Photo of the Week
India Lawrenceville
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => Darshan can be simply defined as "seeing and being seen", however, the concept of Darshan is much more complex than this simple definition.  Visual examples of all the gods in the form of statues or painting can be seen all over India. These visual images of the gods are prime examples of Darshan as people are able to see their gods and by "seeing" they are closer to "being seen" by god. However, I believe that having to visually see god is not the only form of Darshan. I believe Darshan can also be auditory. After seeing and listening to performances in kathak and later in sarangee and sitar, I began to consider how Darshan can be an auditory practice. Much like a visual Darshan, their auditory Darshan is still a prayer to a god and is a practice that will help them see an auditory image of god, connect to god,  and hopefully be seen by god. Similar to the simple definition that I mentioned above Darshan is all about being able to connect to god to be seen by god, whether it is through a visual image of god or an auditory practice of an instrument or dance that also honors god.

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India Lawrenceville

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Darshan

Pravika Joshi,India Lawrenceville

Description

Darshan can be simply defined as “seeing and being seen”, however, the concept of Darshan is much more complex than this simple definition. Visual examples of all the gods in the form of statues or painting can be seen all over India. These visual images of the gods are prime examples of Darshan as people […]

Posted On

03/19/15

Author

Pravika Joshi

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    [post_content] => The Rhyme of the Indian Sojourners

by Phil Jordan, 3/16/2015

 

-1-

One spring in airplane sleek and true

Lawrentians put their bags on

To travel far to India

Where we knew “there be dragons”.

 

-2-

Michael, Christy and Hemant-ji

In Delhi came to greet us

With flower garlands round our necks

Their warmth and gusto cheered us.

 

-3-

Far from in vain the first day there

We clarified intentions

To seek religion everywhere

Through mindful explorations.

 

-4-

Chanting sublime from 2 AM

Came from the Sikh gurudwara

The rich music of morning prayers

Amazed us with its aura.

 

-5-

Next to a Jain temple we went

All clothed in expectation.

Bird hospital and naked saints

Were quite a revelation.

 

-6-

Then up the tower of the mosque

A bird’s eye view was given

Of infinite humanity

Pulsing with headlong rhythm.

 

-7-

A rickshaw through spice market streets

Bedazzled all our senses

And slack-jaw dancing set the stage

For talents unexpected.

 

-8-

The triple decker bunk bed train

Rolled on for hours and hours

And by predicting its time frame

Christy showed psychic powers.

 

-9-

In Varanasi hypnotized

We reached the heart of journey

The sunrise Ganga boat ride

Left a few eyes wet and blurry.

 

-10-

To their homestays the students went

To live by family rhythms

Where they were thrilled to feel

The care and love freely given.

 

-11-

The Ashram trip and EcoFarm

Showed clear-eyed dedication

To ways to work with kids and land

To bring true germination.

 

-12-

With music, too, our souls were blessed

By satvic tones and rhythms

And Kathak dance opened the doors

To Radha-Krishna visions.

 

-13-

A band of Buddhist seekers

Went to Sarnath for the day

While others saw cremation grounds

And shrines the ghats display.

 

-14-

Our yoga master Hemant-ji

Awoke of life and limbs

And through his puja a divine

Glimpse was freely given.

 

-15-

From Krishnamurti’s teaching

We learned independent ways,

Though it seems not so different

From religion as they say.

 

-16-

Although itch, ache, and sickness

Were a presence on the trip

They could not stop our journey

To the far shore on our ship.

 

-17-

And for the three great guru-jis

Who led us on our way

We owe a thousand thanks for all

They poured out every day.

 

-18-

With savvy grace, humor, and skill

They helped us find the treasures

That each of us will cultivate

Both singly and together.

 

-19-

And so with hands in Namaste

We now are homeward bound

With sadness mixed with satvic joy

For Om’s eternal sound.

 
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India Lawrenceville

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The Rhyme of the Indian Sojourners

Phil Jordan (posted by Jackson Cooper),India Lawrenceville

Description

The Rhyme of the Indian Sojourners by Phil Jordan, 3/16/2015   -1- One spring in airplane sleek and true Lawrentians put their bags on To travel far to India Where we knew “there be dragons”.   -2- Michael, Christy and Hemant-ji In Delhi came to greet us With flower garlands round our necks Their warmth […]

Posted On

03/18/15

Author

Phil Jordan (posted by Jackson Cooper)

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    [post_content] => On our final day in Varanasi, we spent some time thinking about how to talk about our time in India back at home in the US, and here are the answers to the question "How was India?" in both one word and in one sentence.

How was India?

One word:
Intense
Mind-blowing
Diverse
Superbly abundant
Beautiful
Challenging
Noisy
Interesting
Colorful
Connected
Old

One sentence: 

India is a radically different reality.

India was one hell of a trip.

My trip to India was an experience that was not only beneficial to me, but necessary as it helped me connect and understand peoples and thoughts that are abstract until seeing that applications on a day-to-day and thought-to-thought basis.

