Picture Proof

December 31, 2010

Picture Proof

The weather being so nasty this morning, my friend came up to spend the morning with me and caught me cooking breakfast.  So for the first time ever, documentary proof of how I cook in my “kitchen” in India.  You can get used to anything, and even enjoy it, believe me. 

Also note the unique light switch I have to use to turn on one of my lights.  It is simpler than trying to get them to fix the wiring, believe me!

Happy New Year to all



December 31, 2010 – Understanding Loss Part 2

December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010 – Understanding Loss Part 2

green mountains after cleansing rain



It is another cloudy, dreary, rainy day, but just as the rain has cleared away the dusty air and revealed the true beauty of the mountains once again, brought clarity back their lush green colors, so I have been blessed with further inner cleansing and new clarity.  The process continues to occupy most of my time, and the overcast weather makes it easier for me to “be still” near my room rather than roaming about.

I woke up once more very early this morning after a powerful dream sequence, with new and deeper understandings which will once more be posted on the other blog for those of you interested.


I have not yet seen the end of the “phone story”, but am hopeful that the issue will be resolved today or tomorrow (assuming they don’t tell me it is again a holiday, New Years!).

I think today I will treat myself to a meal or two outside, without cooking.  This is the great pleasure of being here.  I can do this whenever I don’t feel like cooking (and shopping and cleaning up etc) and not have to worry about the cost.  So eat out it will probably be today, although because of the weather, I will be limited in choice of places to eat.  There are also many electricity cuts meaning it is not really any warmer in my room, since I cannot use my heater, than it is in the restaurants, so it really doesn’t make much of a difference if I eat “out” or order room service.  (I actually can always fill my hot water bottle and keep it on my lap…a lovely, and cheap way of keeping warm actually).

If anything interesting happens, I promise to write, but for now, this is the boring entry for another lovely day which is just unfolding its beauty and surprises. (It is now 10 AM).

December 30, 2010 – Rainy Day Project

December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 – Rainy Day Project

Road Sign

I woke this morning to a cloudy day and there have been a couple of small showers, which has cleared the air of dust and dryness and the mountains can finally be seen again across the way.  And of course the lovely smell that the first rain after many months of no rain brings with it.

It has been a good day to stay close to home, which I gladly did, and hopefully will be able to get this off today, but for now, there is no power.

Have been cooking for myself and so have some lovely soup waiting for me this evening, after eating a lovely kitcheri this afternoon.

Maybe will get to write up the phone story today, although I don’t see the end of it anywhere in sight.

Been working on a project to select 500 photos which have been accumulating digitally for the past 4 years on my computer.  I want to at least get family pictures developed and put into real albums…I doubt I will ever develop all my photos from my travels..there are just too many of them.  But family ones are nice to look at in albums and have been putting this project off for a few years.  I solved it, by pre-paying for a subscription to develop 500 pictures at a low cost.  So now that it is already paid for (like a gym membership) I will have to go through the thousands of photos I have on my computer and choose the ones to be developed.  No more procrastinating.  So this has been another good rainy day thing to keep me busy. And the truth is, it is really fun, but very difficult to choose….I never realized how many pictures I’ve taken!!



December 30, 2010 – Silent Retreat?

December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 – Silent Retreat?

It is now my prayer and meditation time but for some reason I just had to sit down and write.  So I will let this go where it may and see if it is fit for sharing.  I have been sleeping well , better than usual even at home, but have been having very strange dreams.  Always waking up at the end of a dream, falling right back to sleep and beginning a new dream.  Like watching an endless series of TV programs one after the other – and not remembering a single one of them in the morning!  Last night, I again had a series of dreams, but each one was connected to the previous one in some way, and although I have been awake for a couple of hours doing Reiki to myself and contemplating things, I can still vividly remember the dreams, and the people in them and the essence of their content.  Many issues came up involving many stages of my life and many different people and I will be writing these down else ware, but I have been able to put together a general understanding of the things which were released, but haven’t yet figured out where they are meant to take me – perhaps later on during meditation.

What has been going on since I arrived is that I am without a phone, for various reasons beyond my control – once this issue is resolved, I will write up the story.

But I truly believe this delay in my having phone contact is part of the Divine plan for this trip.  IT is the closest I have been to a silent retreat since I actually did one a couple of years ago, with powerful results.  Even internet chatting and skype have delivered very meager results over the almost 2 weeks I have been here.  I usually “speak” to people every day, and so far, I have had one chat with a friend and spoken to 3 of my children on skype last Saturday.  The people I meet up with here are for very simple conversations about where they are from, what they are doing here, etc…and even the friend who is still here provides nothing more than interesting conversations on life in general or photography tips.

I have had no one to really talk to in over 10 days, and this has, obviously, pulled me way inside.  The way India was for me the first few times I came before so much internet usage and cellphones being available.  Really and truly being just “with me”.  So when I woke up this morning, I kind of thought, perhaps I won’t pursue the phone issue at all, and remain in retreat for awhile longer.  IT is not easy, believe me, as I so often feel like “touching” someone at home, and am not able to.

