Video with Sounds of Village Walk

January 31, 2009

This is the video I tried to upload with the post of a few days ago describing my walk up and beyond the local village.

Sounds of a Mountain Village Walk

Sorry it was not there at the time to set the mood, but enjoy it now and reread the post if you feel like it at this link:

Link to Village Walk Post


Jan. 28-30 – Happy Birthday to Me!! And What a Birthday Day It Was

January 30, 2009

Jan. 28-30 – Happy Birthday to Me!! And What a Birthday Day It Was

Jan. 28 – Been working for the past 3 days…two more days to go including workshop…but the more I work, the more energized and invigorated I feel. I love the healing work, the tarot readings, the teaching. And the reactions of the people who come to me is very gratifying. Another great blessing…to be able to work in your purpose, to serve other people, to earn your living at it, and to enjoy every minute of it.

The weather is still beautiful…very changeable but always pleasant. No longer need the heater at all…room is nice and warm…put away all my layers…can sit out until later in the evening and can be out early in the morning again.

Tomorrow is my birthday…already received one present from Dr. Arora and tomorrow my friend einat is coming to take me out to dinner and will either give me a reiki treatment tomorrow, or in a couple of days when we both have more time. And I am giving myself a present of a massage with Bablu, the massage therapist I met when I was here in Feb-March just down the road who gives really good Kerala style ayurveda massages. Will go down on Sunday probably.

That’s about all…life is just beautiful…nothing much to add.

Jan. 30 – Well, I will write in a minute about yesterday, my actual birthday. I began a Reiki workshop yesterday for 3 lovely girls from Norway…another teaching first for me, and also different and exciting. They are studying to be clinical psychologists and the difference in cultural attitudes, as well as their skeptical outlook on energies in general, have made for a fascinating workshop, and some deep changes already for all three of them. Wonderfully gratifying and I am thankful that I am given the privilege to work with such a wide range of people, and learn from them as well.

And now, my Birthday Day!

Well, as I mentioned above, it began the evening before and didn’t end until this morning, the day after. First thing in the morning, I received a Happy Birthday rendition from Einat over the phone. Then, I got myself ready for my workshop and before it began , a text message from one of my daughters. Then closed my phone and spent several lovely hours with the girls. As soon as I turned my phone on, my Mother called to say happy birthday. I then went down to the internet to print out certificates, and was blessed with many e-greetings from other friends and relatives. And of course all the guys at the internet wished me a Happy birthday. And then another daughter called to lovingly sing in both Hebrew and English to me a birthday greeting… Did a Reiki treatment for the owner of the next guesthouse who dropped an iron (an old very heavy one) on her foot and broke her big toe three days ago and I’ve been reikiing her since. Got back to my room and was greeted with einat and Hari bringing me a lovely flower and small cake with candle and singing to me. Ah, forgot…of course the girls at the workshop knew it was my birthday as I mentioned it was a very auspicious day to begin a workshop, so my neighbor overheard and also blessed me on my special day.
After the cake and candle, einat and I went out for dinner, and she had arranged a full 4 hours with me before a rickshaw came to pick up her and take her home, so we had time for her to give me a full reiki treatment and then eat the lovely birthday cake as well. It had been a lovely but intense day and I was happy to be alone finally, listen to some music, relax, prepare for the next day’s workshop and take a hot shower and go to sleep. No way.

There was a knock on my door just 5 minutes after Einat left, and it was a German guy from the next guesthouse who I have had several lovely conversations with. Couldn’t understand why he had come so late in the evening, as we were not “friends”, just casual acquaintances with lots in common to discuss regarding our personal journeys and growth processes.

Turns out he had been ill for several days, something which never happens to him, and the bottom line is, I spent about 1 ½ hours just talking, listening, responding etc. He was able to release with tears, talk and laughter all that had been disturbing his balance for the past 10 days or so and I was again privileged to have been of service to someone. While we were talking, maybe 5 minutes after he arrived, there was another knock on the door, and I was again treated to cake and candle and a vase full of beautiful flowers from the guys downstairs.

