October 31, 2009 – Just Some Impressions and Updates

October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009 – Just Some Impressions and Updates

My shower has been fixed!  Oh, the pleasures of a nice hot shower!

The crowds have thinned.  Apparently it really was the remains of the Diwali Holiday crowd still vacationing until the beginning of the week.  Much quieter and pleasanter to walk around now.

Dates and dates:  I had another date last night – was taken out for Italian dinner. And I am now on my way out to a breakfast date!  I am getting very popular in my old age – and I love it!

I’ve mentioned this before in my blog posts over the years, but the feeling of Divine presence is felt everywhere in India, in the simplest gestures.  A couple of my favorites are the merchant who will touch the money he has just been paid to his forehead in thanks to God for the sale, before placing it in his cash box.  And the merchant, who upon opening his shop in the morning will use certain gestures of blessing over the doorstep to intone abundance and good prospects for the business day from God.  Always the awareness of God and gratitude to Him.  So unlike the Western world.

Notes from a few days ago:

Just had the best kicheri since coming to India, after eating in several places and not really cheap…and guess where it was?  Right here in my own house.  I cooked it myself!  Such a blessing to have the opportunity to cook.  I have to not be lazy and cook more often.  So far I’ve had vegetable soup twice, pasta once, oatmeal (with dried raisins, almonds, cinnamon and apples) several times, and today’s kicheri.  Just lovely.

And more recent:

Tonight I am invited to a wedding, and the groom is sending a car and driver to pick up whatever people want to come from around here and have no way of getting there, so I am planning to go.  Will try and take pictures and write about it tomorrow

And finally yesterday:

After my late night got up fairly early for some reason, had a nice breakfast, bought myself a new book to read and fell back to sleep…slept for a couple of hours, and now, sitting outside in clear fresh air on my rooftop, listening to music, reading, drinking coffee and something sweet, after giving my room a thorough cleaning after being here two weeks.  Feeling really pleased with myself, and tonight I am invited out for Italian dinner.

I will post the full story of the wedding at a future date, but it was fabulous.  Suffice it to say now, that I was given many opportunities to experience joy to the fullest, and I took advantage of each and every one of them gratefully-including dancing like a fool just for the fun of it and not caring what anyone thought of me!!   Also this was a good opportunity to test once more the new me, my release from fears and my ability to truly be spontaneous, and I received a perfect score of 100% in all areas!!!  More details in another post which will take me time to write up.

מודה אני לפניך לך שידעת, לך ששמעת, את שבקשה נפשי

This is song now playing on my random selection of music….out of over 4000 songs,, chosen for me especially at this moment…. “I give thanks to You – to You who knows, to You who hears, all that my soul desires.”

The peace I get from just sitting here with the mountains opposite and the crows cawing, the butterflies around and the lovely breeze to give relief from the sun which is still quite hot despite the cooler temperatures – well, what can I say?  I am so blessed and so grateful for each and every moment of my wonderful life.





October 27, 2009 – Laptop Along the Ganga

October 28, 2009

October 27, 2009 – Laptop Along the Ganga

Wonderful lovely good morning to everyone out there in cyberland!
This morning I decided to “shlep” my cute little laptop out with me for the first time and I must say that this is an amazing idea. I always enjoy writing up on my roof (which is probably one of the reasons I do so much more writing here in India than I do at home in Israel), but right now I am sitting at my favorite restaurant along the Ganga, with the sound of the rapids in the background, after a lovely breakfast of paneer parantha and masala chai, and , while staring down at the ganga, listening to its wonderful voice speak to me, am writing down my thoughts as they come. I have never felt more at peace while actually writing. I even have a perfectly comfortable place to sit on a low chair, with perfect angle for my back, a place to prop up my feet so my knees are also at a perfect angle to have the laptop resting on, and seems as if I’ve found my new heaven. Down below, the rapids are much stronger than they were just six months ago at the height of the snow meltdown, another sign of the good monsoon people have spoken about.

It would be lovely if I had an internet connection here and could show you on skype this amazing place…you will have to take my word for it and perhaps, one of these days , YOU will come here with me!! Oh my goodness, they just put a CD on very softly in the background…and it is one of my all time favorites: Roberta Flack singing “First time ever I saw your face”. Oh my goodness gracious! Now the song is my absolute all time oldies favorite: The Righteous Brothers singing “Oh my Love”!!!!! Pure heaven….

