Feb. 24-27, 2009 – Out and About Again After Being Ill

February 28, 2009

Feb. 24-27, 2009 – Out and About Again After Being Ill

Had a really beautiful four days since I began feeling “myself” again.

But beforehand, just a quick note: A couple of days ago, I received a beautiful surprise by e-mail. This past Fall, I had an article I had written about one of the Reiki Principles, accepted and published in the prestigious Reiki News Magazine. (In the world of Reiki and alternative medicine, this Journal compares to the JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine in the world of conventional medicine, and having something published there is just as highly regarded). Well, I had sent off another article, which was rejected, or so I thought, as I was told it needed rewriting. I had tried several times to work on it here, but actually was pleased with the original article. To my great surprise, they notified me that it will appear in the Spring Issue!! If I had know that, I would have at least given them one further link to the blog in memory of my father, as part of the article deals with my personal issues relating to my father’s passing and how my Reiki training helped me. (You can see that blog if you are interested at: In Memoriam )

The article will not appear online at this point, but if you are interested in a PDF file copy of the articles, just let me know. I am extremely excited that I have been privilege to share my insights with so many more people than I would normally be able to via my blog (where versions of these articles also appear). This magazine has a very large international readership.

Now…back to India!

Tuesday I took things really slowly, but my room was in desperate need of a Read the rest of this entry »

The Hazards of Rickshaw Travel and Tips to Avoid Them

February 25, 2009

The Hazards of Rickshaw Travel and Tips to Avoid Them

…or Rickshaw Know-how from the Rickshaw Mavin



Rickshaw travel can be a highly risky, expensive business as well as a serious health hazard. I will do my best to help you past all the pitfalls if you ever chance to ride a rickshaw in India or similar form of transportation in other parts of Southeast Asia where it is also known as a tuk-tuk.

First of all, rickshaw drivers have a form of telescopic vision and can spot the uninitiated coming from a mile away. You can literally be “taken for a ride” – a very short ride – which can cost the unawares traveler anywhere from 50-150 rupees. The true price for the same ride in a shared rickshaw, which all of these actually are, is 5 rupees. So, when you need a rickshaw to anywhere, first find out from a local person how much it should cost from point A to point B, in a private rickshaw, and also if there are shared rickshaws available for the same ride. There is no difference whatsoever between the private and shared ones, except for the price and the fact that the shared one stops every so often to let someone on or off.

Is This a Jewish Rickshaw?

Is This a Jewish Rickshaw?

Secondly, you can easily sustain serious neck (whiplash), shoulder (banging against the metal bars on the sides of the rickshaw), head (hitting the ceiling), or lower back injuries if you haven’t learned how to properly “ride” a rickshaw.

To avoid the above, first of all, pay attention to the road (and you might be able to anticipate sudden jerking stops), try not to sit close to the side, but rather in the middle of the seat (where the other passengers act as safety padding), even though it may seem more comfortable to be sitting with at least one side not snuggled close to a complete stranger. Sitting between two other passengers will also

Face Forward is Not Always Best

Face Forward is Not Always Best

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb. 23, 2009 – I’m Back! And Another Lesson Learnt…the Hard Way!

February 24, 2009

Feb. 23, 2009 – I’m Back! And Another Lesson Learnt…the Hard Way!

Finally seeing signs that I am truly on the mend. After the initial depression for a few days, getting my perspective back and giving myself permission to be sick certainly helped. Once I released into the illness and began enjoying the fringe benefits of not feeling well, true joy returned to my days. I’ve been in very good spirits for the past 3 days despite still being too weak to really enjoy my walking, which is one of my greatest delights in being here.

Yesterday, my appetite returned which is the first sign that things are moving along, and now, today, my need to sit down and write also returned. I have not felt like writing in at least 2 weeks, perhaps more, and this was certainly a serious indication that all was not well. So, sitting here now at the computer, and enjoying each word I write, is giving me great joy, even though there is nothing truly interesting to write about. I even feel like dancing again, something I haven’t done in over a month, which is also a sign of things not being as they should.

