Chai Happiness

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to New Delhi, India to attend a meditation retreat. There were about 3000 attendees, both men and women, who arrived for the course. The housing due to the large number of participants was a mix of options. Some attendees stayed in hotels, others stayed with families in their homes, and many of the men stayed in what was called “Tent City”. Tent city was just as it sounds, several hundred tents in a large open space just outside of the city.

Most, if not all of our meals were prepared in the open air on tables covered with cloth, and cooked on open fires. The occasional contaminant would be found, and discarded. After one week of blissful meditation, and sharing maybe two toilets with 1500 other women, I was struck down with Delhi Belly. And when I say struck down, I am not exaggerating. I literally fainted in a 2 x 2 bathroom, the floor of which was thick with two inches of mud, from the comings and goings of my female companions and myself.

When I gained consciousness, washed out, weak and dehydrated, I was recovering in a lovely bed in a three star hotel.

The first meal I was given was a cup of Indian Chia Tea. It was the most delicious and healing drink I had ever tasted. It remains one of my all time favorites.