November 30, 2009 – Vamana in Panchakarma

November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 – Vamana in Panchakarma
Just a quick note, to say they I have just completed what is for me the most difficult part of panchakarma, called Vamana which is translated as vomiting but really means purging. It really is not vommitting, but I always found the idea terribly difficult to accept and last year was very difficult for me to go through it.
This year, I spoke with the doctor first about me vears and stress with the issue but he gave me ideas about how to make it easier. Last night and this morning I meditated on a quick and easy process and outcome, and when I got to the clinic I was feeling good actually. Devi, the therapist who would be helping me with it today came in. She said it is very good I am doing vamana today…”you feel very good after”… I asked her if she had ever done it and she said no. So, I asked how she knows it feels good after and she answered “doctor say so”. I then jokingly suggested that today, she should take a crack at it…she goes first and I help her, and my turn. Without a second of hesitation she replied “no possible…after vamana must to rest and I must to work so no I can do it!”. She is a sharp one for sure!! I told this to the doc and he had a good laugh! Anyway, we began, with me having to drink quickly a liter of rock salt mixed with honey. I managed about ¾ of the liter when I felt I could not drink another drop…the doc came to help as well and said it was OK for me, and then gave me some herbs to drink which would make you vomit even if you had NOT just drunk almost a liter of salt and honey! And then, even without putting my finger down my throat, it all began coming up…but very gently…just everything that went in, gently coming up and cleansing the whole upper part of the digestive system. I finished easily, laid down for a gentle chest massage, had my herbal tea and am now ready to leave. It has left me tired but with a very tranquil feeling of accomplishment and pride in myself.
It’s been a good start of a new day!

November 29, 2009 – Just Happy Days and Observations

November 30, 2009

November 29, 2009 – Just Happy Days and Observations

Sunrise in Rishikesh

Haven’t written in a few days as I simply have neither the time nor the inclination to do so. On the other hand, I am feeling so wonderful at the moment, I’ve decided to put some things down “on paper”. Some of this might be just random sentences or thoughts or impressions, but it that kind of post… a collection of several lovely days which have passed for me.
Right now I am sitting in my room, 8:30 in the evening, listening to lovely classical music, comfortably sitting on my bed with a hot water bottle warming me up, after having a wonderful dinner of amazingly delicious vegetable soup (cooked in 10 minutes in the miraculous pressure cooker), which I shared with my lovely friend and neighbor Natasha. She also shares my morning porridge with me when I make it, the deal being that she washes my dishes for me!!! Perfect…because a lovely meal is even tastier when you share it with someone who also gets pleasure out of eating it.
I completed my first week of panchakarma today and have a whole new daily schedule. I am feeling so different than I ever felt in the past…and as long as this wonderful energized feeling is with me, I intend to make the most of it.
So now, I get up around 6:30 (I just wake up by myself…no alarm or anything), do some Read the rest of this entry »

Varanassi Part V – Last Day in Varanassi and Train Trip Home

November 27, 2009

Varanassi Part V – Last Day in Varanassi

November 16, 2009 is the actual day of these events

Woke up early but it is raining and although I am awake, there is no way I am going out in the rain…perhaps later it will clear up for our day’s outing. As you can see above, dawn, even on a rainy day, is quite beautiful to behold in varanassi along the Ganga. And even on this rainy day, there are “boat people” out for the views!

Apparently however, I was not meant to experience sunrise in Varanassi as this is our last morning here. But I am content. And this is just another confirmation for me of my acceptance with joy and gratitude of ALL experiences, as they are!

I sit and watch the dawning day, seeing a few early morning puja lamps still afloat

Enjoying the quiet of the new day, when –

to my great surprise and wonder – while watching the early morning boat parade – SUNRISE!

So the day began better than anticipated after seeing the rain. We had made arrangements to meet with relatives of R’s friends in rishikesh who live in Varanassi. We had arranged to meet them at 10:30 in the morning and were planning to go silk shopping, stroll the alleys of the old city and then go to see some temples with them. In the meantime, R was already out and we agreed to meet for breakfast at 9:30, which we did.
We met these lovely people at the guesthouse and then began following them, by foot, in the rain, to a local Read the rest of this entry »

November 26, 2009 – Good Enough to Eat

November 26, 2009

November 26, 2009 – Good Enough to Eat

Today is my 4th day of panchakarma, and only 38 more days to go as I’ve committed to 42 full days. Just imagine: 42 days of full body massage each day!!
I’ve decided to change my schedule and see how it works out. when I finish and get home, I need to rest, and by the time I feel like going out, it is really cold…
So today I went out early, for breakfast, and although it is much more expensive and certainly not as delicious as my own apple cinnamon porridge which I cook fresh each morning with raisins and almonds as well, it was wonderful to be out, to sit along the Ganga, eat my porridge and reflect. Hope to be doing this now each day.
The picture above is the delicious plate of steamed veggies I prepare in the evening in my pressure cooker. It takes “0” time to cook, literally. Just before the first whistle, I shut off the flame, let out all the steam and the veggies are perfectly done. I eat them with ghee and three chappatis with ghee, and for now am happy. Six weeks of this will be difficult, but I will take each day as it comes.

