I am in India again for teachings with Tai Situpa Rinpoche on Mahamudra. Yesterday he was telling us about what it means to be a yogi in the Mahamudra tradition and he made a joke that we were all 5- star yogis, as our teachings are taking place in the 5 star Leela Ambiance Convention hotel! Or as Kathy White-Webster and I like to call it Shanghri-La!
Kathy and I travelled to India together and started off in the 5- star Novotel by the airport – with a beautiful outdoor pool, gym and spa. Then as we didn’t book early enough we moved to the 3 star Ginger hotel close to where the teachings are held – but we don’t have 3 star yogi karma – we couldn’t sleep because the air conditioning was so loud it was like being in a room with a helicopter and it was too hot for us to not have air conditioning and there were other draw backs!
When it got to midnight and neither of us could sleep we planned to move to the Radisson Blu hotel as we had heard that it was nice and not too far away. I asked Kathy if we should go now and she began to pack. So, we did a midnight flit and by 1.30am were settled in our 5- star room at the Radisson – we couldn’t escape our 5- star yogi karma! We are very comfortable here and will be able to stay physically well in this hot Indian climate.
We are very fortunate to be able to afford such accommodation and rather than berating ourselves for not having the stamina for 3- star Indian living, we are rejoicing in our 5- star surroundings, that enable us to attend the teachings in good health.
Each day we have a 15 minute taxi ride to get to our hotel and see from our window the wonder that is life in New Delhi. Un-breathable air, busy roads shared by cars, lorries, busses, tuktuks, cycle rickshaws laden high with all sorts, cows standing in the fast lane eating grass from the central reservation, stray dogs and puppies everywhere, whole families on motor bikes, kids begging at the traffic lights, a guy selling blow up plastic dragons at the roadside. Lots of dust, rubbish and plastic by the roadside and women in stunningly bright, beautiful and immaculately laundered clothes.
It would be easy to become distressed by some of the poverty we see and about which we can do little – but who will benefit from that? We will be upset and nothing will change.
Instead we are rejoicing in our good fortune, practicing meditation so that we are better placed to help others and we will donate to a charity run by Vin Harris and his wife, who are helping poor Indian girls get an education.
We will enjoy our 5- star time, hopefully not too attached so that we can cheerfully face deprivation when we need to. Our meditation practice will help us with this.
It occurred to me that we are all so fortunate in the West and although we do experience challenges in our lives, these are nothing to the day to day challenges I am seeing others face here in India. So, can you join me in rejoicing in our good fortune, in practicing meditation so we are better able to help others and helping others practically wherever we can?
If you struggle with rejoicing in your good fortune and find yourself constantly grumbling about everything that is wrong in your life, come and join us at our joyful club weekend (Click here for more information) and we will see if we can together turn our half empty glasses into half full ones.
Sending you kind wishes from my 5- star room!
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