This past February, Christine Griggs was one of the lovely participants on our journey, Shiva Dancing: Sacred South India Journey with Andrew Harvey. We are excited to share her impressions about the journey, as written in her recent blog post.
As a yoga teacher, people often asked me if I had been to India -its birthplace- and I always answered that I didn’t really have an urge to go. There were other priorities on my traveling list. My travels are always guided by my intuition. Well, my intuition was on high alert when I found out 2 years ago that Andrew Harvey-the spiritual author and activist who has been inspiring my own spiritual journey for many years- was guiding a sacred journey to South India. This awakened a profound desire for India. I knew it was the right time to go. This was how I wished to experience India.
During his first talk to us, on the bus on our way to visit St Thomas Basilica in Chennai, Andrew told us:
“India is a furnace of Transformation. When all illusions are gone and Reality remains, Know yourself in the Infinite.” This brought tears to my eyes.
The whole trip truly embodied his passionate words. India helps you to be REAL, feet in the dirt, your senses overwhelmed and your heart bursting with so many emotions that you neither have time nor energy to put up that façade of pretense that often hides your true Self.
The transformation was deep and personal. India did not change me -I didn’t go there to be changed- it deepened my purpose and everything I am and believe in. I came back feeling lighter and more focused, and I believe many of my fellow travelers did too. India helped me to sharpen my vision and get rid of excuses. Writing is my first love and words literally poured out of me during this journey. I have been reading some of my poetry during my classes. Below is one poem that expresses everything I just shared. And more. Thank you for listening—and reading. Namaste
FALLING IN LOVE WITH INDIA
India has brought me to my knees,
Sitting in dirt, kneeling down on floors grimy with age and decay.
It has assaulted my senses
And I stopped trying to recognize the heady scents and spicy tastes,
My eyes stopped trying to make sense of the jumble of colors and textures
and started surrendering to the whole maddening picture of dirt and beauty.
When you fall in love, you let go of reason.
India has dropped me into the entrails of the earth,
As I lost myself in the cavernous depths of its temples, impregnated with centuries of passion and surrender,
Dark and pungent with the primal heartbeat of drums and chants,
Almost hoping to get lost—for real—in their raw embrace.
India has pushed me to the edge of my comfort, complacency and redundancy,
It has transformed my timid transformation into a maddeningly explosive irrational dance.
I have fallen in love with India
Because it has shown me that I could go deeper, bigger without fear,
As it guided me into the entrails of the earth,
it guided me into the entrails of my soul.
(February 24, 2019, Shantivanam Ashram, South India)
About Christine Griggs:
Christine was born and raised in the beautiful Bugey region of France. She is a Mom of three, a multilingual translator, a writer and an ERYT-500 yoga teacher/trainer in Virginia. Her intention, in her classes and her books is to inspire you to hear the music within you and share it with the world. You can find more information on her website.
Don’t miss the chance to join Andrew Harvey on our upcoming journey; Shiva Dancing: Sacred South India With Andrew Harvey (February 14 – 28, 2021).