I gave my life to Auroville and I got everything in return. It is a very good trade.
“The first time I came to Auroville was the 1st of January, 1991. I was visiting a friend from my hometown. He was associated with Auroville International and had moved to Auroville. I was curious about Auroville and Sri Aurobindo, as I had read a little bit.
At the time, I was living in Pamplona, a city in northern Spain, working as a musician. I was young and very focused on satisfying my vital being, it was a time with lots of experiences and discoveries. Coming to Auroville was a big push for change, and it was tough to leave everything behind, but it felt so necessary. Why did I make this decision? It definitely was not one taken with the mind involved. It is a decision that belongs to me and the Divine, in the same way that everything makes sense eventually, hopefully.
My biggest challenge in Auroville back then, today, and tomorrow, has always been and will always be me. To discover myself and find what I am looking for – that is easily the biggest challenge. One can always point to outside issues and say that these are the biggest challenges – the climate crisis, the pollution, and so on – but in reality it is just me, all these things live inside me. The challenge is about how to deal with this realization and work with it on a daily basis.
Since coming to Auroville, this challenge is constantly evolving. I am trying to simplify myself, but it is very tricky, as the mind is always running around and the vital is expressing its desires. So in all of this, to find out what you are actually aiming for in all this mess, it is hard work. I get distracted all the time. Still, I have changed a lot from who I was when I came here. When I was living in Spain, I was satisfying my vital and spoiling my body along the way. Here in Auroville, I am a person of routine, I love my work. I take care of my body and I am much more aware of it. I focus on Mother and Sri Aurobindo, on what Auroville means, what it is there for. Really, I gave my life to Auroville, and I got everything in return. It is a very good trade.
In my little corner I do the things that I can. If you would have told me, when I was 20, that I will be running a half marathon at 51 years of age, I would have never believed you. Getting the physical body in shape is one of the works I am doing here. Another thing of course, is the inner work. I am a very critical person; I am not satisfied with anything. I am not even sure if that is a quality or a flaw (laughs). And I have a good amount of energy that I put into this work.
Sometimes I see in others what I would like to work on for myself. For example, what I appreciate most is calmness, as I am not patient or calm. I am more like a bull, I react to vibrations. So a lot of my energy goes towards everything I need to work on, because if I say, ‘All of this is so good about me,’ then I will be unable to change it. So actually, I need to have a lot of flaws, so that I can continue to grow and develop.
For me, the beauty of Auroville is that my energy is not wasted, there is not one single minute where there is nothing to do. Even when I lie down on my couch in the evening, I still have to try to stop my mind as there is so much work to do inside yourself as well as outside. That is beautiful for me, it is wonderful, a never-ending education or learning about yourself, however you want to call it.
Seeing my life here I feel very fortunate every day, I am doing incredible stuff and I can experiment in so many different ways. I am honoured that I was brought here, for whatever reason.”