Students and staff have arrived in Auroville, India to conduct our annual international program. Working with Auroville residents Krupa Jhaveri (MPS Class of 2008) and Iyyappan Jayamurthy, the students are becoming acclimated to the place, and getting ready to work with people from villages near and around Auroville.
Starting off the program was a 6AM Puja at the Sankalpa Art Center. A Puja is an ancient Hindu ceremony and served as a way of blessing the space, which is still under construction. After the Puja, students and staff planted trees around the SAC. It was an honor to be included as a part of this beautiful cultural ritual, which dates back more than 2500 years.
The next morning, Iyyappan led us on a bicycle tour of Auroville. He grew up in this area, and has given us with a great deal of important context of this strange and singular place. In the afternoon, Krupa gave a guided meditation, further helping our group to grow comfortable here and to prepare for the art therapy work we will be doing.
The next day, Krupa provided an overview of the international work she has conducted in India, the genesis of her Sankalpa Art Journeys organization, and the work she has done thus far with people (mostly children, adolescents, and young women) in the villages surrounding Aurovile and at the Life Education Center
Next: Matirimandir and Tamil language and culture class