Saris are the required clothing for women at the ashram but they look difficult to wrap so I checked out some how-to videos on YouTube to see how you do it. I THINK I have the basic idea of it although the pleating looks a bit daunting. I hope my new saris come in the mail not only before I leave for the ashram but also to give me enough time here beforehand to practice.(I can picture myself getting hopelessly tangled up in the metres of long fabric) I have a hard time with most things, learning new things and esp. things that are difficult, but hopefully in time as I learn it, it will get easier just like anything else and eventually be able to do it in no time flat!
I also saw a bunch of no-nos in the temple; so many rules you must remember in order not to offend, such as having to remove your shoes before entering(not too hard since we remove our shoes in our house too), not having your back turned to the altar, sitting down cross-legged,bowing towards the altar(we do that in church too) being sure to use both hands not just one, washing hands and feet before entering after you have eaten, not sweating, farting or burping(that one is kind of hard to control though)etc. so much to remember I just hope I don’t “blow” it by committing some faux-pas, not wanting to offend, I also hope they’d consider I’m new there as well and give me a bit of lee-way for learning.I guess when you look at it we have such customs in our church too(such as genuflecting and making the Sign of The Cross, etc.) that might confuse newcomers but that I think nothing of since I’ve been doing it my entire life) I also hope my room mate won’t have to dress me in the morning helping me with my sari, ha ha. I’ll feel like I’m in Kindergarten.
I have mixed emotions about leaving as well: eager and excited to go and for an enriching cultural and spiritual experience and retreat, but also nervous as I won’t know anyone there or what to expect(just like on the first day of school!), and sad to leave the kids, and it’s something I know I don’t HAVE to do(although I certainly DO feel pushed by my mother, who wants me out), but do need to do, and leave it up to God how long I stay, whether short-term or long-term….