OK…I actually have some “other” writing to do, so will end this post and get on with what I had planned to do in the first place.


October 27, 2009 – Creating Reality and Contentment

October 28, 2009

October 27, 2009 – Creating Reality and Contentment

This post involves something involving daily life in a guesthouse in India and which has shown me quite clearly a further move forward in my own way of viewing the world and allowing my own reactions to determine my final reality.

The room I stay in is lovely and comfortable and homey with good energies, but since last year there is a certain “problem” which I’ve written about before. One of the things I never forget how to say in Hindi is: “pani nahi hei” meaning: “there is no water” (or literally: water, not is). This simply being because just about every single day when I wake up in the morning, (and at times in the afternoon as well), there simply is no water. Last year, this became a daily ritual. My waking up, checking the faucet, seeing no water and going out to tell the guys “pani nahi hei”, and theym, knowing this to be true, would simple nod. There were times when the no water lasted for hours, and times when I just mentioned it, and they would remember that they had forgotten to open the line that leads to my room after filling the tank (or at least this is what I understood). At any rate, it became a real hassle for me and put a dent in my feelings of peace each and every day. I didn’t want to move someplace else, and knew something had to be done about this. I hoped that by the time I came back this year, this problem would have been corrected, but had no idea how this would happen. (By the way, when I arrived a couple of weeks ago, the “room guys” all greeted me with a happy hello and then, in chorus laughed: “pani nahi hei!”…)
While chatting with another friend who has been living in India for years, the solution to the problem came up in an extremely simple way. Just make sure that I always have buckets of water in my room. In the past, if I remembered, I would sometimes fill up a bucket the night before and it was nice having the water there in the morning, but it was not something I did automatically. So this year, when I arrived, I took a second bucket for my room, and bought another flat bucket for dish washing, and now, there are always three buckets filled with water in my room. I just keep refilling them during the day, and although I still wake up almost every morning to no water, I have never once had to feel hassled by it, or complain about it. The guys have even asked me if I have water, thinking I imagine, that it was very strange that I was no longer raising the issue.
Another advantage to having this water available, is that it keeps me from having to make an issue of something else which does not work in the room. The pressure in the toilet when it is flushed is not enough to “get rid of everything”, and the easiest solution is to pour a jug of water into the toilet while it is flushing. So now, there is also always water for that as well, and I have released myself from something e4lse which could have become a true annoyance. We DO create our own reality by our thoughts and our reactions to situations!

(Now I just have to get the hot water to come out of the shower in more than a trickle and I will be perfectly content…)

October 27, 2009 – Messages, Messages, Messages and Understanding

October 28, 2009

October 27, 2009 – Messages, Messages, Messages and Understanding

This is one of those post you may choose to read or not, as it is about personal insights and understandings, which happen to reveal themselves while I am in India, and hterfore find their way to the India Journal.
Over the past several days, I have had several messages, which only this morning,while sitting here along the Ganga, have come to full understanding and made their impact on me.

