February 16-17, 2011 – The Poetry of Massage – Panchakarma Days 19, 20

February 17, 2011

February  16-17, 2011 – The Poetry of Massage – Panchakarma Days 19, 20

Sun Doing Its Best to Shine

Nothing new in Panchakarma…same series of alternate days of water and oil enemas.  Feeling very good, and if the weather was nicer would be out walking, so as I mentioned, the “not so nice” weather is to my advantage.  It is still cold, although the sun shines for several hours during the day, but lots of rain at night, keeping it colder than normal.

Hopefully by the weekend, the warmer weather will return.

Check out these photos of the sun dancing through the clouds:


Today I was enjoying my massage, when someone walked into the room.  I looked up, and there, to my great pleasure and surprise, stood Manju, Dr. Arora’s wife, a good friend, amazing cook and supreme massage therapist.  I thought she had come up just to say hello, as she has retired from massage therapy (she is a certified ND – Naturopath), and only comes in in emergencies when the two girls cannot manage a rush of people.

Manju Arora- Ayurveda Massage Therapist Supreme

When I saw her, I gave her a big smile, and asked why she was there and she said “holiday”. (Turns out she had come in to have Devi wax her legs for her!).  And then to my further pleasure and surprise, she put on an apron…meaning, she was going to finish my massage!!  I was overjoyed at the prospect, and I told her so.  She was pleased as well, and although Devi had already done my legs and arms, there was still plenty left to do.

Both girls are very good massage therapist, Manju having trained them. They are fully competent and know the exact techniques to use during a massage, but they work by rote, without thinking at all about what they are doing.  They may be thinking about what they have to do when they get home, or even chatting with each other (which I personally discourage as I like my quiet time during the massage).

Manju on the other hand, puts sincere, specific, loving intention into each stroke and movement, being completely present in the moment and in what she is doing.   The difference is immediately felt and most appreciated.  How wonderful it would be to have her give me my massage each and every day, but this is no longer an option.

The difference between the girls and Manju, can be likened to poetry,  Imagine a child reciting a poem he has learned by heart.  He knows all the words perfectly, but has no clue or thought about its meaning.  This is a massage by the girls.

An adult, who loves poetry, will read the same poem , filling each and every word and phrase with their individual meanings and the combined meaning of the whole.  You will “feel” the beauty of the poem, understand what the poet is trying to say, feel the emotions behind the words etc.

This is a massage by Manju…pure poetry!



Feb. 12-15 – The Blessings of Silence and Dreary, Wintry Weather – Panchakarma Days 15-18

February 15, 2011

Feb. 12-15 – The Blessings of Silence and Dreary, Wintry Weather – Panchakarma Days 15-18

View from my rooftop on this dreary wintry, rainy day

You can see more photos as usual at this facebook link:


This has been the most solitary of any of my sojourns in India…almost a forced silent retreat.  I do see people every day, but for a very short time and I speak very little.  And the more time I spend alone, the less I want to see people, or talk to them…even embarrassed to say that I don’t feel like using skype to talk to my kids or messenger to chat with friends…..I find myself relishing the quiet and aloneness more than every so in the past.

I have not been down to the restaurant even once since arriving, having all the food that I ordered brought to my room.  This has NEVER happened before.  I have in the past used room service on occasion, but just as often would eat downstairs in order to interact with other people, both other tourists as well as the staff.  I have been a true hermit this trip, and finding it perfectly wonderful.

And now, during this really intense week of Panchakarma, which requires lots of energy for going “within”, not just the physical treatments of enemas, but going within on much deeper levels, God has provided just the weather necessary to keep me close to home!

Although not really cold, it is cloudy, overcast, dreary, with intermittent rain for the past 3 days, and no sign of letup.  Dr. Arora said that if rain begins on a Saturday, it always lasts for a week.  If he is correct, there are another few days of this still waiting.

If it was sunny, I could not resist walking, but the truth is, being almost forced to stay put is a blessing,.And the rain will clear the air and make everything fresh and green once again!

Luckily, I didn’t get around to sending a parcel of my winter clothes home yet, as I’ve had to pull out a couple of items which I haven’t used in almost 3 weeks of beautiful weather.

