"When I call to my mind the temple, I call to my mind the feelings..."

Om jai jagdish hare
swami jai jagdish hare
bhakt jano ke sankat
bhakto jano ke sankat
shaname dure kare
hari om jai jagdish hare

Every Sunday morning, even when we slept late at the sleepover the night before. Dad always woke us up in time to pray at our mandir (temple) in the bedroom. To this day my best friends and I remember it like it was yesterday.

My religion is my culture, in the essence of my being. Ask me to explain it and I struggle to find the words to describe the feelings.

As I journey along, I feel closer to this that is indescribable. I entered many mandirs last year, in the Himalayas down to the southern tip of India. Each glowing with energy, and vibrant with spirituality. It was in the south that the layers fell away the most. Each temple constructed from the center out. The maze of pathways to lead you from the outer world around and around, deeper, more entrenched. A shoeless, wide eyed, humbled being seeking not one thing but a feeling. The smells both fragrant and pungent, the sight, dark and cavernous, the feel, cold, cool, stuffy, or clammy, as the sun continued down and the feels, enveloping, engaging, and powerful.

When I call to my mind the temple, I call to my mind the feelings. Home, love, spirit, culture, tradition, energy, strength, solitude, darkness, reverence, companionship, quiet, openness. May your temple set you free.