By the time this fellow left, feeling vitalized, energized and on the way back to personal balance, leaving with a big hug and birthday wishes, it was after 10 at night…I was energized and soooooooooo happy, just got into bed and fell pleasantly asleep.

It was a beautiful day, with intense emotions and the knowledge that there are many people here who wish me well and sincerely blessed me with a happy birth day and a wonderful year to come. It was all very touching and I woke up today with true joy and gratitude in my heart.

And then to my great surprise, einat, who does not live near me, was back early this morning. She also ran into some difficulty (she lost her cellphone) and was quite upset, but this situation was easily dissipated, we had a nice talk this morning and now I am finally after a shower, dressing, eating and meditation before my workshop. And now, sitting at the internet sending this off, I find lots more birthday greetings have come through. How lovely to be loved and remembered, even from afar.!

The workshop today begins later than usual…not until 12 as one of the girls had a powerful reaction to her attunement yesterday and needs a little more time to relax…so I will go send this off at the internet.

I have people interested in further workshops, and it seems like I am working a full time job lately. I enjoy it, but have decided to “take off” over the weekend and get back to workshops on Monday.

And that’s it so far…


Jan. 26, 2009- Through the Village and Up the Mountain

January 28, 2009

Jan. 26, 2009- Through the Village and Up the Mountain

Green Fields

Green Fields

Another beautiful day dawned today, and after taking a leisurely morning of Reiki, pranayama, meditation, mantra, yoga, prayer, psalms, hot spiced milk, shower, porridge and just enjoying the caressing warmth of the sun, I got dressed and went out for a walk I should have done long ago. I’ve been wanting to get up beyond the village to the quiet of the mountain for a long time, but either I was too busy, or too lazy. Too bad, as the day was beautiful but was actually a little too hot already for this type of walking…mostly in the sun, but pulling me forward, so that I stayed out too long for comfort and yet wanted to continue walking upwards much longer. I finally had to force myself to turn around and come back. Really too bad I didn’t do this over the past month when the weather was still chilly. I will do it again, but either start out early in the morning, or wait until after 3 in the afternoon next time.

JUST TO SET THE MOOD: Turn up your speakers and listen to this very short video…The sounds of the water followed me for the whole 2 hours I was walking up and down.


Forest rising on both sides of me with the babbling brook and occasional small rapids right next to the path I was walking on. (Sorry…was unable to upload this video…will try again tomorrow) But do check out the gallery of pictures below. Remember, you just click on a picture you want to see in full size.

Now that you’ve got the sounds and feeling of the forest…add the lovely smells of trees, clean air, occasional cooking, cows, donkeys (these are pleasant smells when they are outdoors in open spaces where they belong), picture the myriads of amazingly colored butterflies, the lovely people walking past and always saying “hello” or “Namaste”,

some even stopping to talk for awhile, picture the distant mountains and the blue sky overhead…see the amazing tree growing around a boulder which got in its way, imagine the beautiful new homes already built, the new ones going up, the fodder hanging from trees to protect it from animals, the flowing green terraced fields, the small family temple nestled at the far end of the fields under a huge spreading tree, the women still carrying loads on their heads and yet stopping to chat with friends,


and you will have some small idea of the blessing of the walk I took today.

Temple in Green Field

Temple in Green Field

Some of the new homes are truly lovely,

Really Nice New House

Really Nice New House

and yet you will still find in the yard, cows, stockpiles of wood the women have chopped and carried down from the forest for cooking and heating, dung cakes drying near the wall of the house, and yet outside will be parked a brand new car and a satellite dish on the roof. These are all part of the contrasts so prevalent in India, and making each simple walk a full adventurous experience.

I was really sad when I finally found myself out of the village and back on the main road. There were many side paths still left to explore, and if the weather allows, I will do it this trip, and if not, I have something to look forward when I come back next year.

