I am a seasoned traveler and have tried to adapt to the culture that I am immersed in. Living in Auroville, you get used to the mosquitos, the sound of spiritual music at 6am, the cows in the road, and the spice in the food. You get used to your life in that place. But can you truly immerse yourself in a different culture?
I believe you can’t go to India without it changing you, without some poi ritual reflection on how you are living your life and how you can improve. There is some sort of magic in this place that allows you the meditation to truly examine who you are inside.
Auroville, prides itself on being a sustainable change from normal towns and cities, a new approach to how to live and involving all of their citizens into this change for what they believe to be a better future. Everyone here, are all citizens of the world, citizens of their home bit of also Auroville, meaning that maybe a heart can belong in several places at once. I have a good portion of my life trying to forget where I came from and attempting to adopt a new place for my heart to belong.
When we first arrived we were informed of snakes, scorpions, and other poisonous creatures to look out for. “Snakes are no big deal,” is what they try to assure us. Auroville, is a place where you get closer to nature, you live amongst all living things. But growing up in a city, snakes are to be feared and killed. In the city, you are not trying to become one with nature, you are trying to overpower nature. Just when I thought I had accepted this new natural lifestyle, a snake slithered out of a yoga mat one morning. In a blink that mat was dropped to the ground and two of us went flying out of the room screaming. This is not how you act when you are one with nature.
In a split second, I was sent back to my roots. But maybe that’s what Auroville was supposed to teach me. Just like a tree, your roots keep you planted when the wind blows and they strengthen you to grow taller. Without roots, would I be able to stand at all? So maybe, Auroville has the right idea, one’s heart can belong to many places but keeping your roots is a essential for a strong foundation.
American University of Paris