this is the last stop before leaving the ashram, a final farewell to the main temple.
after spending so many years on these grounds, every time I step into this temple I am flooded with tons of spontaneous memories -- how many nights we used to sleep on the floor here, until 5 a.m. when the guards would come in and flip on the fluorescent tube lights -- a big shock when you're deep asleep!; how many students used to cram in here and do japa meditations pretty much all night, for months on end; how many ground-breaking talks from Sri Kaleshwar have happened in this humble, simple temple.
my life is a kind of compendium of experiences pre-Penukonda, during Penukonda days, and post-Penukonda. ('during Penukonda' meaning, the years I spent most intensively there, from 2000-2005.)
most of the pre-Penukonda days have faded into a dim fog of memory, a surreal dusk of 'did that ever really happen in my life?' moments.
the 'during Penukonda' category is fraught with miracles and mystical fragments that live in my heart like precious jewels I take out and polish frequently, holding up to the light and catching my breath in awe and thanks.
the post-Penukonda category -- well, it's a huge adventure.
many times in my mind, however, -- though I'm living in the world of things and people, helping out by teaching and healing, -- I'm really connecting back again to this temple, this ground, the mountain you see rising behind the temple building, the spiritual power that permeates this ashram and radiates from it.
it is my soul home, my spiritual home.