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    [post_date] => 2016-12-06 10:55:42
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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family, 

The India group has arrived in New Jersey. Thank you for an amazing semester and enjoy the homecoming! 
    [post_title] => Visions of India Arrived in Newark
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Fall: Visions of India

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Visions of India Arrived in Newark

Eva Vanek,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Dear Friends and Family, The India group has arrived in New Jersey. Thank you for an amazing semester and enjoy the homecoming!

Posted On

12/6/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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Greetings friends and family! Here we are on our last day in Delhi before four students set out to pursue their own travel adventures post-course. We have spent the last few days in the Transference phase of our semester, reflecting on our experiences here in India and discussing how to take what we've learned home. We recently completed an activity where we individually reflected on our most rewarding, challenging and eye-opening experiences throughout this course. We anonymously completed the statements below and thought you would enjoy reading some of our reflections.

My biggest takeway from this course is... - A deeper understanding of my place in this world and a curiosity to keep exploring and seeking - How grateful I am to have the awareness that I am completely in charge of my life - Life is all about balance and I am in control of that balance. I am beginning to find more balance and control in my life - Learning that this is my life and I am in control of what's next for me - A deeper understanding of myself and my place in this world, self-expansion, openness, growth, and love - Learning how others exist and picking and choosing snippets from different philosophies - Knowing and learning about my purpose, my passions, and love - A far deeper sense of humanity and connection to our world. An expanded view of what it means to be compassionate and open - Greater mental dexterity and a better understanding of and more developed openness to the world around us I am most thankful for... - All of you! - The opportunity to go on this trip - The amazing people I have met and grown to love - Being able to wake up everyday and experience this beautiful country - Kristen - This journey! Meeting new people, eating great food and traveling this wonderful world - The opportunity to explore this incredible country and all the people I have some to know and love - The opportunity to come on this trip and for my family, friends and I-team who made it possible - The opportunity to experience life in this place and all of the people how have made it home - Out I-team! Students who chose VOI and the local community that support our program. - My mom. Peace, love. mom and Saurabh for going back for Kiwi. The first thing I'll tell my family when I return is... - I missed you! The adventures were eye opening and I feel like a new person! - I appreciate you - I never want to stop traveling - Hey! - Thank you, I love you. - Thank you, thank you, thank you, I love you with all my heart - I love you! - I have to go back to India - I love you. Thank you for encouraging, pushing and loving me so well. - Thank you! I love you and appreciate you. - Thank you for supporting my journey! [post_title] => Our Final Day in Delhi [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => our-final-day-in-delhi [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-05 15:48:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-05 22:48:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/blog/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 591 [name] => Fall: Visions of India [slug] => india-fall-2016 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 591 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 581 [count] => 59 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0.1 [cat_ID] => 591 [category_count] => 59 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Fall: Visions of India [category_nicename] => india-fall-2016 [category_parent] => 581 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2016/india-fall-2016/ ) ) [category_links] => Fall: Visions of India )
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Our Final Day in Delhi

VOI I-Team,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Greetings friends and family! Here we are on our last day in Delhi before four students set out to pursue their own travel adventures post-course. We have spent the last few days in the Transference phase of our semester, reflecting on our experiences here in India and discussing how to take what we’ve learned home. We […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

VOI I-Team

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    [post_content] => Today marked the end of our stay in Jaisalmer, and in many ways felt like it marked the closing of our trip, as we head back to Delhi for two days before returning home. Prior to boarding the train Peter and I had had the chance to take a last walk through the city surrounding our hotel. As we narrowly avoided being hit by motorcyclists and cautiously walked past countless cows - routines that have become second nature at this point - I began to reflect on my experiences in this country and the imprints it has had on my mental state, contentment, and general outlook. The ability to find beauty in this chaotic and often confusing place came as I was exposed to so many new ideas in the music, art, and philosophies that govern the movement of everyday life here, not to mention the people I have connected with, the realities I have been exposed to, and of course the fantastic food of this country. The serene and vast mountains of Ladakh; the deep peace of the Root Institute; the otherworldliness of of Jaisalmer's ancient architecture; and the hectic, intense, and beautiful streets of Varanasi are all so unique in their respective appearances and cultural practices but so unified in my mind as I attempt to recount my experiences. I came to India to inspire my creativity as a musician and to look deeper within, but I think in many ways I came to escape the life I had been leading and the responsibilities of my daily life at home. Rather than finding an escape I have found real purpose in my insignificant existence. I have started to see innate beauty in all life and also have begun to feel truly connected to a collective humanity far more boundless than myself. In this the privilege and fortune I have has become immensely clear. As my journey here comes to a close I cannot wait to return home to exercise my compassion and experiences as I go forth as a musician, traveler, friend, and human being.
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Fall: Visions of India

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Reflections

Alexander Carr-Engler,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Today marked the end of our stay in Jaisalmer, and in many ways felt like it marked the closing of our trip, as we head back to Delhi for two days before returning home. Prior to boarding the train Peter and I had had the chance to take a last walk through the city surrounding […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Alexander Carr-Engler

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    [post_date] => 2016-12-05 13:18:13
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    [post_content] => Dear friends and family,The remainder of our group as we said our final goodbye at the Delhi airport tonight. United flight #83 will depart at 3:30 am IST. A special thank you to everyone, especially parents, who made this journey possible for us and supported us along the way. We are so grateful for the experiences we've shared here in India and we look forward to seeing you all at home!
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Students at the Airport!

