We’re about two-thirds of the way through our second day in Delhi. We arrived yesterday afternoon. We’re staying in the home of Sikh family who Courtney connected with via couchsurfing.com.

I’ve never couch surfed. I never planned to couch surf. Given the former, I certainly did not to expect to couch surf in India. But, here we are.

I’d like to digress momentarily. Before I left on this trip, I had several discussions with a friend about the nature of life in India and how it differs from that of the U.S. Life here differs in a myriad of ways (and there are also similarities), but the context of our discussion focused specifically on a state of being rather than doing.

I’ve reflected a lot on that contrast recently, being versus doing. I think what appeals to me so greatly about these extended excursions far away from home is the very opportunity to be wholly present.

Each day moment is new and holds various opportunities, challenges and surprises. There’s not much point in giving too much thought to the future or the happenings at home, because there’s little I can do about anything. I’m in a forced state of presence. It’s powerful and it’s accompanied by perspective.

Most recently, I’ve had to call on presence, perspective and patience during this couch surfing experience. I am completely out of my comfort zone. I am sharing space with a number of other travelers, an entire family whose culture is quite foreign to me, and a cacophonous group of young street children who have, by the kindness of our host and their own good fortune, been blessed enough to go to school in the room just below our loft.

I like new experiences and I’m fairly adaptable. The other side of the coin, I’m solitary and territorial. Leave it to India to force me to face my short-comings and do some growing.

Despite my initial instinct to flee hesitations, I’m warming up to the pallet (we’re sleeping on a pallet on the floor) surfing experience. I appreciate the rare opportunity to stay in the home of an Indian family and gain some insight into their daily lives. To do so enriches the experience of India and brings me a more intimate understanding of the rhythms of life here.

My heart has been warmed and inspired  by the good work of this woman and her family.  By offering these kids an education, she is changing the course of not only their lives but the generations that follow them.  It’s also really fun to be greeted by 10+ small voices saying “Namaste!” and outreached hands eager to shake our own as we walk through their school.

This morning we were invited to meditate with our host’s brother-in-law. He shared some with us about his understanding of spirituality and bestowed upon each of us a small blessing. As luck would have it, he’s helping us arrange the next leg of our trip North.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the pallet surfing adventure is the solidifying of our Team Ashtanga Oklahoma family. We are now the Spatillomans (Spallone + Pattillo + Gilman + Engleman). Stacy is our mom, which is completely appropriate as she is always pulling us out of traffic and keeping us on schedule. Steven is the big brother , I’m the middle sister and Courtney is the baby. We’re a happy family, tight knit family!

There’s so much to share: the sights, the food (home cooked -yum!), the street dogs, etc. But, I’m outta time! Lots of love!

Jai Ramji ki!

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