for if we do then more will come asking for money. Its really tragic though. I did give some money away to a handicapped fellow. But I feel that it doesn't really help. Giving money will only benefit them so far. It's the whole idea that you can give a man fish or you can teach a man a fish. I wish that I knew how to teach them to fish.
The work we are doing is for the Ananda spiritual community they are building outside of Pune. Yesterday, I spent most of the day surveying elevations of the ground so we can install a water tank tomorrow. We are going to be working on the community for this week and traveling during the weekends. It sounds like we have some really interesting trips planned to different temples and stuff. The Indian culture is very spiritual and drawn to the inner energy that exists all around us. In meditation or in their everyday lives, they seek to find the inner energy of the planet. Really interesting stuff.
I hope you are all doing well. I love India. I miss you all. Namaste