It has been just a little bit over the halfway point during this trip and now the Golden Temple doesn’t seem so intimidating anymore. The crowd seems managable, the people seem less daunting and everything seems so natural. Waking up at 5:00 am everyday isn’t so bad anymore and the rest of the day’s routine comes naturally. When I think back to the first day of visiting the Golden Temple I think about how so many things have changed from then until now.
Day one at the Golden Temple was very overwhelming. There were people everywhere! During our preparation we were told that the Golden Temple has around 100,000 visitors everyday. At the time that was just a number, but on that day it became a reality. Surrounded by thousands and thousands of people we were just a group of Americans with a dash of knowledge, an abundance of expectations but not a drop of experience. We were split into groups in order to keep track of everyone and so that we were not alone at a certain place. The first seva I did was at the roti station. I rolled the dough into a flat circle ready for it to be cooked on the large pan. We were told to do a 45 minute shift then take a break for 15 minutes then meet back in the meeting spot to discuss whats next. I remember looking at my watch a lot, looking around to make sure my other group members were still present and tried my best to be aware of where exactly I was so I could make my way back.
Fast forward to now, where there is a huge difference in terms of my comfort level at the Golden Temple. I have gained some experience in terms of how a few different kinds of seva are done. I am no longer so focused on where the other members are and am just focused on the task at hand. During the time of seva my mind feels blank. I am not able to remember what exactly I think about when doing seva. It is a great experience that I have been given an opportunity to undergo everyday.