A Pilgrimage to South India with Tracy & Mitchel Bleier
The Dates: TBD
We will visit some of the most important temples and most beautiful areas in all of India. This trip is designed to give you a deeply moving and authentic experience of a culture that is the longest continuous civilization on the planet, the birthplace of yoga.
The Cost: Early-bird registration for deposit received before Jan 15, 2012: $4995 or $5195 after. A payment plan is available. See below about reserving your space.
What is included? This fee includes round-trip airfare from JFK to Chennai and is based on double occupancy with airfare transfers, accommodations, tips, entry fees and breakfasts included.
The Journey: When we arrive in Madras, we will prepare for our pilgrimage by getting Indian clothes and then spend a day acclimating in Pondicherry, a former French colony south of Madras and the home of Sri Aurobindo. From there we will begin a fantastic journey to the abodes of the gods, and experience the rituals of the living temples of India.
On the deepest level, this trip is for exploring what it means to see the divine. The focus will be on experiencing the main ritual of South Indian Temples, darshan. Douglas brooks has said that darshan means ‘to see as the gods see you, to see and be seen’. It is meditation on the gods with eyes open. Going to a temple for darshan is more akin to visiting the gods at home, in their palaces, rather than attending a scripted service at a church or synagogue. Each day we’ll make pilgrimage to 2 - 3 temples of Shiva, Kali, Vishnu, Ganesh, or Shivas younger son, Murugan.
A special highlight of this trip will be a rudrahoma, a half day ritual at the Natarajara Temple at Chidambaram. The morning culminates with darshan of the dancer and then lunch at the home of our temple priest. We’ll spend extra time at this extraordinary and important 40 acre temple and be hosted by our priest who will take us to see the many shrines.
We travel on a comfortable air-conditioned coach for the duration, staying overnight in hotels that are the best available – that being said, many Indian hotels are not up to western standards, but are comfortable enough, all with air conditioning and private bath. There will also be time for hatha yoga, shopping and many other extraordinary experiences. See the highlights of the itinerary listed below.
India is about experiencing more of what it means to be human. Expect to expand your boundaries as we practice yoga to make ourselves adept at accessing our power, resilience and to deepen our hearts understanding of what it means to be human and what it means to be divine.