Check out the gallery of pictures which don’t do justice to the real impact of the surroundings, but will give you some idea of how blessed I am to be here.

I treated myself to a really delicious but truly “bad for me” lunch of grilled tomato cheese toast and a huge portion of chips! That was around 3 this afternoon and it is now almost 9 at night and except for a masala chai, have not eaten anything else…all in all a wonderful day, again!



January 28, 2009


.I’ve spent lots of time checking out alternative places to live next time I am here, and there are many lovely places, with full kitchens and pleasant rooms, for even less money than I am paying here. But there always seems to be something missing, or wrong with the rooms. They are too far away from “town”. There is not enough sun. The boiler for the shower is too small which would mean a very short hot water shower as opposed to the endless one I take here in my room. There is no storage place in the room or there is not enough room to do yoga. The mattresses are not comfortable, and of course there is no restaurant in the place so I could not easily “eat out” if I don’t feel like cooking, or order milk if I forgot to buy or mine spoiled, or get room service when I feel like being pampered…the list is endless. And the truth is, many people want to live in these isolated places as they feel they can better get “into” themselves if they are not distracted by other people around, which is what you always have in a guesthouse as opposed to a private flat. Well, I’ve understood a lot from these contemplations and the truth is, except for the fact that I don’t have a full kitchen (which I realize is also a blessing as you will see below), my room is just perfect. In a quiet place but still in a guesthouse with all the advantages that offers me, my own rooftop with plenty of sun (which is good for the season that I stay here…would not be suitable in the hotter months), and everything else I could want in a room, I have, as well as lovely people here who take really good care of me. . This was NOT the room I had originally expected to live in here. When I arrived, I was told the room was given to someone else, but to my great surprise, the room I have now is MUCH better than the one I had reserved. (It is also much more expensive which is why I never asked for it, but I was given the room at the same price as the less expensive one I had originally asked for). Again…someone up there takes much better care of me than I could ever do myself.

1. The limited kitchen as a blessing: I sometimes find myself annoyed that I don’t have a real kitchen and have to improvise to prepare my simple meals. And I am very limited in what I can cook, as I have one pot and one frying pan, no counter top, no kitchen sink (I have finally figured out how to best wash my dishes using the bathroom facilities), and basically all I can cook is kitcheri, vegetable soup, pasta, porridge, pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese or toast with tahini, hot drinks…I cannot make anything more ambitious even if I want to, including chapattis and paranthas. And even these few simple things involve great planning and thinking things out before beginning to actually cook them. Measuring out of ingredients, peeling, chopping etc., in advance outdoors, making sure each thing is lined up on the table to be put into the pot which is on the gas balloon which sits on the floor and which I either squat over or sit in a chair to stir. I’ve gotten very good at all this actually and no longer find it difficult in any way. And then I realized that these limitations are a true blessing.

Knowing myself, if I had a comfortable working kitchen, I would spend a lot more time cooking as I did when I had a kitchen in Mcleodganj several years ago. And that involves shopping each day, carrying the heavy stuff home, spending money on expensive ingredients, spending LOTS of time in the kitchen making all kinds of lovely dishes, and even inviting people in for dinner a few times a week. And this is NOT what I want while I am here. I want things as quiet and simple as possible and being limited in my kitchen facilities, guarantees that things are kept to the bare minimum and as simple as possible while still being able to cook twice a day for myself. So, for me, no kitchen is actually better.

2. ISOLATION VS. PEOPLE – I find I have no difficulty being in a guesthouse with people staying in all the rooms, in an area FULL of other guesthouses also with lots of people. I can spend days in isolation if I so choose, and am never drawn to interact with others unless I really want to. It is not a temptation for me as I hear other people complaining and explaining that is why they MUST “get away” to appreciate their time alone. I have no difficulty being alone if I choose to. I don’t need complete isolation and quiet to meditate, contemplate, be mindful, or go inward. I actually like the feeling of knowing that people are around…I don’t need to be WITH them technically. For me this is perfect.

