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Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

We write to you from the secluded haven that is Swarmi Rama Sadaka Grama Ashram, on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, just outside of the ancient pilgrimage site of Rishikesh.

We have spent just over 24 hours here, but already we feel that our energy has shifted. This is the part of the trip where we have the opportunity to take some time to sit with ourselves, to look inward, and be still.

Our days start early, with chanting and yoga. Much of the day is spent in quiet contemplation, practicing breathing techniques or learning how to sit or lie in poses that are good for the body. We are extremely fortunate that the high swami (spiritual teacher) of the ashram, Swarmi Veda Bharathi, is in residence at the moment. This evening we all attended an hour-long silent meditation with the swarmi, and were blessed that he made a special mention of us at the end of the session!

Even in the short time we have been here we have all noticed ourselves slow down and become calmer. It is a real contrast to the craziness of Delhi and the upbeat energy of PPES, and indeed our busy lives at school and work. We hope to be able to take some of this practice with us when we go back home.

Many of the chants here end with the phrase: ‘Om Shanti Shanti Shanti’. This is a perfect way to sum up our time here in the ashram, as it translates as ‘Om, peace, peace, peace’.

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