The I-Team,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Dear friends and family,The remainder of our group as we said our final goodbye at the Delhi airport tonight. United flight #83 will depart at 3:30 am IST. A special thank you to everyone, especially parents, who made this journey possible for us and supported us along the way. We are so grateful for the experiences […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

The I-Team

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    [post_date] => 2016-12-05 09:46:36
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    [post_content] => Dear Fall 2016 Visions of India Semester Students & Families,

Below is an update to the group flight information (all times are in local time zones):

NEW DEPARTURE TIME:

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

United Airlines #083

Depart: Delhi, India (DEL) 3:30 AM

Arrive: Newark, NJ (EWR) 8:05 AM (+1 day - Tuesday, December 6th)

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Starting on Monday, December 5th, should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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Fall: Visions of India

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RETURN FLIGHT INFORMATION UPDATE

Eva Vanek,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Dear Fall 2016 Visions of India Semester Students & Families, Below is an update to the group flight information (all times are in local time zones): NEW DEPARTURE TIME: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 United Airlines #083 Depart: Delhi, India (DEL) 3:30 AM Arrive: Newark, NJ (EWR) 8:05 AM (+1 day – Tuesday, December 6th) We […]

Posted On

12/5/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2016-12-01 16:53:49
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    [post_content] => Dear Fall 2016 Visions of India Semester Students & Families,

It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families (all times are in local time zones):

Monday, December 5th

United Airlines #083

Depart: Delhi, India (DEL) 11:45 AM

Arrive: Newark, NJ (EWR) 4:50 AM (+1 day - Tuesday, December 6th)

We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Starting on Monday, December 5th, should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.

We wish all students a great trip home!

Sincerely,

Boulder Admin
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Fall: Visions of India

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RETURN FLIGHT INFORMATION

Eva Vanek,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Dear Fall 2016 Visions of India Semester Students & Families, It is hard to believe that 3 months have passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long and students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return […]

Posted On

12/1/16

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2016-11-29 10:57:46
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    [post_content] => 

Expedition Phase, led by the students, is now complete! It was incredibly successful, and we explored a variety of incredible places in Jaipur and Jaisalmer.

Tomorrow marks the start of our transition back to the USA. In Dragons lingo, we call this final phase, “Transference”. Around tonight’s dinner table, the students mentioned that they didn’t like this name - that they found it “cultish”. As such, we brainstormed other names to mark this transition home. Some ideas included:

  • Transcendence
  • Re-orientation
  • Re-integration
  • The Transition Home
  • Next Steps
  • Returning Home
  • Back to a Fundamentally Different USA
  • The Transition
  • Coming Home
  • The Last Few Days
  • What To Do Next

Anyway, you get the idea. Whatever the name, we begin tomorrow, Nov 30th. We will reflect on our time together, and what this journey has meant to each of us. We will also celebrate! On Dec 1st, we’ll head out to the desert on camels to spend the night under the stars. The next day, we’ll take the camels back out to the road, and catch a late afternoon train into Delhi. On Dec 3 we’ll reach Delhi midday, where we hope to catch the last bit of an environmental film festival. Dec 4 and 5 will be final sightseeing and farewells in the city before boarding the group flight at 11:45pm on Dec 5.

We are already anticipating a tearful goodbye. Truth is, parents and friends, this is a very special group of young people that you know -- and that we've had the privilege of knowing for the past three months. We are so grateful for our semester together and look forward to these final days of reflection and celebration!

The Instructor Team

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Fall: Visions of India

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Transference?

Instructor Team,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Expedition Phase, led by the students, is now complete! It was incredibly successful, and we explored a variety of incredible places in Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Tomorrow marks the start of our transition back to the USA. In Dragons lingo, we call this final phase, “Transference”. Around tonight’s dinner table, the students mentioned that they didn’t […]

Posted On

11/29/16

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2016-11-24 06:54:56
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-24 13:54:56
    [post_content] => Hello Family and Friends!

Please enjoy a few images from our final week in Varanasi, including our Family Party, ISP presentations, and a walking tour of the ghats. We are so grateful to all of our homestay families, ISP mentors, yoga teacher, Hindi teacher, Program House staff and everyone who helped to make our Varanasi time so special.

Rajasthan: here we come!

