Happy Fourth of July…from Delhi!

The Fourth of July marks my fourth day in Delhi! The first few days were rough for me. The program officially started on Sunday afternoon, but that morning after breakfast, I got really sick again. I had to miss out on our first class and orientation because I was in my room alternating between sleeping and puking my brains out. I managed to get up and venture to dinner – just to get out of the room for a while. I was fine until the middle of the night when I got sick yet again. Fortunately, it looks like the getting sick part is over for now, but it was not a fun way to start off my first few days here.

The part of Delhi that we are in is quite an interesting place. Lots of dirt roads with random holes (no, not potholes – literal holes) in the road.  It’s not unusual to see cows grazing in trash piles on the side of the road or cars driving in opposite directions towards each other.  The one thing that stands out the most for me is the excessive amount of car horn honking! I think it’s an average of 15 car honks for every 10 feet you walk.  We’ve wandered around our neighborhood a little bit, but between classes and the excessive heat (the first few days the temp was 112-115), we have been seeking solace in our AC rooms for some relief. We’ll be exploring lots of Delhi through our program over the next week so I’m sure I’ll have more to report soon.

Our classes have already started – we have about 3 lectures a day.  So far we’ve been looking at the evolutionary history of the concept and practice of nonviolence, and learning the basics of Jainism. So much information has been taught already and while it seems overwhelming, it’s exciting to be part of the dialogue that’s been happening in class. The challenge of the day for me today was taking part in a 15-minute mediation exercise. I already find it hard to sit still for long periods of time, but asking me to meditate after 2.5 solid hours of lecture is just cruel! I was thinking about anything and everything BUT meditating for the 15 minutes (which felt like and eternity)! I’m not sure how I’m going to do with the 24-hour mediation camp that’s coming up next week – yikes!! Tomorrow we’ll be having one lecture at a local university – the seminar will be on ahimsa in different religions. 

That’s the quick update for now – I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! 

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