All in all the 12 days of enemas is going by fairly easily, much easier than ever in the past, and I am feeling good, but do need to rest during the day, which is fine.  I am reading a great book, have my needlepoint, my computer, and great music.  I even found delicious dates from Iran at the local shop and this is a perfect, and legitimate treat, for when I get hungry for something sweet during the day.

Life is good.

February 10. 2011 – Reiki, Tarot and Shopping!

February 11, 2011

February 10. 2011 – Reiki, Tarot and Shopping!

Clouds over the Mountain

I mentioned previously that a couple of days ago I had an urge to go shopping.  For those who know me, this is quite uncommon for me as I really dislike shopping.  Strange for a woman, but true.  But for some reason I had this urge to go to my favorite seconds shop in town where I always find lovely stuff to bring back for me, as well as the place I get my cotton trousers for Israeli summers.  I had a lovely time shopping, found some lovely things, but still didn’t quite understand where the urge came from.  I don’t have excess money this trip and honestly did not think I would be purchasing anything new.

Well, seems the clothing was already pre-paid but I didn’t realize it until a couple of days later.

A local young guy here had been asked about a Reiki teacher by someone at his guesthouse and he asked me if I am working this year.  I wasn’t quite sure what to reply as I haven’t considered doing it right now, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to meet the person.

He brought around a lovely young English girl, we talked, she asked questions, I had the thrill of feeling the satisfaction I always get from teaching, and also mentioned to her the possibility of tarot readings when she noticed the cards in my room.

Well, long story short….the next day, yesterday, she turned up at my door with a friend, both asking for Tarot reading!.  The readings were wonderful, a pleasure for me to do, always surprising me with their accuracy and with the assistance they afford people who are at crossroads in their lives….and, the full amount that I paid for my purchases while out shopping, was covered by what the two girls paid me for the readings!!

Lovely to say the least.

I have some additional writing and posting of photos to do, but for now will end here and go back to enjoying life.



February 8-11, 2011- Panchakarma Days 11-14 – Quick Sum Up

February 11, 2011

February 8-11, 2011- Panchakarma Days  11-14 – Quick Sum Up

Flowers on my Rooftop

I haven’t written most of the week about what is going on with my Panchakarma treatments, since I truthfully have had better things to do!.  The weather is so beautiful that I really don’t feel like sitting at the computer and writing…and once I am indoors in the evening, would rather relax, eat, read and go to sleep.

However, I will sum up the past days just to keep you up to date.

Tuesday:  The oil Basti was done on my abdomen area (the bowl made out of hoummous dough will with hot medicated oils as described in earlier posts).  This was in place of Shirodhara as both girls had to get off early to their wedding parties.

Wednesday: was Shirodhara and that is the day I went out shopping.  It was a lovely day and felt like treating myself for some reason…only yesterday did I understand why.

Again went to enjoy the ghat and again became the focal point of Indians wanting to take my picture.  But it was beautiful and relaxing sitting there nevertheless and returned to my room quite late…and quite tired.

Thursday:  after my massage as usual, I was meant to have a steam bath but there was no electricity, making yesterday a short day, which was good, as I was still tired from the day before.  Shopping always wears me out.

So today, a massage and steam bath and today, begins a 12 day “Enema Party” as Dr. Aroroa calls it.

I will not go into details here as I’ve written about this in previous years.  If you are interested, you can do “search” directly on my blog page from the side bar, or write to me and I will find the appropriate posts for you to read.

But the main idea behind the enemas is final detox.  Everything that was done up until now are methods used to move toxins from the body where it is stored in many places (muscles, skin, bones, joints, etc) via massages, steam, and the basti treatments.  It is moved into the colon where it can then be thoroughly flushed out with the enemas.  There are both oil and water enemas, each medicated with certain herbs as needed by the individual person and prescribed by the Doctor.

Again, for more info here, refer to posts from previous years.

I am now entering the more tiring phase of panchakarma, but since I’ve been feeling so much better until now this year as compared to previous years, I am optimistic that this will also pass easily.



February 10, 2011 – Sunrise, Sunset…More Blessings!

February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011 – Sunrise, Sunset…More Blessings!

