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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Sadhana Forest, part 2

Tobias pulling a Rohit (i.e., making a jungle gym out of the rafters in the main hut!)

There were certain things I wanted to take photos of–the handwashing and dishwashing stations, the herbal tooth powder (which doesn’t taste as yucky as it looks), the bathroom stalls and so on, to give you a sense of how responsibly the community uses its resources. (I didn’t take too many photos at Sadhana Forest because I was too busy doing; and by the time I was getting ready to leave, I was too busy packing and saying my goodbyes to remember to take those pics.)

In ‘showering’ (i.e., filling a bucket at the pump and using a cup to dip in and pour over yourself in a shower stall) or washing your hands, you realize just how little water you actually need to get clean. I was able to wash my hair and shave my legs with less than half a bucket of water (just a couple gallons). A ‘proper shower’ is actually really wasteful, and I want to remember that whenever I shower at home.

Also, there is zero shame attached to bodily functions at Sadhana Forest, which is really (for want of a better word) refreshing (I mean, c’mon, everybody does it, so what’s the sense pretending you don’t?) There’s even a demonstration of how to use the toilets at the Sunday meeting. The thing that sometimes squicks out new volunteers is the lack of toilet paper. Yup. You use your fingers, and then you wash ’em two or three times. No problem. (If you’re really curious about the toilets, check out Danielle’s blog. She took photos.)

Baby cacti!

Life at Sadhana Forest is always fun, even when you’re out working in the heat. One of the many things I love about the community is how we’re encouraged to share what we know; so one afternoon I did a knitting workshop. I don’t often get to hang out with other knitters, let alone teach new ones, so this was a huge treat for me!


New knitters Beth, Sharri, Annika, and T.

And a couple more fun moments:

Impromptu back and headrubs (with Capucine, Rohit, and Beth), every day of the week.

The Sunday evening meeting is always themed; this week it was ‘famous couples,’ so Sam and Charles came as ‘Adam and Steve.’ Brilliant and hilarious.

Next post: an afternoon in Pondicherry.

6 Comments to Sadhana Forest, part 2

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t look like there was a whole lot of work going on 😉
    I’ve been telling you about water waste with bathing!

  2. May 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t take any photos of people working. It would have been like, ‘Hello, I am taking a picture of you working instead of working!’
    (Except for a couple photos in the kitchen. Those I’ll post in Sadhana part 3.)

  3. May 26, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Adam and Steve!

  4. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    May 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough. I think you could have snuck a few so I could have a better idea of what you were doing 😉

  5. May 27, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Oh well, you’ll just have to go back to India and find out!

  6.'s Gravatar
    February 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I knew a Capucine who looked like a younger version of Capucine in your photos when I was traveling in Nepal many years ago. I have been trying to reconnect with her and wonder if you have any contact information?

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.