Which still leaves the question: Why? And why now? I understand that I was seriously out of balance regarding my own needs vs. those of others for the past couple of months, and hence the vertigo and accompanying weakness. The vertigo is gone but the weakness will take awhile. However, other things have manifested themselves to a serious degree over the past couple of days and I realize now that there is a serious lesson here for me and the fact that I only have one month left, and hadn’t yet figured it out, called for drastic measures from Above…I usually DO need a good hit over the head to wake me up. You’d think by now I would have figured this all out, but what to do? I am a human being and when it comes to my own wellbeing, still not as wise as I should be.

For the past couple of months, on and off, I have had two strange things, which I didn’t even connect until today. My arthritis, which has been almost non-existent for the past 3 years, began acting up, but only on and off and never anything serious enough to warrant my attention. Just figured it was the changing weather and Read the rest of this entry »

Feb.20, 2009 – It’s Been a Long Time

February 20, 2009

Feb.20, 2009 – It’s Been a Long Time

Yes,it certainly has. I haven’t posted in over a week, I think a new record for me. So this post will NOT be about any of the following:

The Hazards of Travelling by Rickshaw and Tips to Avoid Them
The crows who shaire m meals
The Eagle that glides over for a daily visit
The monkey who very carefully and neatly empties my garbage can, only taking those things edible and carefully leaving the rest
The Mystery of the missing ear plugs and the moving shower drain
Or about my work, my understanding of my work and how it relates to me as a person
Or about any of dozens of other interesting things which happened over the past 10 days.

I am just writing to let you all know that I am alive and (almost) well. For a lot of the past 10 days I have been working and simply didn’t have the time to write, and now I am at the end (hopefully) of not being completely well. Began with Vertigo (which I still have-today is the fourth day), general feeling of exhaustion, headache and yesterday some fever. Been sleeping a lot, feeling sorry for myself, wishing I was anywhere but where I am, and finally pulling myself together yesterday, accepting that all of us get out of balance from time to time, and allowing myself to be ill…I know WHY it has taken the form of vertigo (dizziness causing loss of balance, nausea and other yucky feelings)…being out of balance in my life over the past few weeks…working too much….taking care of others at the expense of my own needs, etc., led to my body getting “out of balance” literally and giving me vertigo. Very intelligent hint to get myself back into balance re: my own needs vs. others…taking care of myself vs: taking care of others, etc. Hopefully this will all pass over the next couple of days, but I am no longer feeling so depressed as I was the last 4 days. And now I am exhausted, and dizzy so will end this…but with a smile…which reminds me…I was luckily given a book by Bill Bryson which has kept me laughing out loud for the past 2 days, and today I spoke to my almost daughter-in-law and she also got me laughing out loud…so I’ve been given some wonderful medicine which will now make getting through the lesson of being ill a little easier.


Feb. 10-11, 2009 – Once Again…Weathering the Weather – or: Winter Has Returned!!!

February 12, 2009

Feb. 10-11, 2009 – Once Again…Weathering the Weather – or: Winter Has Returned!!!

After the Storm

After the Storm

There are some nice pictures later on showing how clear and clean everything is after the storm!

The weather, and not just in India, truly does get stranger and weirder each year. It is truly frightening what we have done our Home.

The last two years I was here, I arrived in February, and although mostly the weather was good, there were a couple of weeks of cold weather, necessitating a heater in the room, layers of clothing and rain gear. And everyone here kept telling me that this was very strange as it should have been like this the end of December and during the month of January, but winter came very late. Well, now, I am the one telling newcomers the same thing. You all know that spring/summer had already arrived here from my previous posts, and here I am, sitting in my room, no electricity (so of course no heater when it is most needed) and dreary and dark although it is 10 in the morning. I am wearing double layer of pants, 3 pair of sox including woolen ones, three shirts, a sweatshirt and my winter jacket, with a huge blanket shawl on top of it all. I am comfortable! Outside, it is raining, as it has been straight since yesterday when it all began at 4 PM. Back to that in a minute.

