Simply Good Life — Learnings from a Week in Silence in an Indian Ashram
Hi Friends, I just came back from a two-week trip to India. I spent a whole week in silence in a Yogic Ashram and gave lectures for another week. I spent seven days in the Ashram with no internet, no news, no shoes, no coffee, no podcasts, no choice of food, no sugar, no animal products, no talking. Here are some of my learnings about things, thoughts, emotions, food and life.
I had a very simple room with a shared shower, no TV, no internet connection and a bed with a very (!) hard mattress and I still enjoyed the time there. Even for me as a minimalist, it was good to see that I need even less than I had thought.
I had my first real conversation after 5 days in silence when I talked to the Swami (head) of the Ashram. When I approached her, she simply enjoyed playing with three kittens. She told me that being present all the time is true happiness. I tried to ask a question but I couldn’t. My voice was shaking. Every word seemed so important. Tears started running down my cheeks. I felt pure happiness. Strange.
The whole week was an emotional roller coaster — I was frustrated on day one, euphoric on day two, sad on day three etc — but the time after I started talking was especially emotional.
I learned to see the beauty in every corner of the Ashram. I didn’t want to be elsewhere. After the yoga, breathing and meditation classes, I didn’t need any other input, no books, no podcasts, no new goals. I simply wanted to lie down and watch my thoughts. I felt happy with almost nothing, with just my thoughts.