Well actually there are many many Ashrams here. Are you familiar with Ashrams? I mean more than seeing the movie Eat, Pray, Love…? Ashrams are places of spiritual hermitage. It is an Indian and a Hindu tradition. I have visited many of them since I have been here. They’re mostly peaceful, reverent, introspective and respected places.
There is also a Christian Ashram Movement. Mostly connected to the Catholic Church, these Ashrams are Christian, Indian and peaceful, reverent and introspective as well. I just returned from one of them. Shantivanam.
It is a two-bus trip about 6 – 7 hours south of Tiruvannamalai that I managed to make because of my traveling companion Sister Sanjeevani who was returning to her Convent which was across the street.
Shantivanam has Fathers and Brothers who maintain basically the life of a hermit. There are three daily services and much time for quiet.
Even the meals are in
I was the only guest for the 3 days I was there. It was lovely and peaceful yet I am certain I am not called to the life of a hermit … though that wasn’t really in question was it?