My Daily Schedule (मम प्रतिदिनस्य)
As many of you know, I stay quite busy in Seattle, but my Seattle life looks like a life of leisure when compared to my time in Amritapuri! In this post, I will not only describe what my day is like, I will also practice my Sanskrit. So if some of my sentences seem strangely simplistic that is why!
At 4:00 a.m., I get up (चतुर्वादने प्रातःकले उत्तिष्ठामि|)
At 4:45, I go to the temple (पदोन-पञ्चवादने देवालयं गच्छामः|)
We chant the 108 Names of Amma and the Sri Lalita Sahasranamavali, and sing the Mahishasuramardini Stotra (वयं १०८ अम्बायाः नामानि,श्रि-ललिता-सहस्रनामावलिं, महिषासुरमर्दिनीं स्तोत्रं च वदामः|)
After the morning prayers, I clean my room and do laundry if needed. If there is time, I will also check emails and/or work on posts for my blog.
In Seattle, I am quite sedentary. Not so here. There are many buildings so I walk a lot. Also, I live on the sixth floor. I usually use the elevator to go up and walk when I go down, but as the crowds get bigger during the holidays and the lines for the elevator get longer, I will take the stairs more often. I certainly get plenty of exercise here.
At 7 a.m., I eat breakfast (सप्तवादने अल्पाहारं खादामि|).
Soon thereafter, I go to the worm composting center and work there for an hour. Later in the trip I hope to work in some of the other composting areas as well.
Preparation for this year’s Christmas play has begun. Starting today, I will be helping to sew the costumes. We will have to make more than 60 costumes before Christmas eve. At minimum, I will help every day between 10:30 and 1:00. Since there are some people who will be sewing 12 or more hours a day, I will likely add time to my shift later on.
At 1:00 p.m., I eat lunch (एकवादने मध्याह्नभोजनं खादामि|). Sometimes I will go to watch play practice while I eat.
At 4:00 p.m., hot milk is served to all residents and visitors who want it. I’ve been getting a cup of milk and then going to the kitchen where Sreejit works. I visit with with him while I drink my milk and he works! (He cooks most of the food for lunch and dinner at the Western canteen.)
From 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. every evening, we sing bhajans (devotional songs). Most of the week the songs are led by Amma!
At 8:30 p.m., I eat dinner (सार्धवादने रत्रिभोजनं खदामि|).
From 9:15 to 10:00 p.m., on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday I participate in a Sanskrit class (सपादनववादनतः दश-पर्यन्तं रात्रिकले बुधवासरे गुरुवासरे शनिवासारे संस्कृत-वर्गं गच्छामि|)
(A lot of the people in the Amritapuri Sanskrit class went to Amma’s European and U.S. programs in October and November, so they missed a lot of class. The teacher is going to offer five hours of make-up classes and I’m going to also attend them. Today will be the first of the make up classes. It will go from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00.)
At 11:00 p.m., I go to sleep (एकादषवादने रात्रिकले निद्रां करोमि|)
Whenever I have extra time during the day, I write for my blog, study Sanskrit, work on the GreenFriends newsletter I edit and organize each month, read emails and do a variety of other things. Later in my stay I may be teaching a class. If I do, I will need to start preparing for that before long.
Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday are public program days. Those are the days when people receive Amma’s darshan (hugs). She starts giving hugs at 11 in the morning and continues until late at night, sometimes not stopping until 1:00 a.m. the following day. There is opportunity to participate in some special sevas (volunteer work) during that time. It is also fun to watch Amma give darshan and/or to listen to the live music that plays throughout the day.
On Monday, Tuesday and Friday, Amma spends special time with the ashram residents. She usually leads a meditation, gives a satsang (spiritual talk) and sings a bhajan.
Yesterday, I cashiered at the cafe for a short time. That used to be one of my main jobs here but I haven’t done it for awhile. I had a good time. Maybe I will cashier again sometime during my stay.
I imagine you can see from what I have said, that my days are very full…. and I am very happy!