We have arranged to spend a few days at a meditation retreat in Dehra Dhun built by an Indian disciple of our Master in the early 1990s. With some difficulty we find it in the suburbs. A sweet older gentleman from Delhi comes up to take care of us while we’re here. Retreats are only held at the end of the month, and this is the beginning. He speaks no English which keeps the chatting to a minimum. Being at the retreat is a welcome break, and to be served is much appreciated. The schedule which is not mandatory includes seven hours of meditation.
The retreat is a three walled bungalow including four guestrooms and a large meditation room, built around a pretty garden full of flowering pot plants, bushes and trees. A large flat roof looks out over a grassy common surrounded by a few well maintained houses and gardens. It has a peaceful dreamy quality that reminds me of an English village green – children play on a swing set, a couple of tethered cows graze, hens peck. People wander by; followed by the odd tractor or bicycle…but the sounds are all muted.
Refreshed we set off for the final phase of our trip with a LONG bus ride to Dharamasala via Shimla.
A Literary Footnote
For those who have been following the blog since the beginning and paid attention to minor details, you may remember that I described that a small case only allows for one book….well things have changed. I have fallen in love with a popular Indian author, Chethan Baghat who explores the complexity of India – cultural political and religious- in novels that are both extremely funny and thought provoking. I now have all four of his books weighing down my case, plus Victor Chan’s book on the Dalai Lama.