Luckily, I “by chance” decided to buy some yeast cake to take to my room yesterday. I NEVER do that. And still had some milk left this morning…so I have had a cup of spiced hot milk with my chocolate yeast cake and later on, without having to go out at all, I will still be able to have my porridge. I am listening to music using my IPOD which I “by chance” has an almost full battery, and although the computer will shortly be a problem, I hope to at least be able to do my writing before the battery runs out…or perhaps by then the electricity will return. (Turns out that only my room had no electricity. I realized that when I went outside and Read the rest of this entry »

Feb. 7-9, 2009 – Lazy, Lovely, Spring Vacation Days

February 12, 2009

Feb. 7-9, 2009 – Lazy, Lovely, Spring Vacation Days

Orange Moon

Orange Moon




Haven’t written in a few days as I just haven’t felt like spending my precious time sitting at the computer. The evenings are so much longer, and it is so lovely just to sit outdoors until almost 8 and enjoy the blessings of the mild weather and Nature’s wonders. Just a few pictures of the moon as seen last night, and the orange globe of this evening. It was quite astounding…The night before it was brilliant white light blazing in the evening sky, and this evening, this amazing ball of orange fire rising over the horizon just as it got dark.

Yesterday I rested most of the day and quietly enjoyed the pleasant day, after spending the day before out getting most of my “coming home” shopping done…which was also quite pleasant…no hassle. While sitting outside yesterday afternoon, near dusk, the sky was filled with migrating birds. This has been going on all week, and no one here seems to know where they are migrating…they are going South always but I’ve never seen this before here in Rishikesh. And then through this crowd of migrating birds, an enormous eagle glided its way through the sky on the currents and circled around and around, over and over again, for over 15 minutes, never moving a wing. The other birds just moved around this enormous and regal bird…I was so entranced in watching it, that I never even thought to go in and get my camera, so you will have to believe me that it was quite spectacular. It came directly over the terrace several times and its wing spread was enormous…absolutely fabulous.

Just remembered…I also treated myself to a facial finally, but not at the usual place I had been going to in the past. Someplace closer by. She is using a technique which incorporates acupressure and is supposed to act as an instant face lift. To my great surprise, it did! My face had much less “drooping” and it is now a few days later and it still looks lovely. But the facial itself was not that good and I won’t be going back. Will try someplace else.

I’ve been eating out more often, but still cooking for myself at least once a day. But enjoying having the choice. Also enjoying reacquainting myself with my summer clothes and being able to spend the day out and about without worrying about layers of clothing, shawls, sweaters, etc., in my bag.

I already have a workshop scheduled for Sunday, and so today went into town to print up more workbooks. And then had to purchase a gift for a wedding I am invited to on Thursday. The weather was so pleasant, I decided to give shoe shopping one more shot before giving up on ever finding something which is both comfortable and nice looking. As I got back to the main road, I began hearing a caconophy (don’t even know if that is a word) of sound. As I got closer, it got louder and more discordant with each step. I then saw in front of me wagonloads of enormous blaring speakers, each one for a separate band with dancers and singers all dressed up on the wagon and the musicians walking along in front of them. It looked like a parade, but sounded like a very serious competition for the loudest and worst band in the city. And each band was doing its utmost to be the winner. It was truly earsplitting. I finally got past all of them and found someone to ask who spoke a little English. He explained that this was a religious festival celebration from the local ashram and it was celebrated every year. And then he asked “It is wonderful, no?” . Of course I agreed that it was indeed amazing!

Well, it seemed to be my lucky day. I actually found THREE pair of shoes which will now serve me for a long time. Two for every day (all are thong types which I have gotten used to wearing but had no nice ones)..each costing 10 shekel and quite good quality, and the third, for dress up, and expensive at 30 shekel! I was quite excited…I have terribly problems buying shoes of any type. I tried on over 20 pair, but coming home with three is wonderful for me. I already tried out one on a fairly long walk today and they seem fine.

Spent a lovely 3 hours with two lovely Norwegian girls who studied Reiki with me and arrived home at 6:30, after being out since 10:30 this morning. A full and wonderful day for sure.