3. Time with ME vs. Time with Others and the blessings of India: I have finally realized that one of the greatest blessings of spending 6 months in India, away from all those dear to me, family and friends, is the balance it brings to my life which I would not have otherwise. Meaning: At home I spend about 75% of my time involved with other people. I enjoy this time spent with them, I do it joyfully and get great pleasure out of it, but it means that I have only 25% of my time left to be completely with ME. Continuing this on a regular basis would be very difficult and eventually I would begin to resent the intrusion of others on my time instead of the feeling of gratitude and joy I get now from the time I spend with others today when at home. While I am in India, 75% of my time is spent with ME, and the rest with others, including family and friends at home via e-mail, skype, phone, etc. If I spent ALL of my life in this ratio of self vs. others, it would also not be good, but for the six months I am in India, it brings perfect balance into my life in a very simple way.

So, as always, my life is truly blessed in more ways than I can ever truly appreciate.


Jan. 24-26, 2009 – Winter’s End

January 26, 2009

Jan. 24, 2009 – Winter’s End

Jan. 25 – Despite what is written in the rest of this post, it is now the next day, and the end of winter here is like the end of winter anywhere else. Like blustery March in some places…because last night there was no wind at all, which means the fog and clouds were not cleared, and so today is overcast and chilly. But whenever the sun peeps athrough for a minute or two, it is lovely again. But not really cold…still wearing light clothing, although today long sleeves. Just a drastic change fro

Back to Jan. 24
Well, I cannot really say there truly was a winter here as I was lead to believe there would be. This has been the best winter of my life, weather and comfort – wise. I grew up in the terrible winters of New York City, and have spent the last 35 winters in Israel, and suffered terribly every winter there…particularly indoors where the houses are built to keep OUT the heat and generally don’t have any sort of real heating system. (although newer homes are being built differently). I always had to put on my warm clothes when I came INSIDE, and getting through the cold, dreary, rainy winter months was always very difficult for me.

This year, although there were a few cold days here, and even a couple of days with rain, but only for an hour or so, I have generally been waiting for “real” winter to come along, and it pretty much hasn’t. The local people say that the last few winters have been milder and shorter than usual, as weather patterns have changed here just as they have all over the world, but still say that this is usually the end of winter anyway. There may still be a few more chillier and even rainy days in the beginning of February, but pretty much this is it.

The temperature has gone overnight from highs of 16-19 to new highs of 26-28! This is of course only for a few hours in the afternoon, but the rest of the day is lovely as well, There is a very strong wind until about 11 in the morning, but after that, it is just beautiful. It is now after 9 in the evening and it is still possible to sit outdoors without being all bundled up. I haven’t needed my heater in 4-5 days at all, no longer need my extra blanket or my layers of clothing, and today actually wore my summer clothes with just a light shirt underneath…and for about 3 hours in the afternoon was too warm. I keep my windows open again to let the warm air in and Read the rest of this entry »

January 17-20, 2009 – Weathering the Weather

January 22, 2009

January 17-20, 2009 – Weathering the Weather

Me on the Ganga

Me on the Ganga

Haven’t written in quite some time aside from the 4 posts on my Mindfulness Journal (link on the sidebar), as nothing of real interest has happened. There were several days of cold, cloudy wintry weather, which had me using my heater more than I had up until now, but my room was always comfortable to be in. Spent some of the time with einat and her parents who came to visit her for 5 days. But mostly was lazy. I was feeling weakish for a few days, like I do when my blood pressure is very low, or perhaps just the change in weather effected me. Don’t know and don’t really care…just allowed myself to relax and “be” with it.

