Part of staying at the ashram is karma yoga; usually in the form of daily service for the ashram. Julia Roberts in “Eat, Pray, Love” had to scrub the floors of the meditation hall. We had to help build a new ashram.

On one of the beautiful Sunday mornings we all got into a few taxis that took us up the hill along the Ganga River to the new construction site. When we got off we found that the only way to get to the place was a pretty difficult 30 minute hike. The narrow and windy path up the hill was rather challenging, but the view from the ashram payed off for every drop of sweat.

Before we started working we took a little trip to the nearby village, where one of the locals gladly showed us his awesome property. We all wandered around for almost an hour enjoying amazing views, tranquility and wonderful aromas of flowers, herbs and grass.

There were about 50 people living in the village and some of them, especially kids, came out to greet us. They were happy to pose for the pictures and excited to see the preview on the camera.

The new ashram is hand-built. There are about 30 people working on it constantly. No cranes, no machines, no trucks, no loud noises, no due date ether. It’s a quiet and peaceful construction site built stone by stone by a few women, men and donkeys.

Our job was to move some of those stones from one side of the land to the other. We formed a long line and the work began.

After we were done with the work we all walked down to the neighboring waterfalls where we washed our hands and faces from dust and sweat. It felt so good to cool down in the crystal clear and cold water.

When we came back to the ashram, a delicious lunch was served. The meal was unbelievably aromatic because it was cooked on a wooden fire.

It was an amazing day. I can’t wait for the grand opening of the place. The plan is to make the new ashram self sustainable, so I am very excited to come back here in a few years and spend a few weeks in these amazing surroundings.