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In Intriguing Istanbul

May 22, 2022, Istanbul, Turkey

April 23rd - Day 34

Here we are, at the gateway between Europe and Asia- the exotic land of Turkey! Where the Medieval and Modern mingle with a captivating nonchalance. The landscape is just so different. Mia, the team writer, says it is the difference, ironically, that underlines the feeling of unity. “There is a shift in cultures that is very palpable and also very beautiful because it kind of feels like fundamentally we’re all the same,” she says. “There is something very unifying in this moment– it is for me personally a very memorable moment – the coming together of cultures, this moment of unity.” We get to see quite a bit of Turkey driving through Istanbul, Samsun, Corlu, Trabzon and the famous Bosporus, coming in from Bulgaria and going on to Georgia. It’s a coastal route along the Black Sea and it’s breathtaking.

In Istanbul, we are witness to Magic. There is a last-minute change in plans and routes and that’s how Sadhguru is riding through Turkey. In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it operation, the volunteers here have put together a public event in three days flat! How anyone can pull off a Save Soil public event in three days is beyond our comprehension, but there it is!

“And probably the most memorable moment was Sadhguru’s entrance into the  event,” says Mia describing the moment. “He went in and there were some Sufi Whirling Dervishes who were just spinning and it was very profound and beautiful. It was such a subtle reception. Sadhguru sat down next to the musicians in vajrasana. It was a very intimate moment,” she reveals.

The team takes in the moment—the outdoors, the music, the warmth of the sun (and the people), the calming waterbody in the backdrop…

It is a significant and touching welcome because the effortlessness of the whirling Dervishes comes from a deeply meditative state. This is not entertainment. It defies physics and physicality. And in a sense, it’s probably their highest offering and welcome.

Istanbul is most memorable for its warm sunny-ness, a welcome relief from the biting cold of Europe. Our MasterChefs have packed Indian takeaways for the team and everyone is thrilled to be out by the waters, in the sun, eating delicious food, not smothered in thermals. Who would’ve thought gratitude is being able to wear a T-shirt!

During what were particularly long days of driving, Sadhguru makes an impromptu stop. The teams are relieved to get out and stretch but there’s more—football! A few of us are overjoyed to be able to kick a ball around and suddenly it transforms the energy. We’re surprised at our own enthusiasm and exuberance. We’re like kids! Someone has managed to produce a watermelon – almost like out of thin air, it seems – and in a second, it’s sliced up and passed around. So there we were, in the middle of we don’t know where, playing football, cheering wildly, savoring watermelon and above all savoring Grace.

See you in Georgia!



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