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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our journey to Thiruvannamalai and Marudam

This is a long promised note answering the three most oft-asked questions.

1. Why did you move to Thiruvannamalai?
Is it my ancestral place? No.
Am I particularly drawn to the energy of Ramana or the Ashram? No; at least not in a way that I'm aware of yet!
Is it so my child could go to Marudam, a reason for which many families relocate to Thiruvannamalai? No. This was thought of after our move.

For long, I’d wanted to move out of a large city like Chennai to a slower, more natural and more soulful place. Lovely friends Gowtham and Sandhya, who had just moved to their farm here, extended a warm invitation to me to spend time on their farm. The more I did, the more Thiru felt like home to me. And when I talked about it to my parents, they expressed their desire to move to a place like that too. And the whole thing – from making the decision to making the move – happened in a very short span of time. So, it all just happened!

This beautiful watercolour painting is by Kumar Anna, who loves to paint Arunachala in its various colours and moods. Here is his facebook page with more paintings and portraits. And yes, he can be contacted for his works.
2. What made you change your mind about homeschooling? Why Marudam?
First of all, there is no change of mind in a way that many people, I think, might understand it. I'm still very much part of the homeschooling network in Chennai (and India) and would highly recommend it for anyone who's interested. It is still very true that I don't resonate with 'schools', where teachers come 'to teach' and students come 'to learn'. And I've been uncomfortable with many alternative schools that I've seen(My understanding of all this has also been growing and maturing in its own way, with new questions, new answers and new clarity. I will write about them as and when I feel ready to share.)
But, I've always felt that the most ideal place for children to grow up in, is a rich inter-generational intentional community, where adults strive to live authentically and sustainably. From this perspective, homeschooling / unschooling in the way that many of our families practice it, is a journey embedded within a longer journey seeking to be part of / to co-create such communities, rural or urban. I see Marudam as primarily a community of learners and doers, striving to live sustainably, which also anchors a space to engage with children. School is not its exclusive identity. Will write and post a separate post on Marudam.

3. What do you plan to do in Thiruvannamalai?
My immediate answer is this: 'I plan to get off the highway'. After the significant shift in my understanding that 'Change happens elsewhere', and with a deepening realisation that I need to commit myself more to 'The Study of Miracles', I'm consciously shifting more from the 'doing mode' to the 'being mode'. Especially after decades of largely inhabiting the former, I am working to build more space in my life to get back into the arts and music, discipline my breath and body, slow down, catch up on years of sleep-debt and rest-debt, detox my body and mind, de-clutter my life, get back in touch with old friends and family, read, write, spend time with parents, watch the hill…. You get the drift!
But this isn't easy at all! Old habits die hard. Temptation to initiate new activities and work on new ideas is very much there. But with more awareness and deepening conviction, it is loosening its grip on me, a wee little by wee little each day. As I become a better and better container and channel, I feel that my next phase of engagement will slowly emerge. My time here is to prepare myself and to learn to do what I call the 'sacred waiting'! :)

1 comment:

dhanyawad said...

Hi sangita, i am sheela from pune, but now in auroville. Just now i was reading your blog, and got very much connected. I am also in the same journey. Coming to tiru on 18th jan with my master shoonyo. We are 5 people from pune coming to tiru on 18th jan. Shoonyo is in the space of sharing his gift of who am I?inner pointings, www.agyaat.org we are having his talks on 18,19,20 jan at german bakery satsang hall, followed by retreat on 21 n 22 Jan. On the call of the Unknown. If you feel anywhere connected , would love to meet you there. My contact no. Is 9921008078.

I have a organic store in pune with the name organic bazaar, but now turned to inner organics. Enjoying depth of self, i felt same with you, while reading your blog.

I hv visited to restore 3 years before in chenai. Getting this connections. Would love to meet you in tiru. Let us see what the universe has planned for us.

Love n love only.