The first one was 2 days ago, while doing my morning meditation. At one point, I heard a bird chirping animatedly from very nearby. I had to open my eyes to see where this intense chirping was coming from. Well, not for the first time in India, a sparrow was in my room (for those of you who have been following my journey for years, know that this has happened to me twice before while in Mcleodganj). I have a kind of window opening above the door to my room which I keep open all the time to allow some fresh air in even if the windows are closed, and perched on this opening, just above my head, was a sparrow, and as I looked at him, he “spoke” to me very clearly, left his message, and then said goodbye and flew away.
“Don’t forget about me” was what he said…A sparrow, in Hebrew, is called tzipor dror meaning “bird of freedom” and these have always been sent to me to remind me not to forget about ME. He was once again sent to remind me not to give up my freedom and to always choose to do that which is best for me and not allow anyone to take this away from me – even unintentionally – because of their need, their charm, their helplessness, or my own feeling uncomfortable in certain situations, etc. This truly hit home at the moment and I knew exactly what it meant in regards to my own life at the moment, but in the events of the day, was lost to me on any conscious level.
That same evening, I had my “date” and my dinner out, and yesterday I was given a not so subtle hint to take better care of my own needs more conscientiously. The dinner which was served was quite spicey, and I knew it was not good for me but since I did not want to offend the lady who had so graciously prepared it “not spicey” for my benefit, I ate it.
Yesterday, I had a very powerful reaction which left me weak and forcing me to rest all day – but also giving me the time to think and understand further. I was fine by last nite-as if nothing hadhappened, but it was a lesson learned the hard way. It would have been easier to listen to the gentler bird message from the day before.
When I woke up this morning, I had a powerful urge to leave my room early and do my meditation down here with the sound of the rapids as background. And while meditating, before ordering my breakfast, another powerful message came through – as if the rapids were speaking to me: “These are very precious moments for you – do not let anyone take them away from you” This makes so much sense together with the bird’s message and yesterday’s message, that I had to sit up and truly take notice. And overwhelmed with emotion from the constant love showered upon me by God and his loving Universe, I found myself silently cry9ing tears of joy and gratitude.
Since I arrived two weeks ago, I have been cutting shot my morning practice to accommodate people who asked to come in the morning for treatments, or returning home from a peaceful tranquil place to be back in time for someone I had agreed to meet at a certain time. Or even ending a quiet session of listening to music and relaxing because a friend came around to visit. I realize now that my time here is too valuable – I am here, of course, to be of service to others, but top priority for healing and compassion and caring for MUST BE ME. I had begun falling into the trap of putting my own needs lower down on the priority list , after th needs of others. I must be careful, always, of this.
I have already begun putting this into practice this morning when I left my room early, and the Ganga message was just a confirmation that I had indeed done the right thing. I was supposed to meet someone this morning in my room, but after this need to get out early, I simply left a note of apology with the option of looking for me later this afternoon-and felt completely at peace with this decision to “disappoint” another person.
And then hearing the words “these are very precious moments for you” when I got down here, simply confirmed that I have learned my lesson, once again, and hopefully, I will remember the importance of taking care of myself as the weeks go by.


October 26, 2009- My First Bathing in Ganga This Trip and a REAL Date

October 27, 2009

October 26, 2009- My First Bathing in Ganga This Trip and a REAL Date

white sands blue sky

Woke up this morning and knew this would be the day I finally get down to the Ganga for a dip. And despite staying up really late last night with Ben (we watched a 3 part BBC documentary called “Unforgiven” and watched all three parts in one sitting)-
I woke up bright and early and feeling good this morning. I got myself out early and went down to my favorite restaurant along the Ganga for aloo parantha and masala chai, and after sitting there for quite some time, headed down to the beach. It was just past 10:30 in the morning and it was a ovely day…each day is just a little bit cooler, with a lovely breeze making walking quite pleasant. Since I had my camera with me today, (I hardly ever take it out any more), decided to take some new shots of Rishikesh to share with you. There are some nice views of the street heading down to Laxshman Jhula,

street in laxshman jhula

street in laxshman jhula

street in laxshman jhula

and even a picture of a typical Indian family on vacation posing for a group snapshot at the bridge.

indian family on vacation posing at bridge

Today must have been a record for me as well, as I was asked to pose with people no less than 7 times!! Must have been me dressed in my Indian clothes that did it, but it is always fun to meet these families, or group of young men asking to be photographed with tourists.

I then continued down to the beach I have always loved to find that the path down has been blocked off with a warning that swimming is prohibited – danger of drowning. But it was easy enough to (there are more photos in the second half of this post)

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Just a Few More Ganga Photos

October 27, 2009

these were taken from Laxshman Jhula bridge….

ganga bathing

ganga bathing4

ganga bathing3

ganga bathing2

and this is a small temple outside an ashram just before the bridge

small temple

and this is the lovely back path I take to get back up to my guesthouse, which allows me to avoid walking on the busy man road

back path home

and finally, this house along the beach where I like to bath

house on the beach

October 26, 2009-Remembering the Morning Sunshine

October 25, 2009

October 26, 2009-Remembering the Morning Sunshine

Since I arrived here I have been getting up later than usual for me in India, and so by the time I finish my morning stuff, it is close to 10, which means, I realized today, that I am missing one of the most beautiful times of the day out here on my rooftop. From 8-10 is the most glorious time to take in the warmth and vitality of the morning sun which has just risen over the peak across the river. After ten it is higher in the sky and does not have the proper angle to reach my roof area, and it is also too hot to really enjoy any longer.