Tragedy no Longer

November 26, 2009

The last picture of Ben, taken just 2 weeks ago:

Sorry for the post yesterday…I was so shocked I didn’t realize what I was doing. After sitting with another good friend until late last night, and speaking about Ben with each other for hours, we both understood that although WE are terribly sad and still find it hard to believe that we will no longer see Ben or hear his laughter or silly jokes, Ben is probably very happy and even pleased with himself! First of all, his wife, Mary Cruz was killed just 2 years ago in Mexico in the same way. Instead of a motorbike, she was riding a bicycle, but was also hit by a truck and killed. He missed her terribly and spoke to me about her often and his great love for her, and so now I know they are together and that is lovely.
In addition, for the past 1 1/2 years he has been speaking about his fear of biking in India. He has biked for years all over the world but could not get over his fear of getting on a bike in India. If you remember, we were supposed to take a bike ride to MUssoorie but it did not work out in the end. Well, just yesterday morning, I saw him sitting at a nearby guesthouse and went over to say good morning on my way down to panchakarma. I hadn’t seen him in several days, and he had just celebrated his 44th birthday two days before. Well, he wasw all excited, like a little kid, and extremely proud of himself when he told me he had finally rented a bike and made the trip up and back to mussoorie. He was so excited that he had finally overcome this fear and couldn’t stop smiling. He showed me the bike and said he could now think of returning it as he had done what he needed to do.
And then he went into rishikesh, with another guy on the back, and was hit by a truck. The other guy just has a nasty cut on his leg!
It was a difficult afternoon, but I am doing well now, and there are so many people who know Ben here, that it is just nice to be able reminisce and everyone only remembers wonderful things about him (even though he could be a real pain in the ass sometimes). On his birthday, he went downtown and distributed school supplies to needy children. Even got written up in the paper with his picture which I’m sure made him also very happy.
He lived his life fully, with very few regrets and did just about everything he felt he wanted to do…so he was blessed
I’ll miss him but I’m happy for him
And this is of course, an extremely powerful lesson in why each and every day is so important…why we must live each day to the fullest, not go to sleep at night without expressing our gratitude for all the blessings of the day, making sure to say all it is we need to say to loved ones and friends…not to go to sleep regretting not having done something that day…and of course to give thanks as well when we wake up again to another wonderful new day.



November 25, 2009

As I was sitting here posting the last two posts, I was waiting for news of a traffic accident in town where two foreigners were involved. One of them was my friend Ben…one person was killed one injured but it has taken the last hour for me to find out for sure. Ben is gone!! I am stunned beyond words or tears….I will write more tomorrow…perhaps

Varanassi Part IV – Sunday Morning and Messages

November 25, 2009

Varanassi Part IV – Sunday Morning and Messages

November 15th is the actually date of this day in Varanassi. Remember, you have links to all the varanassi pictures…I will not be posting all the pictures in these posts as it takes too long so you can refer to the different links if you want to view the pics talked about in the posts.

It is now 7:15 AM on our second morning in Varanassi.

India is for me always a lesson in discovering my own true limits and respecting and accepting them. I am definitely NOT a good tourist and there is no way I can enjoy day after day of intensive site seeing. I am NOT a morning person either – as my friend r is – and no matter how badly I would like to already be “out and about” with her at this moment – it is not something I can, in any way, do- unless I want to be dishonest with myself and my own needs. (Actually, I am in a way a morning person, but morning for me is meditation, prayer, pranayama, very slowly doing those things which begin my way in a tranquil and harmonious way – If I rush in the morning-by whole day is off.) I need right now, to do exactly what I am doing. Rising earlier than I really should have anyway – I am sitting on the terrace watching the world on the Ganga go by. (I awoke earlier to go to the toilet – at 5:30 – and the Ganga was just as awake then as it is now, or at night – and the whole river was a sparkling sea of puja lamps. Almost as if someone had strung beads in varying patterns, of brilliant color, all across the Ganga. It was quite magnificent to see)
So I sit and watch the world go by from my lovely balcony, wanting to be down ON the Ganga at sunrise sounds wonderful – but it is not a possibility for me – Perhaps tomorrow if I will have an easier day today.
The sunrise is beautiful (no camera to prove it to you so take my word for it). The birds are innumerable including some hawks which keep circling my balcony. The boats peacefully gliding past below with the happy “morning people” enjoying the view.

