Life follows its course peacefully here, in Afroz. There are many little moments, many flavors, sounds, smells and sites that I would like to make you part of… And I am not only speaking of the “beautiful” moments, of the wonderful afternoon sun that surrounds the whole camp even now, as I am writing to you, or sitting in silence, out in the open air, feeling the wind on your skin, or dancing in the bar looking at the stars. I am also speaking about the dust that is everywhere (even in my bed), about the ants, bugs, bees, wasps, grasshoppers, crickets, frogs and other little animals that you see all around, sometimes even in the bathroom sink or in your hut (one night I hosted in my tent a girl that had a big spider in her hut and could not get it out – or sleep with it). Or about the most horrible feet I ever had in my life, despite all the scrubbing and creaming… I show you here only the pictures, it is your job to put in the sounds and the smells, and the feeling of it. And it feels just like life, real, complete, beautiful, difficult. It is the life that each of us lives, but just sometimes forgets to step back and see the beauty of. Well, these pictures help me, maybe even you, see the little beauties that surround us and that sometimes, we just pass by. It is true, I chose for practicing this a place where maybe it is easier to do: Afroz and Lesbos do really look like a paradise and sometimes even feel like one. If I cannot see and feel the happiness here, where else?…
Maybe you’re asking yourselves what Afroz is. Well, Afroz is a meditation center focused mainly on the work of Osho, an Indian mystic who died in the ’90s. You can find on youtube parts of Osho’s speeches, his books were translated into Romanian and other languages, if you are interested. Also, you can find here more “official” data about Afroz.
But I am not going to give you “information” about Afroz. For me, besides and beyond all the words that can be said about it, Afroz is an experience. An experience that must be lived in order to be understood. So here you will only see MY Afroz… Maybe you’ll like it too :)
One of the main meeting points is the dinning area, where people gather to enjoy our cook Margarita’s wonderful food, but also to chat away, to meet friends or the new people joining Afroz. Since my last post, my job here in Afroz changed, I am now in charge of preparing the breakfast and I also help Margarita with preparing the lunch. It is a change that was good to me, I work less as number of hours and I like the feeling of being part of a team, peeling carrots with my friend Raluca who came from Bucharest for a few weeks and talking about what is going on in our lives or sharing thoughts on a meditation or the previous evening’s event. I love helping to put the food into the oven, mixing ingredients with my own hands, having the feeling that you put a little bit of your energy into the food that will be served.
At the end of each lunch and dinner, a rotating team of Afroz workers is washing the dishes. You will see in the pictures Tameer, “il capo di tutti capi” of the Afroz administration, and Madu singing a Greek song (with printed lyrics hanged in front of them). On the other side of the window, outside, the women are lovingly and teasingly encouraging them…
(warning: some pictures have little comments under them)
Sometimes in the afternoon (and more and more so, with the Afroz festival getting closer), musicians gather in the dining area, jamming together, giving us the chance to listen and, if inspired, dance to their music. Other times, our Chinese friends organize a little tea ceremony. Other times, the place seems absolutely deserted, with only me going around taking pictures and the cat, Ginger, lazily keeping a half-closed-eye on things.
Well, this is it for now, my next post will probably bring you some photos of the Afroz festival. Look, I already got my bracelet! You, guys, when are you coming?