Then 3 days ago, while sitting out on the terrace, all of a sudden a quiet rain began to fall. But before I realized it was raining, as it was so soft, I noticed the smell of rain. The smell of the first rain after months of dry weather…the smell of everything being washed clean of dust. A lovely smell, which always gives me a good feeling. So I just sat watching, listening to, and smelling the rain..appreciated it with all my senses. And then a funny thing happened. I heard lots of noise on tin overhang just below my room and thought at first it was monkeys, but turns out it was pigeons. They had come to take advantage of the sudden shower, to “take a shower”!. I’ve tried photographing them but it was difficult…but there were numerous antics going on in a clear effort to clean themselves with the rain water. They lifted their wings high in the air

pigeon antics

pigeon antics

to get the water onto the inside feathers, much as we lift our arms above our heads to wash our armpit. And they even laid down on their sides to make this easier to do.
more antics

more antics

See the full gallery below for more pigeon antics….

They did this for a full 20 minutes and at the end fluffed out all their feathers until they appeared to be twice the size and all fluffy…like a blow dryer might do for us! It was quite a show.

And then yesterday I took a short trip with Einat and her parents up to a rafting camp upstream. Lovely few hours but then I ate lunch at the camp. The food was very spicey and I am paying for it today with my stomach protesting the affront to its sensitivities in an exceedingly clear manner!!


see the full gallery below

see the full gallery below

Hopefully all will pass by tomorrow…but it has left me weak today.

But it didn’t really matter. I still managed to get into the market to pick up some workbooks I had printed for all the new Reiki courses I will have once the tourists come back. And when I got home, it was so hot, you’d think it was summer. It had to be well over 26 degrees..maybe more…I don’t know, but I was so hot in my winter suit I peeled it off as soon as I got home, put on summer clothers, and psnet the whole afternoon outside on the terrace reading and enjoying the glorious weather.

Finally had some clear chicken noodle soup as I was really hungry, and all seems well with my stomach as well. Now just weakish feeling but that will pass as well.

It is now 5 PM, after a short nap, and still pleasantly warm outside, like a cool summer evening. Wonder how long it will stay this warm?

And that’s about it for the past week or so. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go out walking again, and hope this time to check out a new forest path someone told me about, but didn’t have the energy to do today.


Jan. 16, 2009 – Where Have I Been?

January 16, 2009

Jan. 16, 2009 – Where Have I Been?

Just a Nice Picture

Just a Nice Picture

I’ve been here all along, but not writing much here. As mentioned in previous posts, my daily life is not all that exciting, and this is the way it should be. Tranquility comes from flowing easily with things as they come along. But there have been a couple of days of intense writing about matters which cropped up about 2 months ago during Panchakarma, but these matters are more relevant to my Mindfulness Journal and have been posted there if you are interested. There are currently 2 new posts there and should be at least one more.

The weather has been exquisite, but a couple of days ago I began feeling extremely lazy, even tired, with no desire to do anything but “hang around”. That’s precisely what I did yesterday, cancelling a day trip to Mussoorie with friends in the process. But when I awoke today I understood the reason for my change in energy levels. The weather has changed. It is windy, chilly and overcast, which means there is no sun to warm me up, and this is the first morning I’ve been forced to eat breakfast indoors! I remember this happening to my father as well. We could predict changes in weather a couple of days in advance just by seeing his energy levels dwindling. But I’m cozy and warm in my room, with my heater, my movies, my own cooking, my music, my computer games etc. I really do need to do some shopping, and also need to get to the dental clinic for a checkup and cleaning, but it will all happen when it must.

That’s it for today I guess.


Jan. 12-14, 2009 – Pleasant Work and Beautiful Weather and an Interesting Thought

January 14, 2009

Jan. 12-14, 2009 – Pleasant Work and Beautiful Weather and an Interesting Thought

Nothing much to write. Had a lovely Reiki I workshop the last two days with a young couple (20 and 21) from Australia. The weather continues to be unseasonably warm during the day but still cold in the evening from sunset, until about 11 in the morning. I use my heater mostly in the morning when doing my meditation etc., but have not needed it even in the evening since the room warms up beautifully from the sun during the day.

