Updates updates!! I’m sure you’re all wondering why half of our group is now bald, how we’re all coping without our lovely Graham, and where we are in the world now that we’re no longer stationed in McLeod.
I’ll start with the hair:
Lilly, Graham, Jake, and I (Margaret) have shaved our heads. Lilly was the initiator of this madness, and her excitement to have no hair rippled through the group and catalyzed the three of us to jump on the bald-train. We all had our different reasons for doing it, but I think a common theme among all of our decisions, and the past few weeks in general, has been detachment.
The Jain nuns spoke about detaching ourselves from karmas that we attained through actions in past lives, the Buddhist monks discussed detaching ourselves from desires for material wealth and from negative emotions like jealousy and hatred.
We have all grown up with certain ideas of how the world works, with cultural norms, and rights and wrongs. We are all learning how to detach ourselves from our biased judgement, and to have an open mind to other lifestyles.
So, to bring it full circle, chopping off our hair simply represents this intrinsic growth, and speaks to our ability detach ourselves from something that can hold a lot of worthless worth in many cultures.
It’s been fun for all of us to see our hair grow back (Lilly officially has the fastest growing hair). It’s impossible to be so aware of growth when your hair is so long, and you can only really notice it has grown over a few months. When it’s so short, I see some new length every day.. it’s an interesting parallel to what this trip represents. Growth… such visible growth every single day.
Now to Graham:
I don’t want to speak to Graham’s decision to embark on his own journey without the group, but I would like to speak on behalf of myself and the group.
Although we miss his presence, and the mother (and father!) inside all of us has a hint of worry and hope that he will be safe and sound on his own, we are all so happy that he has been able to look so deep inside of himself and recognize what is best for him at this juncture in his life. What a wonderful, wise, and just down right awesome presence we’ve lost, but we know that he will share his wisdom and smiles with children from Rogpa, monks, Tibetan families, and many more in his travels. As a group we feel the loss, but through group discussions and support from one another, our group dynamic is still thriving!!
Miss you G-star! Sending lots of love.
Lastly, where the heck are we?!?:
AMRISTAR! Sleeping here at the Golden Temple, a holly site for the Sikh religion, we have experienced a PLETHORA of different interactions! We have been kissed by old women, handed babies to hold, lectured by proud Sikhs, awed by the stunning view of the temple, eaten every meal for free in the temple, put to work (more like play) washing dishes with the hundreds of Sikhs… It is impossible to sift through all of them and pick which ones were more impressionable. Every interaction has been nothing less than amazing.
Last night we took a little field trip to the Pakistan border to watch the closing of the border ceremony. To put it shortly- there was a lot of kicking, butt clenching, fanned hats, and indian flags. Lilly and I got loud cheers as we joined in on the ceremonial running with the Indian flag down the highway, and the majority of the group got funky dancing with all the indian women in the middle of the street to popular Indian hits!!
I could go on forever, but I’m going to have to cut this blog short– I will post again soon! Staaaay posted! Lots more adventures ahead!!!