Sunrise looking North-West

Last year I wrote about the significance and importance of sunrise and sunset to our wellbeing, balance and health. If you would like read, or re-read this information, you can find it at this link:


It is quite interesting and thought-provoking!
For some reason I haven’t seen a real display since I arrived here this year. This morning I awoke suddenly just before 7 and a voice literally shouted at me: “Get up and go outside NOW!!”. And I did and  was rewarded with this as well as the above :

Sunrise looking East

I had already made plans to be outside at a good “sunset place” over the next few days but it means I have to come back to my room after 6 in the evening which I haven’t yet been able to because of the weather. Now it is a long day for me while doing panchakarma. But below is an example of what awaits me from one of last year’s posts!

And while I was writing this and posting….I was awarded with this without having to leave my room at all!!!


February 8, 2011 – Spring Festival, a People Day Photo Shoot Along the Ganga and the Glories of Nature After the Storm

February 9, 2011

February 8, 2011 – Spring Festival, a People Day Photo Shoot Along the Ganga and the Glories of  Nature After the Storm

THere is no way this can do justice to the beauty of this day after the storm

At the moment, 5:30 in the afternoon, I sit outside on my rooftop, facing the lovely green mountains across from me topped by still blue skies. I had a really fun experience along the Ganga today as you will see later in this post.  The air is still comfortably warm, slightly chilly from a breeze, but too comfortable and comforting to move inside.  But let’s go back to last night and begin this day at the beginning….here is what I began writing last night:

It has been thundering and lightning for the past ½ hours and now, a real rain storm has began.  It is lovely to hear and I just stuck my head out the door…it is 9:30 at night…and was treated to the smell of real rain after a very long time.  It is an unmistakable smell which I am sure you all know, and it is lovely.  Hope it rains itself out before morning, but really happy to hear the rain while I am “snug as a bug in a rug” in my room!!.  I used to be terrified of thunder and lightning, but now it is just nice to hear!  And I am going to sleep with the hope of a beautiful, sunny, rain-washed, day tomorrow….

….and I was not disappointed this morning.  The day dawned bright, sunny, and warm.  Warmer than it has been early in the morning since I arrived.  And today was a Festival celebrating the first day of Spring!  Perfect timing.  I had to be at my treatment at 9 am instead of the usual 11, and worried that it would be too cold to go down.  But this morning at 9 was warmer than it has been at 10:30 up until now.  Really lovely change.

I was finished with my treatments today by 10:30 and had the whole beautiful day ahead of me…and I was truly grateful for the opportunity to spend it walking around and taking in the beauty all around me.

The mountains were a lush green and the sky a sparkling blue.  I doubt that the photos I took will do justice to the sensual beauty of the day, but they hopefully will give you some idea of how blessed I am to be here:


And then I decided, since I had the whole day free, to go spend a quiet couple of hours sitting along the ghat on the Ganga.  Well, the Universe had different plans for me for this day…as it turned out to be a “people” day.  I think I had more interaction today with other people than I have had since I arrived here…but it was lovely. On the way down I came across this gate

3 symbols....om, star of david and swastika on entrance gate

and thought it a good opportunity to show you the way all three symbols, Om, Star of David and Swastika are used frequently here for decoration.  It seems incongruous to the Western eye, but remember what I’ve written about these all being ancient Vedic symbols.

I arrived at the ghat, as planned and sat quietly contemplating nothing while staring into the turquoise waters of the ganga, when all of a sudden a swarm of people came walking onto the ghat.  Turns out it was a whole family unit, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, but it was a huge group.

It was only after when I thought about it, that I realized that if MY extended family, all my kids, and their kids, aunts uncles and cousins, came down together to spend a day on the ganga, it would be just as big of a “swarm” of people. The picture above is only part of the women and kids…none of the men approached to join the party and a couple of women stayed apart as well.

I was happy to see them and figured it would give me something to watch while sitting there…all these people laughing and joking and enjoying their bathing…and maybe even get some nice photos, when all of a sudden some of them approached me.  They began to ask if I am also going bathing (this all without spoken language) and I hope they understood my reply that I DO bathe, but not today.  And then the fun began!!

Whenever I want to photograph someone, I will always ask their permission, as many people are not willing to have their photograph taken.  They usually say OK, but I sometimes get a no, so I am always careful about asking first.

Well, apparently, Indians do not feel the need to ask.  Before I knew what was happening, two of the girls sat down next to me, one on either side, and a third began photographing us!  And they switched places until all of them had their picture taken…and thanked me.  So I asked to take their pictures, which they were happy to do as well.