From the most refined spiritual and artistic pleasures to the dirtiest dirt and deep poverty, India offered me all the extremes as I search for the Middle Way.

India was dirty but at the same time it was refreshing.

It was good, it had its ups and downs but it was good.

Cleanliness is a relative term.

India assaulted our senses 24 hours a day, with incredible smells and sounds and sights both beautiful and sad, but it provided us with an amazing opportunity to enjoy each other’s company while experiencing an amazingly colorful, different culture.

India is full of diverse lifestyles including the religions and the ways of incorporating religion in each person’s lifestyles, in addition to the overwhelming quantity of everything imaginable except for calmness and quiet, making for an extremely exciting and colorful society with many aspects painting different colors with different strokes.

In India, the contrast between the terrifying, difficult, uncomfortable, noisy, dirty environment (in some areas) and the colourful, peaceful, openness of the people and culture blended in a way almost too perfect to describe.

India is and has always been a magnificent song, I’ll never forget that great symphony of culture, life, and the world with everything in it.
    [post_title] => So, how was India?
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So, how was India?

Lawrenceville Teachers & Students,India Lawrenceville

Description

On our final day in Varanasi, we spent some time thinking about how to talk about our time in India back at home in the US, and here are the answers to the question “How was India?” in both one word and in one sentence. How was India? One word: Intense Mind-blowing Diverse Superbly abundant […]

Posted On

03/16/15

Author

Lawrenceville Teachers & Students

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    [post_title] => Banaras at Sunrise
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    [post_content] => This is a picture from the last night with my host family!
    [post_title] => The last night with my host family
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The last night with my host family

Lee Reardon,India Lawrenceville

Description

This is a picture from the last night with my host family!

Posted On

03/16/15

Author

Lee Reardon

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    [post_content] => Our day started with a literally bumpy start—a rocky walk from our homestays to the Dragons program house at 5:30 am, to head out to the Ganges river for a trip through the light of the sun rising, one of the highlights of the city of light—Varanasi. As we drifted down the river, some of us with marigolds bought from children vendors, some of us snapping away with our cameras, we saw to our left Jain temples, guest houses, and even a place for cremation. We were also greeted with the sight of many people bathing in the holy water. Mostly men of old age; many people were bathing all the way up to their heads, women fully dressed in saris and men in many types of attire. There were people washing many sheets of clothing which we later discussed as being a practical and spiritual action. Travelling back in the boat, appreciating the remnants of the rise of the sun, we observed many other tourists, some women of which were not dressed appropriate to the traditions of Varanasi. This choice of clothing made me wonder; what do the locals think of tourists? What do they think of those who are out of “dress code” of the local culture, and of those who are trying to be in “dress code”? When foreign people visit my home country I appreciate visitors’ efforts to match the standards of the local style of dressing, but we—those of the country—feel a bit offended when foreigners flaunt their “traditional” clothes from our country when they are clearly not wearing them right in the locals’ eyes. I hope, no matter what the people of Varanasi—and India in general for that matter—think of our group and others from other places who walk their ground, that in our clothing as well as our actions we are, if not being completely respectful are at least not being disturbing to their religion and their daily lives.
    [post_title] => March 12th 2015, our first drifting on the Ganges River
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March 12th 2015, our first drifting on the Ganges River

Haruka Noishiki,India Lawrenceville

Description

Our day started with a literally bumpy start—a rocky walk from our homestays to the Dragons program house at 5:30 am, to head out to the Ganges river for a trip through the light of the sun rising, one of the highlights of the city of light—Varanasi. As we drifted down the river, some of […]

Posted On

03/16/15

Author

Haruka Noishiki

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    [post_content] => The scenery that exists along the Ganges really is amazing. I think this photo is pretty self-explanatory.
    [post_title] => The Ganges
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The Ganges

Melanie Dominguez,Picture of the Week, India Lawrenceville

Description

The scenery that exists along the Ganges really is amazing. I think this photo is pretty self-explanatory.

Posted On

03/14/15

Author

Melanie Dominguez

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    [post_content] => The day after we arrived in Varanasi, we took a boat ride on the Ganges River. The boat ride on the Ganges was beautiful. We got to see the 84 Ghats, the staircases that descend into the water of the Ganges. We got to see the people bathing in the Ganges at the bottom of the steps of the Ghats. We also got to see the sun rise and light up the whole river. At that moment I saw the beauty in Varanasi. Later on, the guest speaker told us about Varanasi being the City of Light. The place people seek for salvation from the cycle of rebirth and death. The home for many Hindus. I learned to see the beauty in Varanasi through the cow poops and flies. The beauty is in the culture and the people who follow the culture. I saw this first hand as I got to spend time with my home stay family. They were wonderful people and were very welcoming. Just like the city of Varanasi.
    [post_title] => Varanasi - City of Light
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India Lawrenceville

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Varanasi – City of Light

Daniel Brown,India Lawrenceville

Description

The day after we arrived in Varanasi, we took a boat ride on the Ganges River. The boat ride on the Ganges was beautiful. We got to see the 84 Ghats, the staircases that descend into the water of the Ganges. We got to see the people bathing in the Ganges at the bottom of […]

Posted On

03/14/15

Author

Daniel Brown

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    [post_content] => Femininity -was NEVER my thing.
"Female" is not a gender but here it seems
so behind to me, Not my 2015.
Will we ever reach universal equality?
I think the answer is no,
patriarchy and heterosexism is the way to go.
India is a place I know I can't live
If I'm following rules and that's just how it is
through religion and tradition and clothing
and no one is queer and open.