Tomorrow I will go down to the Ganga to sit I think, as I haven’t been down there for some time, and in the evening I have someone coming for a Tarot reading.

And that’s about it….


Feb. 6, 2009 – End of the Winter Doldrums

February 7, 2009

Feb. 6, 2009 – End of the Winter Doldrums

Well, today winter is over! On a personal level as well as in Nature. Since yesterday I’ve gone from at least one warm layer under my light long sleeve clothing, to no layers and short sleeve summer suits. And almost overnight from 3 layers of sox including one pair of woolen “booties” inside my sandals, to barefoot sandals. I can also today, for the first time, walk barefoot in my room and outside on the terrace. I have what can only be described as “spring fever”…I am once again energized, don’t feel like doing nothing all day, feel like dancing, feel alive and ready to go. And the changes are obvious in Nature as well. First of all, aside from the chill in the morning, it is now warm all day and even hot in the noon hours, and warm well into the evening, and light until almost 7 meaning I can once again sit out on the rooftop in my light summer clothes with just a light shawl and read, listen to music, chat with people etc., and not have to be indoors by 5 or so. And the best and surprising change:

THE MOUNTAINS ARE BACK! For the last 2 ½ months the mountains have been a pale greenish-grey illusion behind a permanent layer of haze. Today for the first time the haze has completely lifted revealing once again the lush shades of green and the forested slopes in various hues of green…from the closest to the furthest 4th range over. It was quite a pleasant surprise when I arrived home at 4 after being out for several hours and sat down on my terrace. I looked over to themountain as I usually do, and was greeted with the clear details once again. The sun is so warm that I am sitting in the shade in my summer clothes and eating a lovely fruit salad which I haven’t felt like eating for over 2 months!!

This beautiful period will last about a month, maybe less, and then it will begin to get really warm for the last couple of weeks I am here. So I’ve decided to do all my shopping and errands now before it gets too hot. Then, if I still have pleasant weather, will devote the rest of the time to just enjoying. I’ve given myself a 10 vacation and although I’ve been approached to do workshops, I haven’t scheduled another one for 10 days. I will do my best not to work until next Sunday.

The restaurant manager’s wife gave birth by caesarean about exactly on my birthday and came home today. I asked if it was acceptable to visit so soon and everyone told me yes…that is the custom here. So decided to pay a very short visit and bring a gift. She speaks no English but no words are really needed to say congratulations to a new Mom, to sympathize with the pains of her surgery, to exclaim over how adorable her little baby boy is, to ask if she has lots of milk, and if he is breastfeeding OK. The smiles on the faces of the happy parents (they are older, well into their 30’s and this is their first child) says everything. It was a lovely visit, with lots of hand language, smiles etc., and I was very happy I went.

So it was a lovely day, well spent, meeting a few friends who I haven’t seen during my hibernation period, and now I will get back to doing the things I need to and enjoying this new lovely season.


Feb. 5, 2009 – End of Eye Story , the Blessings of Routine and Subtle Changes in the Weather

February 6, 2009

Feb. 5, 2009 – End of Eye Story , the Blessings of Routine and Subtle Changes in the Weather

Just a quick note about the weather. There has been a very subtle shift but definitely a precursor of Spring and very soon hot weather. It is still cold in the mornings and I need warm clothes, but the warmth of the afternoon is still with me now and it is already 6 in the evening. I am in light clothing, door and window open, and quite comfortable, even though the sun has gone down quite some time ago. It would, until yesterday, get very cold once the sun went down, but now it is quite pleasant. This is the first definite sign that warmer weather is coming for sure, and I’m not real excited about it. Wish it would stay like this at least for another month, but I know there are only perhaps 2 weeks left of this pleasant weather so conducive to walking. (It’s now the next day and I am out for the first time since end of October in short sleeves, and feeling nice and warm….since I know the weather will be getting hotter each day now, I will try and get my “going home” shopping done over the next few days before it gets so hot that walking around will no longer be pleasant).