I feel so out of touch with the important issues playing themselves out right now with my family, and yet perhaps this is good.  One of the issues which came up in the dreams, was my always wanting, needing to be in the thick of things…always feeling left out if I didn’t know EVERYTHING that was happening and being part of it in someway.  I remember my mother saying to me often, as a child, when I would complain about having to be somewhere other than where the “action” was – studying or whatever it was I had to do in my room or somewhere else – “What’s the problem?  Why are you complaining? Afraid you’re gonna miss something?”  I remember this being almost a challenge to me – because YES – I DID feel like I was going to miss something and it was very insulting to me to be left out. Growing up I was always the social outsider, so wanted to at least feel included in family affairs.


Well, wonder of wonders – I still have the same problem today and it crops up more often than I care to admit.

To this day, I am not the most socially adept person, preferring small intimate settings to large “party” type things. And so it still comes down to my big social setting being that of family, and, the need to be included in all things.

Although I tell myself that I go to India to purposely get myself “away” from things so that I can once again move forward in my own inward journey, I still have this need to “know” everything that is going on and in some way feel involved.

So, is the lack of a telephone a message to me to get past this issue?

I know I will do my best to work out the phone problem and get it working, but will give all of the above serious consideration, and try to work it through.

OK…back to my morning stuff….

Need to still write about my motorcycle chauffeur service, my being my own chef once again, and beginning panchakarma in a few days. But that will wait for now.

Photo Practice

December 29, 2010

I’ve begun practicing using my camera with the tips on shooting and editting I received from my photography “guru” here in rishikesh.  Just posting some of the results…hope you enjoy and that I will continue moving forward in my new studies for everyone’s pleasure, including my own!



On the Road to Laxman Jhula


On the Road to Laxman Jhula

Bathing in Ganga-Brrrrrrr

Ganga View at Laxman Jhula

Ganga View at Laxman Jhula

Laxman Jhula

Ram Jhula

Ram Jhula

View from my Terrace

December 27, 2010 – Back to Normal

December 28, 2010

December 27, 2010 –  Back to Normal

Whatever “normal” means , and it certainly means different things at different times and in different places, I find myself feeling “normal” again after the insights of this morning.  Doesn’t matter what I did, or didn’t do during the day, just that I appreciated each moment and lived it fully.

I made the mistake yesterday of eating something spicey, even though I know it will do me in the following day (diarrhea until whatever when in finds its way out – nothing terrible, just annoying as I feel the need to be close to home and of course drink a lot) – but what I was served tasted so good, I had to finish it.  This usually happens to me once during each trip…my reminder not to do it again!

So today I decided to stay close to home anyway and it turned out to be a wonderfully full and interesting day which went by quickly.  After working around things this morning and posting to my blog, I came back to my rooftop, where I pretty much spent the rest of the lovely day.

My friend from Israel, who works in photography, has been giving me some wonderful tips about taking better photos.  He was looking at the photos on my computer and declaring, several times, “you’ve got what it takes”….and then went on to show me some easy ways,using my simple camera, to improve on what I have.  He also checked out my new, fairly simple camera, and was quite amazed at the results he received, from a professional point of view.  I didn’t understand what he was so excited about, but it seems the quality is much more than would be expected from such a small device.  I’m pleased to know I made a good choice.

So I’ve done some experimenting with tips he gave me and had a good and interesting time with that.

Also received my balloon of gas so was pleased to be able to do my own cooking.  Had a wonderful soup left over from yesterday which I had at lunch today, and in the evening made kitcheri – the best thing for my stomach right now.

In addition, someone had recommended to me some new software which will allow me to edit the videos I take with my new camera, and a couple of days ago downloaded it.  Today I also sat and tried it out, figured out how it works, and will now be able to edit any videos I take easily.  Will also be editing videos my daughter gave me of my new granddaughter – and that will certainly be fun.

And then we had our first power cut since my arrival, and so I did a good yoga session in the dark, which made me feel good as well as warming me up!  It also made me feel bad as I realized that another thing which I have not done this whole year since my Mother passed away, was regular yoga practice. (Not talking about pranayama and meditation with I do each morning, but asana practice which is so important for my joints, muscles and general flexibility and well-being on a physical level).  Well, I REALLY felt the damage this evening and have to honestly say that I am angry with myself, but am making an effort to be compassionate as well and go gently on myself…so all in all I am happy I have begun my practice again and will make the effort to now continue with it each evening.

And aside from that, I am reading, listening to music and just gently allowing myself to flow and enjoy, without judgment, each and every moment as it comes along.

I am feeling quite proud of myself.  Doesn’t give you all much of anything interesting to read, but hope to begin my “walk abouts” now that I am feeling better.

And that’s it for today…


December 27, 2010-Understanding Loss

December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010-Understanding Loss

This will be a short post, in more of a personal nature, and if you are interested in the full story you will have to read it on my Mindfulness Journal Blog as it is certainly more appropriate there.


Every trip to India has a definite purpose in my life, but I am never aware of what the purpose of each journey is until sometime into my actual sojourn in India. There have been years when it has taken me months to understand the purpose and move forward with it but it generally doesn’t take that long. This time, it has taken just over one week!

