A view of the Matrimandir from a distance and the surrounding green belt
Arriving in Auroville was exactly what everyone needed. Auroville is not crowded at all and it is very clean. We decided to stay for 6 days and spend Christmas here. Each day here was different and we managed to have a few low key days where we just relaxed, read or just went for a bike ride to explore. Having access to bicycles gave us a lot of independence and we were able to explore the community. Some of the highlights include spending time at the visitor centre where we learned a lot about the history and goals of the community. We also had a tour of the Matrimandir which is the meditative geodesic dome structure in the shape of a sphere that the community is built around. It is. . .
the spiritual core of Auroville and a place of meditation. Before gaining access to the grounds our guide informed us that the area surrounding and inside the Matrimandir is a place of SILENCE. Accordingly he made it clear that we were not to talk or make any noise during the tour, and that all questions would be answered once we left the designated quiet area. It was a beautiful sunny day which is critical because the Matrimandir is closed to the public on rainy days. The reason for this became clear as soon as we entered the dome. Before entering the dome we had to remove our shoes and we were directed to a walkway that took us under the dome and a set of stairs led us into it. As I looked ahead, I could see visitors in our group climbing up the set of stairs and suddenly disappear into a domed structure. It felt like we were climbing into a spaceship. Once inside, everything was white: white floors, white carpet, white walls, and white ceiling. We were led to a sitting area where we had to put on clean white socks (so as not to soil the white carpeting) and once our socks were on we went through a set of doors which lead to a double helix ramp that climbed up seven stories into the heart of the sphere, where a giant crystal is housed in a meditation chamber. It was very surreal.
We sat on the floor in a circular room where we all faced the giant crystal in the centre of the room. Here we meditated for about fifteen minutes before the lights were turned on and off a few times to indicate our time was up. It was really interesting being in a room with at least 50 people of different nationalities sitting in absolute silence with my eyes closed, meditating. I have never experienced anything like it. Our time was up and then we left through an opposite door and down the other ramp to the outside. This was basically our Matrimandir experience.