As I write this, I’ve realized that it’s been over a month since I last made a post. The past few weeks have been filled with positives, negatives, and stressful times, and there are many new experiences that I have been wanting to reflect on, but have not had sufficient time or motivation to sit down and write. To be honest, Arabic class has really been wearing me out, and the last few weeks have really made me think about the expectations that I have for myself, as well as pressure from external forces and standards.
As I struggle through my current academic situation, deal with the general ups and downs of study abroad, and evaluate my goals more critically, I have also been trying to spend more time on balance, while connecting with the local community in different ways. Throughout my life, meditation has been one of my most consistent sources of balance, and given that it is an essential part of my lifestyle back home, it was important for me to integrate it into life here in Morocco. While meditating as part of my daily routine is fulfilling, I longed for other people in the community with whom I could practice.
Prior to coming to Rabat, I had the opportunity to connect with a group of European people who practice Sahaja Yoga meditation and have conducted introductory programs in various Moroccan cities. As a result, every month throughout my time in Rabat, I have been able to attend Sahaja Yoga meditation sessions in various parts of the city. Meeting people from across the world who practice the same meditation style has really been an anchor during my time abroad, because it gives me a feel of home so far away from my actual home. I also had a wonderful opportunity to share my own culture by presenting an Indian classical song for two programs last week. Before coming to Morocco, I could have never imagined that an ocean across from my own home, I’d be singing Indian classical music in Rabat, bringing together aspects of my home and host culture.
Through these programs, I have also been able to meet Moroccans from all walks of life, and share my experiences, while helping out in the program and speaking to them in Darija (the programs are French). It’s exciting to put my language skills to use and talk about something I care about in a language that the people are most comfortable with. I recently connected with a woman in Rabat who has been practicing meditation for many years, and we decided to have weekly meditation sessions together! We had our first session last week, and it was so nice to feel an increased sense of community in my city.
As I said earlier, there are so many things I need to write about in the coming weeks, and so many experiences I want to document! So this post is likely the first in a series of shorter updates and reflections about my life in Rabat– inshallah I’ll be writing more soon!