Yes, India is developing, and that I see
but I know this country is not for me.
This is experience is amazing, India is a great place to be
But back in America I'm Closer To Free.

I can't settle for gender roles
and I cant do what I'm told.
I'm too radical, too liberal, too left winged
to tolerate the containment of women's identity.

I can't even see their beauty with the mask dupattas
I know its not for me, its a lot of
going with the flow passivity, and taking micro aggressions
I'm sure they don't mean it, that's just part of my lesson
of learning new culture and religion that is not mine
so i'm pleased to have had this bitter sweet 11 days time.

I've never wanted to be a boy until I came to India, but all I want is their freedom, their privilege. Mainly take away their privilege so there won't be one. But I can be the feminist activist in America. I find that others don't find the trouble that I see. Wearing gendered clothes, (because clothes have genders, right?) that I don't want to wear makes feel powerless probably the most powerless, and although India is full of other challenges, the biggest is compacting and hiding my identity for a week + time; to not start a commotion or call attention or start a conflict. It makes me appreciate the freedoms that I am granted back home, such as even having the opportunity to challenge things in society instead of ignoring it and saying that's just how it is. I love my time here in India overall, but it makes me realize I have an upbringing and opportunities that I should wholly appreciate every second of every day.
    [post_title] => A Blatina Androgynous Woman in INDIA
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India Lawrenceville

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A Blatina Androgynous Woman in INDIA

Sharona Gentle Ramirez,India Lawrenceville

Description

Femininity -was NEVER my thing. “Female” is not a gender but here it seems so behind to me, Not my 2015. Will we ever reach universal equality? I think the answer is no, patriarchy and heterosexism is the way to go. India is a place I know I can’t live If I’m following rules and […]

Posted On

03/14/15

Author

Sharona Gentle Ramirez

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    [post_content] => So the trip is primarily about experiencing Indian culture, but also realized that the program puts a lot of emphasis on finding ourselves (Sorry to be cliche). With our journals and in morning meeting, we ask questions that we cannot necessarily answer blindly. Some of the questions were based off of the strong religious influence India holds with the numerous faiths practiced here in such close proximity to each other. In India, the belief in religion varies from the strict devotees that allow their faith to dictate their everyday lives through daily worship and symbolic dress, while on the other side of the spectrum, religion still is important, just not as overpowering to some. The group visited three temples so far in Delhi alone (Jain and Sikh), however, the Bahai faith left the biggest impression on me personally. To summarize, the Bahai faith believes that all religion fits together like puzzle pieces and collectively make up a singular religion. All of the different disciples taught important lessons, such as Jesus and the value of love while Muhammad unified the Arab states. Each of the seven Bahai temples differ from each other to represent the countries interpretation of unity. The temple in Delhi that half of the group was lucky enough to see was a pure, white marble lotus flower, which is popular in Hinduism for representing peace. To me, the Bahai faith makes the most sense as it satisfies the majority of people and couldn't understand why it wasn't more popular. Thinking about what we discussed earlier today as a group, a friend and I decided to look deeper into the it and questions started to arise, such as: What happens when two religions conflict, and which claims priority in "the right choice"? The faith publicizes the fact that they are all inclusive to all sexes, race and nationalities, but then fails to mention sexual orientations. Does the faith follow the opinions of other religions that being gay is unacceptable, or do they follow their main message of unity and include them? Are atheists respected as god's creations or are they all dammed to hell? What is the higher being when some religions are monotheists, polytheist or do not worship a external force? Since none of us have access to internet, I currently cannot look up any of these answers, but that is besides the point. This visit just solidified the conversation we had before that a trip like this awakens us to confirm our beliefs, but also question them. In the process, we find ourselves. At least I have thought about my own beliefs and how this influences the person I am today, and then will be in the future.
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India Lawrenceville

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Bahai Temple and Morning Messages

Zoe Van Dem Bol,India Lawrenceville

Description

So the trip is primarily about experiencing Indian culture, but also realized that the program puts a lot of emphasis on finding ourselves (Sorry to be cliche). With our journals and in morning meeting, we ask questions that we cannot necessarily answer blindly. Some of the questions were based off of the strong religious influence […]

Posted On

03/12/15

Author

Zoe Van Dem Bol

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