Mar 15, 2010

Selfless Service

SEVA - the Sanskrit name for selfless service. And it's what I've been doing the past week away on retreat.

I look off Tuesday afternoon and headed for Mangrove Mountain; a quiet country area amongst bush land on a tidal river.

Only 90minutes out of Sydney, Satyananda Yoga Centre was where I was to spend the next 6 days. I have visited and spent time up at the ashram before and I love the community lifestyle there that I try to get back as often as I can.

Not really catering for raw vegans, it's almost like a detox week that I have to mentally prepare myself for. I eat loads of FRUIT for brekkie, morning tea and afternoon tea, and loads of GREENS for lunch and dinner.

Sounds kinda like home I suppose but it's stripped right back to basics. A good time to reasses where my eating is at.

Oh, and I can't forget the never-ending cups of herbal tea I indulge in :) green tea, dandilion tea, peppermint, lime leaf, cammomile, lemongrass, lemon verbena, the list goes on...

Each day begins with a 6am yoga class incorporating asanas, pranayma and meditation. Then breakfast is at 7am whilst MAUNA is observed - meaning silence! I love this. It's my quiet time with my tea and my journal. I LOVE to sit in the corner and just observe. Watch people getting their breakfast and sipping their tea. Gazing out the window or awkwardly at each other if they find the silence uncomfortable. The peacefulness of silence is so beautiful whilst the gentle clatter of spoons in bowls or the shuffle of feet across the floor is all that's audible - that and the birds waking up outside.

My week was full of karma yoga, mowing lawns in the rain, raking leaves, prepping meals, doing dishes, donning the overalls and gumboots to rip out lontana in the bush with the girls (SO gratifying!!), cutting down bamboo, sweeping paths in the sunshine...

Eating fresh fruit, doing yoga nidra daily, meditation and asanas, kirtan, havan, group discussions, laughing, loving, communicating, observing, engaging... It is tough work at times and long days but it is so rewarding to be of service and amongst such a beautiful part of New South Wales.

And at the end of the week my friend Linden who currently lives there so kindly presented me with a small figurine of GANESH - the Hindu elephant God - as a gift. Ganesh is my favourite God. I was so so touched by his thoughtfulness. I love it :)

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