The FIrst Three Courages Girls

Before I realized what was happening, the rest of the family saw what was going on, so for the next 15 minutes, I became the centerpiece for family vacation pictures.    IT was actually fun, and funny, and silly and at some point I began to laugh, and so did they, realizing that it was silly thing to be doing, without ever having asked my permission!!  And they we began talking, with one of the girls who knows a little English doing her best to translate.  They were telling me who belongs to who…my son, my daughter, my sisters daughter, my husband, my sister in law, etc., etc. And then asking about me, my name, my  parents name, my country etc.  And then I asked where they were from, and it seems this is a whole family which came from a nearby village, about 5 hours ride, to spend the day in Rishikesh and celebrate the Spring Festival and bathe in the Ganga.  They were all dressed in festive clothing and it was lovely to see them all enjoying their day out so much.    And then of course, I figured, if they could take all those shots of me, I deserved my share, so asked if I could take THEIR pictures.

Well, not only did they agree, but they fought to get into the shots, making me take more and more and more, and then giggling when they saw themselves on the camera screen.  All in all it was a fun hour and a half.

And then we parted ways and I went to have my lunch, in quiet.  To my surprise, that was also not to be, as I heard a couple speaking Hebrew and turned around to say “hello” to them….and wound up talking with them for another hour.  Lovely middle-aged people, from a town just near mine, on their first trip to India and spending a month here.

Him having a wonderful time…her barely managing not to kill him for bringing her here!!!

It also seems to be wedding season here, as everyone has weddings to attend…(that’s the reason I had to be at my treatment so early this morning…the girls had to leave early – each for a different wedding party-  Devi had also been to one last night, in the rain, where she danced until 1 in the morning…I asked how people dance in the rain – she said she only went out to dance after 11 when the rain stopped, but she said the other people, mostly men, drink until they get drunk and then don’t even know it is raining and just dance – and she did a pantomime of them doing this which was very funny!! – she also said she is eating too much and “I am too much fat, but good fat, not chicken”)…

wedding tent

Anyway…it seems wedding parties are springing up anywhere there is an empty space and here is one I came across on my way home today…notice if you can in the pictures, the cow joining in the festivities!



And then back to my room to enjoy more lovely sunshine.  A couple of people have approached me to ask if I could teach them Reiki, and I asked them to come around this evening.  I have to give this some thought.  I could certainly use the money but not quite sure I want this intense interruption of my panchakarma time.  I’ll seen when they show up.

Right now more hawks are sailing overhead , while the rest of the birds are making a racket just before calling it a night.  The sun is down, but it is still light and still warm enough to sit out here comfortably.  I don’t actually see sunsets from my room, but today the mountain actually reflected the sunset if you can see it in the picture below:

And at the same time, the new moon had risen….

Life is good.

Enjoy the rest of the photos on the facebook link.




February 7, 2011



Just had to write about this.  There are two general stores in the Tapovan area and when I first began coming to Rishikesh would give them both equal business, but very soon discovered that it was much more worth my while to shop at the Pundir shop instead of the other one.  MUCH better service, as the two brothers who run it are lovely and helpful and always give service with a smile,


their prices are very reasonable and on many items much much cheaper than the other shop, and I have NEVER brought home a package of spoilt milk from their shop, something which used to happen to me fairly regularly when I purchased at the other shop.  In addition, if you make a large order which you really cannot carry home, they will deliver!! 


I have never needed anything while in rishikesh which I was not able to purchase at their shop.  In addition to the items available on the shelves, the attached shop serves for additional stocks of dried goods, spices, oils, eggs, milk, curd and much more.  And if there IS something which I need that they don’t have, they will get it for me.  I can even get my batteries, hot water immersers, toothbrushes and pretty much anything else which comes to mind.


So, when they began to renovate last month, and expand the shop, I was very excited.  It is now ready and although there may be shops like this in the larger cities, and if you live in the West, this is nothing special, for Rishikesh it is a true pleasure to walk in and shop here.  You can now walk around and see EVERYTHING which is available, lots of it behind glass to keep it clean.  Like a very small type of supermarket…and the variety of goods available is quite amazing.












If you ever get to Rishikesh, step in for a look.  It is up in Tapovan, not far from Swiss Cottage.  Tell them Jane told you to come around!  You won’t be disappointed, I guarantee you!!


%d bloggers like this: