One of our website founders, Otto, headed off to India this past spring to stay in an Ashram. We’d like to share with you some of his experiences and insights throughout his journey. For those of you who have never been hopefully this will be encouragement to go and for those of you who have gone hopefully this will be encouragement for you to return.
The magic word A-S-H-R-A-M: Western people seem to have the wildest fantasies about what ashram life is be like. It starts with some trivial questions like “Will I be allowed to connect to the Internet?” and “How will it be without Internet?”
There are myths and misconceptions about ashrams. Somewhere along the way the word ‘ashram’ got mixed up with ‘cult’ and it can be difficult to unravel the truth from the prejudice. Some people think it’s about staying in the lotus position for days, or navel-gazing.
There’s a true story about a yogi who once put his hand in the air and kept it there for the rest of his life. When stories like this get around, it’s easy to begin believing that ashrams are for learning to do things like this. There were plenty of jokes directed at me before I headed off to the ashram. So, let’s see if any of them were based on truth….