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 30, 2009 – Vamana in Panchakarma
November 29, 2009 – Just Happy Days and Observations
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
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
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.
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.
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