Today was my first day if Shirodhara treatment, which means that while I am lying on the bed, during a certain period of time warm oil is poured over my forehead. The word Shirodhara breaks down into two ideas: “shiro,” meaning head, and “dhara,” meaning flow. Together they form a concept that aims to bring physical and emotional balance by rejuvenating the spirit and preserving health. During this treatment you are advised not to talk too much, or read, or be in the sun or wind. Basically you have to sit and observe your mind calming down.
But first things first: how does it happen. It started with a head massage and then I was asked to lie down. Then my eyes and ears were closed with cotton patches and then I started to feel a stream of warm oil coming into my “third eye”. The feeling.. is weird but really relaxing. And whilst in the beginning you are just observing what is happening, at some point I had a feeling that gate after gate is opening in my mind. Star Wars stile – with sparkles and light and everything. I am not sure how long the procedure lasts (I would say 10 minutes for massage and 30 for the oil) as afterwards the feeling is… you feel heavy.. And I don’t know if that is the right word. You don’t feel like moving, or you can’t retain anything that you read. Basically all you feel like doing is sitting and staring in 1 point.
This was the first time in my life when my mind has stopped running. Or at least the first time which was created like this. It seemed that all those millions of thoughts have drowned in that amount of oil. And I can tell you that the amount is enormous. After the procedure they put a kerchief around my head to avoid the oil spilling everywhere and still it was coming down my back for the next few hours.
My heaviness and calmness stopped though. Over lunch I started talking to the girls that I am sharing table with (yes, I have made new friends :)) and at some point it all went away. And afterwards I didn’t have any feeling of what I had before. Only thing what happened was that after lunch I came back to my room and just fell asleep. Once again – one of those naps that are stronger than you and that you can’t control. In the dream I saw a lot of people that I have not seen for years. Maybe there was some kind of message in there, who knows… Tomorrow though I am considering not talking… And see how it changes things then.
One of the things offered by the hotel today was an astrology lesson. Astrologist giving the lesson was funny, interesting and uplifting. First of all he chose as an example Jesus Christs’ astrological chart. Funny and smart – because everybody knows the story of JC. After telling the theory on how Sri Lankan astrology is different from European and how it has developed from Indian astrology (which you can’t explain a lot in 1 h. at least not on such a complicated subject as astrology) he was telling the stories from his life or from Sri Lankan life.
- Child birth. When a child is born, father directly from the hospital goes to an astrologist, giving him childs’ date, time and place of birth and according to that astrologist makes an astrological chart for the child and gives the lucky letters from which then after parents choose the name. Further on during the life this horoscope is frequently consulted for important decisions. Nowadays the new generation has some resistance against this but still, every Buddhist, over half of the Christians and a lot of Muslim people in Sri Lanka have their horoscopes.
- Arranged marriages. Over 100 years ago it was not a practice to have “love affair” or as we know it – relationship between 2 people. Marriages back then were arranged by parents. They contacted a local “agent” stating how their child is and asked to deliver several matching horoscopes to choose from.Nowadays this practice is still alive but also relationships have become accepted. And whilst some part of newer generation doesn’t believe in horoscope, they still have to ask their permission when they get married. So there is even one case when a young couple came to an astrologist and asked to match their horoscopes (this is done through 20 various tests of different aspect of a married life, e.g. whether they are going to have children, whether they will be able to have a good relationship, whether they are going to be able to grow together etc etc). When he did it, the match was good.When the astrologist asked what would they have done if the match is not good, they said that would try to find someone who would fake the girlfriends’ horoscope. Because when the guy would ask his fathers’ permission to get married to the girl, he wanted to give already matching horoscopes and not to have any worries.
- My own horoscope. Astrologist giving the lecture knew how to sell his stuff. After the lecture, when he asked whether we have any questions, mine was – whether we can have one made for us. Yes, he said. If you are here next week, I will bring it back, otherwise I can send it by email. It costs 3300 rupees. OK, I imagine for Sri Lankan standards it is enormous amount of money, but I decided that I want to go for it. Afterwards I talked to a girl who has already done it and she said that in 1 week you receive your horoscope explained on 7 pages. We’ll see what the predictions and explanations are going to be of my life.
Strong stuff this is… Whether it should stay like this, I don’t know. Because when people are ready to go and fake data just to get permission from their parents who have different believes… I think the system has to have a few adjustments..
After astrology lesson there was a girl who came in to pick up her horoscope and she said that her name is Claudia. Then I remembered that a few days ago Dr.Joy was laughing and telling me that she has mixed me up with Claudia and that we look so similar. So, as you can imagine, I was trying to spot all the time who is this girl who looks like me. And you know what? She does not: she has dark her, she is smaller and thinner than me and really.. there is no similarity in my eyes, but I suppose for the Sri Lankans all the European people look the same 🙂