Early morning bathers leisurely enjoying a bath before the later throngs of people find their way down for morning ablutions.

The water, from up here on the balcony LOOKS so cool and inviting – much nicer then from close up.
The sounds of morning prayers from the house next door – the sun, already quite warm vising opposite me to the East – reflecting brightly on the water and brilliantly illuminating the entire view.-as if inviting camera or paintbrush to attempt to capture its beauty.
Insistent call of Read the rest of this entry »

Varanassi Part III – First Day Out Walking

November 25, 2009

Varanassi Part III – First Day Out Walking

November 14th is the actually date of this day in Varanassi

After the long train journey and a good night’s sleep, we made plans to check out the ghats near our guesthouse as well as the furthest off ghat, assi ghat, which I had heard was beautiful and a lovely place to walk around and also to eat at the Haifa Restaurant. I did not get up as early as my friend, but by a reasonable hour we were out and about after a breakfast in the rooftop restaurant of the guesthouse. The weather was overcast which meant there was not much of a sunrise, but you can see in the pictures you already received, that we were still blessed with a beautiful display of nature.

We began our walk going towards the Main Ghat and again, as you can see from the pictures, it is impossible to walk more than two steps without stopping to look at something wondrous-perhaps not always pleasant-but always eye catching and breath stopping. We spent a pleasant time strolling about-something which I love to do, and luckily, so does my friend – not rushing around but slowly walking to be able to “inhale” so to speak and assimilate as much as possible, all that there is to see and experience.
Luckily the sun was not shining most of the day, and although we were dripping with sweat the entire day, and could drink enough water, except for a short 15-20 minute stretch when the sky cleared, at least we were spared, mercifully, the heat of the direct sun beating down on us.
WE walked, and walked, and
Read the rest of this entry »

November 24, 2009 – The Amazing Pressure Cooker

November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 – The Amazing Pressure Cooker

Today was day two. Again tired but not as bad as yesterday and I think I’ve made a final decision to do a full 42 days.
I’m just writing this additional post to expound on the wonders of the pressure cooker. I’ve already learned to make vegetable soup and kitcheri in no time at all with wonderful results. Yesterday I steamed my veggies for the first time, and although I thought I had cooked it the minimum of the minimum, I was left with a vegetable much for dinner. Tasted OK with my chappatis but not was I was looking forward to. So this evening, I put the veggies – 2 carrots, sweet potato, large piece of pumpkin, 2 tomatoes, a handful of broadbeans, and spinach – cut in larger pieces than yesterday – into the pressure cooker, and as soon as it whistled the first time I shut it off, and instead of letting it cool itself, let out the steam immediately and opened it. And everything was perfectly cooked the way I like it. It took literally no time to cook basically. Quite amazing. Took me much much longer to prepare everything than to cook it.

And now I will begin writing up the varanassi story so that I can finally get then next parts off to you.


November 23, 2009 – First Day of Panchakarma

November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009 – First Day of Panchakarma

I’ve finally begun my panchakarma treatments and really felt like the time was just right. There is no point in telling each day as I did last year as the basic treatment is the same, so if you are interested, you can just check Panchakarma in the sidebar of this blog and then check out each day…they are listed as day 1, day2, day 3 etc. in the title of each post

I was excited to begin this morning and know I am now entering a sort of 1 month hibernation period which is meant to bring me completely inside myself on all levels. It is very powerful for me, not just for my physical health. Doc is trying to convince me to do 6 weeks instead of 4 and I have to inform him by the third day as at that point the therapy changes depending on how many days you are doing. I don’t think I will do that, although I know it would be extremely powerful for me. He claims 60% more than just 4 weeks, but I don’t think I could manage more than the 4 weeks.
At any rate, I came home feeling wonderful after purchasing vegetables to last me for 2-3 days for my evening meal of either boiled veggies or vegetable soup and 3 chapattis, all with lots of ghee.
But when I got home this tremendous exhaustion overtook me, and laid down to just rest, and wound up sleeping for 2 hours. Meaning I cancelled two clients who were supposed to come today, but there is no way I could have helped them in any way.
I am now sitting here relaxing after preparing all the veggies to cook for tonight and am completely at peace,
And now I will do my best to get the rest of the varanssi journey written up over the next day or so as well. I will have plenty of time and no excuses now,.


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