I’m home after a month-long pilgrimage to India where I lived in Shantivanam, a Hindu-Christian Ashram, and visited ancient Hindu Temples. To join the established prayer, chanting and meditation routine of the Ashram dropped me down into a sweet and deep reverence for the accessibility of the divine presence, a minute-by-minute communion that I found both gratefully relieving and quietly exciting. Seven days of silence and solitude offered me a further needed respite from usual social contact, and space for deep reflection and prolonged meditation. On trips to south Indian temples we participated in devotional rituals that have been practiced for over a thousand years. We would climb barefoot up many old stone steps to the top, circumambulate the temple clockwise three times and enter the inner sanctuary, carved deep into the mountain rock. In the dark inner recess – the Cave of the Heart – the priest performed the puja then brought out the sacred fire to share with us. After we told him our name and astrological sign he would offer a blessing. A highlight was our early morning climb up the sacred mountain of Arunachala to sit in meditation for an hour in Ramana Maharshi’s cave. I look forward to sharing more experiences as time unfolds. View the slideshow HERE.