This was the first time I ever found it hard to “go off” to India…my brain was telling me that it is a bad time to go, for many reasons…most of them family reasons – with so much going on with so many people at home, needing me, needing my presence, my support, why on earth was I going off on a selfish trip to India at this time? But my HEART was telling me “just go and stop think so much”. As I have become very good at listening to my inner wisdom, I packed up and headed off, with what could be called a “heavy heart”. And since arriving here I have been at loose ends…not really knowing why I am here right now instead of “there” (“where I SHOULD be”).
It is not that I have been miserable here, far from it, but certainly not the overwhelming feeling of contentment and well-being I usually feel. And it has made each day difficult for me…thinking I have made a mistake this time by coming.
I must admit that I also had expectations as to the purpose of this visit, something I try to avoid at all costs…and this had also put me in a position of “waiting” for what was “supposed” to happen. Always a bad thing.!
So, this morning, during a deep meditation and prayer session, the answers came flooding through to me, bringing me a deep sense of joy and relief, and I now sit out on my rooftop, with the wonderful winter sun warming me through and through, grateful, at peace and smiling for joy, knowing that I have made no mistake by coming here.
For the full story of what I understood, and where it will hopefully take me on this journey, you’ll have to check out this link:


Joyful Jane

December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

Ganga View at Ram Jhula

Lovely couple of days but nothing much to write – phone still not working (typical Indian story just so that I cannot forget I am actually here!), but I did get my gas balloon today so tomorrow can begin cooking for myself, which is always a pleasure. Had a pleasant day out and about, and have been having daily back massages, IN MY ROOM, to try and straighten out the muscle problems I’ve been experiencing since lifting my much too heavy granddaughter a few months back. If nothing else, it is true pampering!.
Weather is getting just a drop colder from day to day, but so far, still pleasant enough to be comfortable if dressed properly, which I am.
So will end here and just make this a picture post to keep you interested in coming back here.

lunch at ayurpak

Nice View from Here

Yes...definitely a nice view

getting ready to fly

on your mark


home from shopping

freshly sheathed straw

Road Rules on Indian Roads – A Guide.

December 23, 2010

Road Rules on Indian Roads – A Guide.

Traveling in India is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable –
Most Indian road users observe a version of the Highway Code based on an ancient text. These 12 rules of the Indian road are published for the first time in English.

The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.

The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to: cows, elephants, heavy trucks, buses, official cars, camels, light trucks, buffalo, Jeeps, ox-carts, private cars, motorcycles,scooters, auto-rickshaws, pigs, pedal rickshaws, goats, bicycles (goods- carrying), handcarts, bicycles (passenger-carrying), dogs, pedestrians.

All wheeled vehicles shall be driven in accordance with the maxim:to slow is to falter, to brake is to fail, to stop is defeat.
This is the Indian drivers’ mantra.

Use of horn (also known as the sonic fender or aural amulet):
Cars (IV,1,a-c): Short blasts (urgent) indicate supremacy, ie in clearing dogs, rickshaws and pedestrians from path. Long blasts (desperate) denote supplication, ie to oncoming truck, “I am going too fast to stop, so unless you slow down we shall both die”.

In extreme cases this may be accompanied by flashing of headlights (frantic). Single blast (casual) means “I have seen someone out of India’s 870 million whom I recognize”, “There is a bird in the road (which at this speed could go through my windscreen)” or “I have not blown my horn for several minutes.”

Trucks and buses (IV,2,a): All horn signals have the same meaning,
viz, “I have an all-up weight of approximately 12.5 tons and have no intention of stopping, even if I could.”

This signal may be emphasized by the use of headlamps (insouciant).
Article IV remains subject to the provision of Order of Precedence
in Article II above

All manoeuvres, use of horn and evasive action shall be left until
the last possible moment.

In the absence of seat belts (which there is), car occupants shall wear garlands of marigolds. These should be kept fastened at all times.

Rights of way: Traffic entering a road from the left has priority.
So has traffic from the right, and also traffic in the middle. Lane discipline (VII,1): All Indian traffic at all times and irrespective of direction of travel shall occupy the centre of the road.

Roundabouts: India has no roundabouts. Apparent traffic islands in the middle of crossroads have no traffic management function. Any other impression should be ignored.

Overtaking is mandatory. Every moving vehicle is required to overtake every other moving vehicle, irrespective of whether it has just overtaken you.Overtaking should only be undertaken in suitable conditions, such as in the face of oncoming traffic, on blind bends, at junctions and in the middle of villages/city centres. No more than two inches should be allowed between your vehicle and the one you are passing – and one inch in the case of bicycles or pedestrians.

Nirvana may be obtained through the head-on crash.

Reversing: no longer applicable since no vehicle in India has reverse gear.

The 10th incarnation of God was as an articulated tanker

Local Photos from Tapovan, Rishikesh Just for Fun!

December 22, 2010

Local Photos from Tapovan, Rishikesh Just for Fun!

Gorgeous Ma Ganga


Washing the Breakfast Dishes

Sunbathing on the Roof

Just in case you get bored, something new to do in Rishikesh

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