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Tureya Ashram

February 13, 2011

So like I said in my last post, we were brought down to the far south of India to spend some time at the Tureya Ashram, as discovered through some intensive Google searching. We were attracted by the small size of the ashram (some can have hundreds of students– the max here was 10), its lack of official dogma (the prayers and yogic studies had Buddhist and Hindu origins, but Swami was a Christian who claimed to have read the Bible a thousand times and one of the other head guys was Jewish. It was an interesting and holistic experience to be taught in a way that incorporated elements of all these philosophies and more.), and the description of the ashram’s setting.

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Though getting there became a bit frustrating (for all the warnings we’d had of people trying to rip you off in India, this was never more apparent than when trying to secure a taxi), in the midst of it all we had to admit our hopes for a beautiful and peaceful setting were being fulfilled. We’d learn there was a lot of down time between classes, meals, and prayer, and during this time we were encouraged to go for walks in the area, and even to collect some fruit from the numerous fruit-bearing trees if we happened upon some that was ripe. Unfortunately there were many days during our short stay in which the weather didn’t permit such exploration, which left us cooped up in our rooms. Let’s just say we all got a lot of reading done in that week-and-a-half.

We signed a contract at the onset of our stay that limits what I can say about the ashram in a public forum (though I can’t exactly remember to what degree…) so I think I’ll just cut to photos here. Basically we got to do some yoga, eat some vegetarian food, and learn a bit about body and mind (haha… it seems inappropriate that that reminds me of the intro sequence to Dirt Nasty’s “1980”?). If nothing else we walked away with Swami’s most resounding message– change your mind! And because we were there for the auspicious day of Diwali (India’s biggest festival– one that we had to teach our kids about at EF without knowing anything about it), and/or it was a full moon, we had the opportunity to go through an induction ceremony where we essentially said we wanted to commit ourselves to spiritual growth and were each given a Sanskrit mantra. Mine is Om Satyagai Namaha, or something along the lines of, “Goddess of Truth, I greet you.” Laura’s and Wayne’s were the same but with Permanence and the Sun, respectively.

Alright, really cutting to the photos. If you’re interested in some of the finer details of the experience just leave a comment or send me a message.

our ailments put a damper on the trip from time to time… we still suffered from certain intestinal issues, laura developed a debilitating migraine at the end, and somewhere along the way (en route to the ashram) wayne was attacked by bedbugs. ohhhh india.

on one of our little quests

we found some oranges

our oranges (they ripen off the vine, right?) and my foot, after having been attacked by one of the baby leeches living in the muck.

alfie and shakti, the two rare indian hunting dogs that ruled the roost

fog coming in

trying to catch the enormous moth that decided to join us for dinner one night

beautiful poinsettias and hyacinths were illuminated at sunrise

hahaha… our neti pot cleanse. we also did one the previous morning in which we used large amounts of saltwater to induce vomiting. real ayurvedic practices… you can read about them here. i will also say that our stomach problems decreased dramatically (i won’t stay ceased, as i was moderately afflicted for the majority of our time on the subcontinent) after the vomiting cleanse.

wayne captures the sunrise one clear morning

‘you know i don’t like having my picture taken before 8 am!’

reading outside for once

with our tikka (or tilaka, it seems) from morning puja

the groundskeeper’s son. i wasn’t around for the interaction but i understand it went something like, ‘you take photo of me?’
wayne: ‘um… sure. *click*’
boy: ‘now you give me chocolate?’

temple under which a devout jain monk was buried alive in accordance with their practices (at least within a certain sect). they believe that in the highest form of enlightenment the spirit essentially leaves the body, so while one may physically still be ‘alive,’ there’s no real use for the body. not exactly a practice any of us planned to act on, but interesting enough.

after unsuccessfully trying to make our way up the waterfall

my turn to collect some fruit– this time, avocados.

laura, finally feeling better as we headed off to goa. (have i mentioned the obscene amount of luggage we chose kind of had to bring?)

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    July 10, 2011 12:50 pm

    I am considering going to Tureya Ashram and I would love to connect with you to learn more about your experience. The internet has a ton of mixed reviews…. Is there a way I can contact you?

    • July 18, 2011 3:34 am

      Hey there! I am considering going to Tureya in November. I would love to connect with someone who has been there or is headed there! Contact me if you’d like to chat…

    • July 18, 2011 3:35 am

      Hey there! I am considering going to Tureya in November. I would love to connect with someone who has been there or is headed there! Contact me if you’d like to chat…

    • Pam permalink
      January 22, 2012 2:28 pm

      Could someone that’s been there contact me? Thanks Credo09@gmail.com

  2. Shannon permalink
    March 4, 2012 12:13 pm

    Hi I would love some more detailed info about Tureya Ashram, I am trying to find one that is not too Hindu and this one sounded good. Thanks!
    Shannon

  3. August 5, 2012 5:54 pm

    Hello there… would love to get some of your off the record inputs about the ashram. Want to go there for quite some time to do some soul searching and would like to know if it will be worth the trip or if I should look for something different.
    Thank you (malin.petersson.mail@gmail.com)

  4. Bernadette permalink
    December 31, 2014 3:57 am

    Hi, I would appreciate more detail of your experience and the programs offered at Tureya Ashram, anyone who has been there, please contact me on bernsawtell@gmail.com
    Thanks, Bernadette

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