TTC/April/2012 - Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Peace, Love, and Chocolate
Over the last year, I have been on a search for both employment and also purpose. I graduated from a prestigious university and assumed that my graduation would lead me into a position that would be rewarding - rewarding at least financially, and rewarding in that it would open up more opportunities for me in the future. I have interviewed for several positions and continually been asked serendipitously  "What's your primary goal in life?" Before my last interview, the driver who fetched me on the morning before my meeting with the executive officer even asked, "What do you think is the purpose of life?

For some reason, all I could ever think of was, "Peace, love, and happiness." I'd answer as expected upon occasion, but perhaps did not seem entirely sincere - as this greatest goal of mine was so clear in the back of my mind, but seemed too silly to say. On our first day in class here, our instructor started talking about our common goal: peace, love, and happiness. I couldn't believe it - I finally found a place where I could say what I was I really thinking... and not sound a bit crazy. Six weeks to think and talk about my answers to these two questions - incredible.

A Pathway at the Maharishi Ashram
Perhaps in their own search for peace, love, and happiness, the Beatles visited Rishikesh in India in 1968. They attended an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. A group of us visited this ashram this week, which is a short walk away from Rishikesh Ashram. The ashram is a deserted and dilapidated remnant of a beauty that once was - an absolute ruin of spirituality and musical genius. It's a secret garden - the entrance guarded by a man charging 50 rupees (one dollar) for entrance, and halls spotted with the occasional musician or artist trying to live out the magical mystery tour in a 21st century world. All you need is love...

Walking up to the temple

... peace, and happiness. So in our search for peace and happiness, we sought a mountain-top experience this past Sunday morning. Rishikesh Yog Ashram organized a trip out to a temple in the mountains for several of us. After hiking to the top, we received a blessing and practiced some yoga. The views were incredible - quite inspiring of that we searched. 

Blessing at the temple
And so finally, we returned to the subject of love on Sunday evening. We were fortunate enough to all be invited to one of our instructor's sister's wedding. Several of us dressed in our best attire and witnessed a traditional Indian wedding ceremony where the bride and groom were brought in with great pomp and circumstance.

The Wedding Procession and Party

The Groom
And the chocolate? Well, a monkey jumped into our yoga class today and snatched a bar of chocolate - even monkeys have priorities! So start thinking, "What's your primary goal in life?" and "What's the purpose of life?" Peace, love, and chocolate?


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