I wrote in my last post a little about my developing floaters in my eye, and my visit to the ophthalmologist here who assured me that all was OK a couple of days ago. I also continued to do hours of Reiki each day on my eye. But over the last couple of days my eye really started bothering me with a feeling I couldn’t describe but it was a kind of pain but not really. And it was difficult to even keep my eye open during the day. I went and did the first Basti (the ayurveda treatment which is supposed to strengthen the eye and possibly get rid of the floaters as well. The treatment itself was easy. Warm medicated ghee was put into my eye and kept in place like a puddle by a “house” built around my eye with the famous “play dough” made from lentil flour. Afterwards the doc told me to rest with my eyes closed for 2-3 hours for best results. Well, I was barely able to get home. I had the feeling you do after going to an eye doctor who puts drops in your eyes to check them better and then afterwards everything is so bright that it is painful to keep your eyes open. It took almost 5 hours until I felt relief from the sensation, and although I am supposed to do another one tomorrow, I am not sure I will.

Anyway, my eye seemed to be getting worse for the past couple of days and even wrote to my brother again (the optometrist) but haven’t heard from him yet. I decided to go back to the doctor to make sure there really was no retinal tear. So this morning, with a friend in tow to keep me company (I was really nervous… all kinds of “what ifs” kept popping up and I kept pushing them away believing in my daily statement of “Just for today I will not worry”, but this was a difficult test of not worrying. I took lots of Rescue (which thankfully my daughter shlomit sent me a refill by mail) during the night and this morning. We got to the doctor, who was again, very nice. He checked, and checked and rechecked, but could find nothing to indicate a retinal tear. But I insisted my eye did not feel “right”, and he checked further and finally said the only thing he can see is some “congestion”, which is EXACTLY the feeling I was having but could not describe. He said it is from the change in weather, allergy may to pollen, whatever, but nothing serious. It is just by chance that it appeared a few days after the floaters. There is no connection between them. He gave me some eye drops, and after only one application, I already felt relief. Like if your nose is stuffed and you use nose drops (which I never do…I hate them!!). I will have a thorough eye exam when I get home as well, but for now am at peace.

So, all’s well that ends well. Treated myself to a birthday massage today, and I had forgotten just how good this guy Bablu is. I met him last year and have sent numerous people to him, but haven’t gone yet as I had so many massages during Panchakarma. Well, he was so pleased to see me, he gave me a free steam bath to thank me for sending so many people to him, which was really nice of him. And he REALLY is good. I feel so relaxed and happy now as I sit here writing this mail.

Missing this serenity every now and then is really good. Helps keep things in perspective and to appreciate even more the blessings of good health, quiet days and routine.

Jan. 30- Feb. 3, 2009 – Tail Spin to Recovery and Eye Floaters

February 3, 2009

Jan. 30- Feb. 3, 2009 – Tail Spin to Recovery and Eye Floaters

The day following my lovely birthday dawned beautiful as usual, and I was greeted with even more birthday greetings by e-mail. I had another busy day finishing up the Reiki workshop and continuing with a treatment in the evening, but went to sleep still feeling the wonderful high one gets from receiving the blessings of love from so many people.
I woke the next day having made the decision to have a complete rest for at least the next few days. Took the morning slowly and then drifted down to the internet after a lovely brunch of shakshuka in my favorite on-the-ganga restaurant. There waiting for me was yet another e-mail, from my dearest and oldest friend, truly like my sister, and I just figured it was another birthday greeting. This is my friend who’s son was killed 5 years ago and has been making the effort to put her life back together since then. Well, it was not a birthday greeting. She had written to tell me that her husband had committed suicide! Well, I won’t go into any further details as it is too private, but you can imagine the tail spin that put me in.

She of course told me that I really should be there with her, and experiencing her pain from so far away was excruciating for me. However, I know that in 2 months when I get back, everyone else will have already gone back to their own lives, she will be truly alone, and I will then be there for her.

I knew I had to bring my self up sharply from this tail spin if I was to keep myself from crashing, and I did this using the combined magical powers of Nature (staring at the mountain), and of music (Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor played repeatedly full volume using earphones). I did this for about 20 minutes and I was touched Read the rest of this entry »

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