January 10, 2010
January 9, 2010 – Back to Nature and the Music of Water
Waking up this morning I had to choose what I would do today…the choices were many: Go to the market to do some shopping and visit my friend Manju, go for a walk down laxshman jhula and back up through ram jhula, go aback to sit by the ganga, go to the waterfall, go walking up through and past the village. During my meditation the answer came through crystal clear and I not only knew that I would be walking up the mountain through the village, but also exactly what I would wear and what I would carry. Had a breakfast of masala chai and paneer parantha up on my terrace, got dressed and headed off. The weather was beautiful, (although it has now gotten a little hazy at 4 in the afternoon), and began walking across the gorge and up to the village. One thing I noticed immediately is that I always had a fear of stray dogs. I actually love dogs, but only those I know personally…all others I’ve always had an irrational fear of and this has been a reason for me not doing many things in the past-like riding my bike around town where I live, walking through neighborhoods where I know dogs roam freely etc. And as soon as I got near the village, dogs began barking, some ferociously, and there was absolutely no fear in me. I simply walked past, sometimes stopping to say hello to the barking dog or staring directly at him, and then walking on. None of them ever followed me. It was quite amazing and very different from my experiences in the past.
Walking up through the village, was initially similar to the walks there last year which you can read about and see pictures of here: Link to Village Walk Post).
But there were new things to see…especially new houses which were being built last year and were now complete
Compare these with this typical village house and you can see the new middle class of India moving up, even in the villages:
This year I decided to take more videos to capture the sounds along the walk…for the entire 1 ½ hours I was walking Read the rest of this entry »
January 9, 2010
January 8, 2010 – Samosas and Sunsets
It is once again Friday evening and almost time to light Shabbat candles. I sit out on my rooftop with the last remains of the week slipping away into the colors of sunset. It is still comfortable enough outdoors to sit comfortably with a shawl and it is already 6 in the evening. The days are getting noticeably longer and the warmth of the daytime remains longer than it did even a week ago. I haven’t had to light my heater at all for the past two days and I had been using it for hours each morning and evening for the past few weeks. I am enjoying music, the colors of nature,
and recalling my lovely day which included, finally, my cooking class.
The class was pleasant, and of course the Ganga view inspiring It was just like sitting in a friend’s kitchen (actually, I WAS sitting in a friend’s kitchen), and watching the techniques she uses to make different dishes. And of course at the end, I got to eat Read the rest of this entry »
January 6, 2010
Thoughts from a book I read a couple of months ago: In the Shadow of Crows, David Charles Manners (a true story and book I would urge everyone to make an effort to read-check out the website sarva.org.uk for more information)
p. 25: I understood that although the facts remained immovable, the past was done. My future did not need to be forever a reaction to it. A new and different life was waiting to be lived. All I had to do was to make a choice.
p. 284: Qualities to strive for: tolerance, self-discipline, generosity and patience, contemplation and honesty, dedicated intention and knowledge.
…and from something else I read: absence of fear is not something you feel, but something you don’t.
January 6, 2010
January 6, 2010 – Putting an end to the Doldrums, Sun and Shadow, Mountain and Blue Sky and REAL Italian Food!
The Sun Finally Peeking Through the Fog and Mist
Decided this morning I could no longer allow the weather to determine my mood and promised myself I would get joy and pleasure out of today no matter what the weather brought. And as soon as I awoke I realized this was an intention I would have to actively work at, as the day dawned as dreary as all the past days.
Following my morning stuff, I decided to prepare my own breakfast, and MY porridge always makes me feel good at the beginning of the day. I then got dressed nice and warm, and decided to first check out some cosmetics one of my daughters asked for. And following that I would go down to the bookshop and exchange some books for “new” used ones for the rest of this month.. Figured by then I would be hungry again and would stop at the German Bakery for nice chai and good cake which they are known for and which I haven’t had yet since arriving in Rishikesh. Well, the day began as planned but quickly took its own course. Arrived at my favorite pharmacy to ask about Read the rest of this entry »
January 6, 2010
January 5, 2010 – The Doldrums
The doldrums was initially a term used to describe a sailing ship calmed for any length of time on the ocean due to lack of winds to power it forward on its course.
Well, the last 5 days here have found me in my own doldrums. I never do well in cold, dreary wintry weather, without sun, but this is the first time in all the years I’ve been coming to India, and especially the last 3 years in Rishikesh, that I have encountered an extended period of time like this. Even on the worst days in Mcleodganj, there were always brief periods of sunshine to brighten up even the dreariest day and lift the spirit. And the last 3 winters I spent here in Rishikesh were glorious. There was never extreme cold, very few days of rain, and even on those days where it was cloudy, overcast or foggy, there were always periods of sunshine during the day.
Today is the 5th day where the sun appears to have disappeared completely. It is not only that the sun cannot be seen, its warming energies cannot be felt through the dense blanket of damp fog. It is not raining, but the air is wet, as you might find in a small bathroom after taking a very hot shower and everything is steamed up and misty . But the mist is not warm hot shower air, but cold, and chilly. Today, the high was 10 degrees and, as everyday this past week, there was also no electricity for most of the day, so no heater and not even any hot water to fill up a hot water bottle!
The cold is not as bad as the lack of sunshine. If the sun was out with its glorious light and stimulating energies, I would be completely content. But being cold, as well as despondent, is really difficult for me. There is also not a drop of wind, like a true doldrums at sea, and this is one of the reasons why we remain covered in fog and mist. Usually there is a fierce Read the rest of this entry »
January 3, 2010
January 3, 2010 – Free At Last! – And the Big Freeze
Finished my last day of panchakarma today, and although it would seem to be a reason for celebrating, I find myself kind of at loose ends. It will be very strange not getting up tomorrow morning and getting ready to go down to my massage and whatever, and of course to spending a couple of hours of the day at the clinic. It also seemed almost anti-climatic. I’ve been dreaming of my first meal after panchakarma, my first cup of chai, etc., and now thaqt the time has arrived, it was no “big deal”. It is more knowing I have the freedom to choose to eat whatever I want which is the liberated feeling I now have, and THAT is the big deal. (See later in the post to find out what brought me a true feeling of celebrating this freedom!)
Yesterday was a perfect example of how much fun it is to be there. You’ve probably heard of laughing yoga, well, yesterday was “laughing massage” and it was probably the most FUN massage I’ve ever had in my life. Don’t remember much of the massage itself, but I was laughing so hard, that if I was not already laying down, I would have had to sit down to keep from falling over with laughter. The two girls, Devi and Laxshmi, were giving me a massage together as they sometimes do, and were giggling and laughing, as they VERY often do. I cannot in any way write here what was going on as much of it was done in pantomime, but the teasing that was Read the rest of this entry »