People travel to wonder at the height of mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long courses of rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars;
and they pass by themselves without wondering.
— St. Augustine
Orientation week is over and a busy academic year is about to begin, starting with a therapeutic yoga/yogic philosophy class at 8:30 tomorrow morning. My book bag is packed. I love my scenic commute. I love being at the school. I love the staff and faculty members I've met so far. I love that 40 people from all walks of life share my enthusiasm, nervousness and devotion and will be struggling through the next 10 months of year one alongside me. Any concerns I had about the school being disorganized or unprofessional in any way were erased this week and replaced by the sense that this will the supportive and safe environment I was hoping it would be — for both learning and the inevitable transformation that comes from it. The school radiates with my Teacher's kind energy.
Slowly I'm venturing out into Albuquerque a bit more. On Friday I finally found my way to Anapurna Chai House for lunch...
And I've been exploring the many thrift stores in Albuquerque with great success.
Together J and I participated in our first area kirtan last week and on the last full moon of September we joined a small group in Santa Fe for Agnihotra, a Vedic ceremony which involves the chanting of Sanskrit mantras and a specially prepared fire at sunset.
Everyone was given a chance to tend the fire for 5 minute intervals, feeding it ghee at the appropriate time, and after the ceremony we had a wonderful pot luck.
We also joined the Food Coop and the the local library...
hung a beautiful ristra in the kitchen...
We're discovering all sorts of new foods here, like these edible prickly pear cactus tunas and spicy, traditional style chili...
On weekends we find ourselves more often than not in Madrid, a tiny ghost-town-turned-art-town outside of Santa Fe, eating fried green tomatoes and drinking beer at The Hollar and hanging out with new friends.