Had an interesting insight during my Reiki workshop today. Very simple thought: Just as we do the best we can to keep our physical bodies healthy – healthy food, exercise etc., we must also “feed” our energy body and soul “healthy food” and exercise. This would include meditation, pranayama, doing Reiki, yoga and of course feeding it healthy food in the form of positive thoughts and perceptions. Considering the way we respond to situations we are confronted with and what perceptual filter we use to understand our own reality. And of course doing our best to change toxic, negative emotions and feelings into positive ones.

Seems as if the weather is getting warmer each day. It is quite delightful!

Aside from working, (I have two Reiki sessions tomorrow), and strolling around, doing a little cooking, nothing much to write so I will end this here. This is what real life is about. It is not every day that we have AHA! Moments, or inspirational thoughts, or motorbike adventures. Mostly we just live in the moment and enjoy what we have. And that is as it should be. I meet lovely people from all over the world each day, have interesting conversations with them, learn new things as do they, and basically just flow with things as they are sent to me.


January 10, 2009 – Winter Hibernation and Cooking – and – My First Regular Reiki client in India!

January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009 – Winter Hibernation and Cooking – and – My First Regular Reiki client in India!

Just got my first regular Reiki client here in India! She is a local lady from Rishikesh with personal issues which she hopes will be helped by Tarot reading, regular Reiki treatments, home”work” etc. She may even decide to do a workshop. She will be coming every Tuesday 1t 11. I’m very thrilled with this.

Write about cooking procedure and post pictures… just resting…feeling sluggish…doing things very slowly….winter time really is a time for hibernation and I am following my body’s wisdom. Perhaps that is why people get sick in the winter more often? In the “real” world we have to follow the clock and cannot allow a change in habit as the seasons change. But if change is the norm in nature, why would it not be the norm for human beings as well? We are part of nature. I seem to sleep more, move more slowly, absorb the sun in the morning hours and then only around 12 or so begin to think about going out or “doing” something…But it seems to work well as my evening is longer and more productive…including taking a nice hot shower before going to sleep rather than in the morning when it is much colder.

I’ve ever really described the process of cooking in my “non-kitchen” so will do so very quickly and attach a couple of pictures. Since I have no real kitchen, no work counter, no sink, etc., and I squat on the floor Indian style to actually cook over the balloon of gas and also to wash my dishes in the bucket of water…my cooking of necessity remains very simple. Kitcheri, veg soup, pasta with cheese sauce and porridge…and the occasional egg. And all the preparations for cooking are done outside on the terrace at the little table I sit at to read, work on the computer, eat and chop vegetables etc. It is very pleasant doing this outdoors, sitting down, taking my time, and having everything chopped and measured, including spices. Liquids etc., before going into the room and actually doing the cooking. It is relaxing, peaceful, mindful, and of course I have the beautiful sunsets and sunrises to accompany the preparations. Attached are a couple of photos to give you a slight idea, but without feeling the warmth of the sun, or hearing the music playing in the background, etc., some of the effect is missing.

Veggies Fresh for Chopping

Veggies Fresh for Chopping

Sunset to Chop By

Sunset to Chop By

Veggies for Soup

Veggies for Soup


Jan. 8, 2009 – Sun Salutations – or – The Blessings of the Winter Sun

January 8, 2009

Jan. 8, 2009 – Sun Salutations – or – The Blessings of the Winter Sun
I am not doing yoga exercises on my roof…but I am nevertheless blessing, and being Blessed, by the Winter sun…shining down on my from its position over the mountain.
I am slowly sipping a cup of hot spiced milk, dressed in several layers of winter clothes and wrapped in a warm “blanket-shawl”. Every so often a chilly breeze passes over me to remind me that it is indeed Winter in Rishikesh. But the sun continues to fill me with its powerful and loving warmth, from my face, straight through to my bones, and the depth of my soul The sun, like the Soul of the Universe, is dialoguing with my own soul!
As I sit here, the oayers will slowly come off and I will eventually be sitting in my tank top…but for now…I am still a bundle of clothing wrapped around a human form which is being lovingly caressed by solar warmth. This has got to be the best winter I have ever experienced – perhaps my entire life.
Blessings Unlimited

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