This morning, my friend Ben arrived from Nepal via Delhi and before heading off to find a room, came up to say “good morning”. I was awake, but inside as usual, but got up to say hi, and then quickly put myself together, made breakfast, and went outdoors to sit. It was fantastic. I had forgotten how wonderful that time of the morning is, and will somehow reschedule my day so that I get the most of it from now on.
After a healing session this morning, for the first time since arriving I found myself STARVING. It was 3 hours since I had had breakfast and also for the first time, felt like chicken, which I went down and ordered (butter chicken in gravy with a side portion of rice), ate, thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of freshly made apple juice. This is probably the most expensive meal I eat here and comes to 160 rupees!!! (about 15 shekel).

Spent some lovely time with Ben, and will have another healing session this evening, so am basically just hanging around my room today and it is nothing short of perfect!


October 25, 2009 – Tranquility, Crowds and “Not Today”

October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009 – Tranquility, Crowds and “Not Today”

Decided to go back to the lovely Pyramid Café but was seriously questioning my sanity as I continued the endless hike straight up into nothingness!

But once I sat down in this hidden paradise, I knew once again that I would be back. If this place was easily accessible, its magic would be lost very quickly.

The crowds in Rishikesh are disturbing – the explanation is: ”more Indians with more money”, but it is very disconcerting. Reminds me of what happened to peaceful McLeodganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot once the Indian tourists discovered the place. I cannot begin to imagine what it will belike as Kumbha Mela approaches. It is a blessing to be up at Swiss Cottage, far away from the maddening crowd.

Just sitting here now waiting for my food – listening to the wind in the trees, the birds, crickets, the babbling brook below, unseen but lovely to hear if you make the effort to listen, Every so often a car horn is hear in the distance below…watching the butterflies (enormous and in every color you can think of).

I have my book with me but reading it seems to be the furthest thing from my mind – a waste of this beautiful, natural tranquility – not easy to find these days.

Just a quick insight into India: The word “kal” in Hindi, when literally translated, means both yesterday and tomorrow (and is usually accompanied with hand signals to indicate which- either pointing forward or back over the shoulder). However, the true meaning is really: “not today”…meaning anything which is not today.

So if an Indian says something will be ready “kal” (tomorrow – obviously not yesterday), what he is really, actually telling you is that it will be ready at some time which is “not today”. He is not trying to confuse you or give you the wrong information – he is telling you the truth – it will be ready “not today”.!


End of the Dark Ages

October 24, 2009

The story I have to tell here is posted on my Mindfulness Journal, where I feel it is more appropriate. But since it occurred in Rishikesh, I am posting a link to it – just click


so you can read it if you are interested.

More to come tomorrow about my adventures and discoveries.


October 22, 2009- Just Another Day

October 23, 2009

October 22, 2009- Just Another Day

I find it nothing short of a miracle, that at this moment, exactly one week after I arrived here in my room in Rishikesh, I am sitting here on my rooftop, completely at peace and at home and am getting ready to eat my own home cooked oatmeal.  Things just came together so effortlessly and quickly, it is truly hard to believe.  My room looks and feels as if I never left! What a wonderful and blessed life.

cooking by moonlight

cooking by moonlight

After two days without going down to internet, I was flooded with 31 mails and several more came in while sitting at the internet café.  I’ve been here for more than an hour and am still working on catching up!!

Visited with my friend Seema for awhile afterwards, and that is always a pleasure.  She is one of my true friends in this world.

Then decided to go down and taste pizza which was recommended a few days ago.  Seems one of the nearby restaurants, Tulsi, had an Italian customer who taught them how to make real Italian Pizza.  Well, I was not disappointed.  It was truly pizza the way I love it-very thin crust and lots of sauce, tomatoes, cheese and oregano.  And to follow it with a delicious masala chai – well, only in India!

I keep meeting up with local people whom I haven’t seen since last year, and that is always a pleasure as well.  And while I was talking

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