Instructor Team
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Images from our final week in Varanasi

Instructor Team,Fall: Visions of India

Description

Hello Family and Friends! Please enjoy a few images from our final week in Varanasi, including our Family Party, ISP presentations, and a walking tour of the ghats. We are so grateful to all of our homestay families, ISP mentors, yoga teacher, Hindi teacher, Program House staff and everyone who helped to make our Varanasi […]

Posted On

11/24/16

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2016-11-23 13:54:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-23 20:54:00
    [post_content] => 

Our group started the week with an interesting excursion to the state bank. A few phrases and quotes our group had to describe the experience are:

"Controlled chaos"

"I have never been that physically close to a stranger before!"

"Crazy"

"Wild and exhilarating"

"I was not feeling the love and compassion we felt at the Root Institute"

"It was like DisneyLand on steroids"

" I never want to do that again"

"Thank goodness I am not claustrophobic."

"An experience to appreciate"

We stood in line for about an hour and a half to enter the bank to exchange five hundred rupee notes for smaller notes. Our sense of personal space and respect for lines was completely forgotten as more people squeezed their way into the line. The guards at the bank gate only allowed fifty people inside at a time, so when the gates opened we all stayed close together and pushed our way into the bank. Once we finally all got into the bank, we waited in another line to exchange the group money. The bank was like a sauna of human sweat. Unfortunately many of us were unable to exchange money because we exchanged personal money earlier in the week. The  bank policy only allows people to exchange 2,500 rupees a week. We have now lived a moment in history.

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Controlled Chaos

Kristen Gardiner,Best Notes From The Field, Fall: Visions of India

Description

Our group started the week with an interesting excursion to the state bank. A few phrases and quotes our group had to describe the experience are: “Controlled chaos” “I have never been that physically close to a stranger before!” “Crazy” “Wild and exhilarating” “I was not feeling the love and compassion we felt at the […]

Posted On

11/23/16

Author

Kristen Gardiner

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Of Things Lost and Found :

I started taking long, meditative walks a couple years ago and through the practice of this ritual, became more accustomed to my own solitude and resilience. Now, I am walking and traveling on new soil, in India, a place overflowing with color and beauty.

On these walks I collect small, broken, and unassuming objects and inspiration (which I view as small offerings from the universe) for later use in my art. These found treasures have unveiled to me the sacredness of all things common. Since my creative process have evolved into such a sacred experience, I began to construct shrines out of my artwork. I want to create an experience of self reflection through my art, I want that to be my offering back to the world which has granted me these objects, and the experiences which have taught me I could create beauty out of them. I believe everyone is a unique incarnation of god, a “focal point of at which the whole universe expresses itself”, and I want my expression to illuminate the beauty in broken and discarded things, and by doing so, illuminate those parts of myself.

Just as we are expressions (and therefore mirrors) of this universe, art is the subsequent expression (or mirror) of our humanity; and we become greater mirrors through  a deeper understanding of ourselves (which art provides for the creator).  It is not the mere existence of separate parts that makes this life so exquisite, it is the space in between, the thresholds, the points of connection that are themselves sacred. Therefore, like Darsan, the divine aspect of art is the symbiotic interaction of the creator and viewer, the act of seeing and being seen. In this way art is a mirror, revealing to the viewer aspects of themselves perhaps latent, but already existent. Being a mirror or a witness to humanity as a whole, but more directly for each other, makes our lives both consequential and meaningful; and therein lies the beauty of this interconnection, of the “weavings of these invisible fabrics”.

The only true personal freedom that exists is the exploration into the world of one's own soul, the process of growth within existential responsibility.  Through continual externalization, man attempts to control and alter the world, neglecting to see that he can do so by peering into the nakedness of his own soul, by having autonomy over his will and choice, by acceptance of the natural suffering attached growth. It is this constant fluidity and restructuring, this destruction in light of creation, this solidarity and synchronicity of all growth in the boundless now that constitutes the most primordial meaning of existence, that is the journey home to oneself.

The way in and the way out are essentially the same, a sudden burst of light- a forceful, unwarranted entrance, a swift and grand departure. Now, I am more able to carry the weight of this gross impermanence. Now, I understand power at the roots stem of choice. I am figuring out (through adventure and creation) where I belong in this cosmic dance of recycled matter, in this dazzling and spellbound chaos of existence. I know now, far more concretely, that where I belong is right where I am- wholly and unequivocally. I know now that in this “strenuous briefness” of life, in this painful self- expansion, I can find a home within the unregimented brilliance of my own heart. I have learned that my soul is as vast as the canyons, and as fluid as the water that moulds them.

Now, I find god everywhere- in the soft light of morning and in the tired hands of dusk. In the trees, in the soil, in this ever-present breath. In the wind on my face, in everything which makes me feel alive, which affirms my hope, “which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes”.

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“Of Things Lost and Found”: Artist Statement for Regional Seminar Final Project

Teja Leah Otis Clayman,Best Notes From The Field, Fall: Visions of India

Description

Of Things Lost and Found : I started taking long, meditative walks a couple years ago and through the practice of this ritual, became more accustomed to my own solitude and resilience. Now, I am walking and traveling on new soil, in India, a place overflowing with color and beauty. On these walks I collect […]

Posted On

11/23/16

Author

Teja Leah Otis Clayman

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