I hear it all the time. “I would love to visit an ashram in India for a month!” or “I’m going to an ayurvedic retreat in Kerala to detox!” There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to India to sit in the lotus position in an ashram and find yourself, or to spend a couple of weeks on a detox in wellness retreat. Go ahead and do it, but you are wasting your time if that’s all you are going for…
Here is my thinking why this is the wrong reason to go to India. In our western lives, we spend most of our days within 4 walls. When we wake up, we are in our homes, we do the daily routine, go to work and for most of us, we work somewhere that has 4 walls. We may go out for lunch or the gym (another 4 walls) on our lunch break, however pretty much, our day-to day lives is within 4 walls. This is with the exception of any outdoor activities we do.
So when I hear that someone is willing to spend thousands of dollars to travel to a destination like India, to then sit in a room with 4 walls in the lotus position, it saddens me. In my humble opinion, you can “find” yourself anywhere. You don’t actually need to travel to India to find yourself. You can meditate in your room, at a meditation centre and you will get the exact same experience.
When you think of the places where many of the spiritual beings “found” themselves, it was not in an ashram or a building…it was in nature. When we look at Buddha, he attained enlightenment while sitting under a Bodhi tree. If you ever do get the chance to visit this place, it is quite an experience. I visited Bodhgaya in 2010. It is an experience I will carry with me forever. Something I cannot describe – it has to be experienced.
Before Buddha attained his state of nirvana, he experienced many things. He was a married man, a father, a prince, he saw poverty (although his family tried to hide this from him), he felt compassion for people less fortunate, he experienced hurt, competition and all the things a human being feels and experiences. It is these experiences, that lead him to discover his true purpose, and finally led him to meditate under that famous bodhi tree and attain enlightenment. The journey was needed to reach the destination.
That is why it is not the best step to go to India JUST to visit an ashram or a wellness centre. You would be doing yourself a huge disservice to sit within 4 walls of a room for your time in India. There is a whole world out there, a country that is so vibrant, rich in culture and history and it’s spirituality is in its people and the land.
I challenge those of you that are hungry to go to India’s Wellness centres to think about discovering the holiest places of India first.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Elanor Roosvelt.
How true is this quote?
That’s what we do here at Mantra Wild Adventures. Our Spiritual Retreats are not yoga retreats or wellness programmes centred at happening in one place. They are experiences…and right at the end you will visit a wellness centre, after your whirlwind experience to India’s holiest places.
When you visit these sacred places, you will feel the energy of the place, and relate in your own way to what you are experiencing. The best time to contemplate and look back on your journey is when you have finished your 18 days of travelling on purpose with some quiet time to yourself at a wellness centre – eating healthy food, sitting in meditation, going for nature walks or some art yoga…whatever you want to do!
Experience India….then sit in the lotus position!
Travel on Purpose,
Mantra Wild Adventures offers 22 day journey – Mantra Wild Essential Elements, from $4,599 per person (base on twin share).
Highlights include the extravagance of the Taj Mahal with it’s ultimate symbol of love, the beauty of Khajaraho’s erotic temples, a peaceful boat ride on the Ganges, the sight, smells and sounds of Delhi. Listen to the Mantra of wildlife in Ranthambhore, and you may be lucky to come eye to eye to a Bengal Tiger, an unforgetable moment, if you are lucky to spot one! Sit under the Bodhi Tree where Budda attained enlightement and and soak in the energy of Bodhgaya.
After all of these experiences, finish your journey at Swaswara Wellness retreat situated by Om beach. Become aware of the inner sound of your being. Only when the outer world becomes quiet, can you hear it. Enjoy yoga and meditation daily, relax and enjoy specially prepared meals made with fresh local produce.
The perfect way to end your trip.2