Life at Audarya
Fred and I are beginning our third full day at Audarya and we’ve already forgotten there is a busy world outside this ridge top retreat.
The views are as stunning as the hospitality. We’ve been welcomed with open hearts and we feel as though we’ve lived here months.
Morning worship begins at 5:00 a.m. After worship, I return to the cabin to write. Breakfast is served at 8:00 a.m.; community work occurs in between taking prasad (meals). Each person has assigned tasks–from deity worship to cooking to cleaning to gardening to caring for cows.
I have it easy, depending upon whom you ask: I write and clean. In the afternoons, I camp on the temple deck, praying for Divine inspiration to transcribe adequate sentences. I write nearly three hours each day, churning new Saffron Cross content and reworking the old junk.
Fred’s service is his IT work: he updates websites and The Harmonist, as well as addressing any urgent technology needs on-site. In the afternoons, he walks the grounds and chants japa, pausing to pet Seva and offering cow service before evening prasad (snack dinner).
There are nine of us here. The number fluctuates with the comings and goings of individuals. This makes for intimate gatherings for worship, meals, and class. I am humbled by their association, service, and intense study of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. They are teaching me the important juxtaposition of a simple life and deep love of God.
As each day unfolds, it’s more evident why Fred decided to return to Audarya and bring me along. Similar to our Indian ashram honeymoon, I am experiencing the roots of his faith. Now, I more fully understand his devotion and it inspires me to walk the Christian path with more intention and attention.