The Shift Begins-Three Weeks in Rishikesh – Oct. 31 2012 –

November 1, 2012

 The Shift Begins

Things are starting to shift.  This always happens when I am in India.  The shift is more on an energy level, in perceptions of time, space and self.

Enjoying the blessed energies along the Ganga

These shifts usually take over a month, sometimes longer, before they occur.  But time has a way of utilizing itself to best advantage.  The more time we have, the more time we waste. Time being short this trip, the shift has taken only 3 weeks.

Many things are very subtle. Pretty much unnoticed from the outside at first, but powerfully felt within.  Almost like a volcanic eruption… sudden, surprising  and overwhelming.

One of the physical ways it manifests with me, is that I “find my voice”.

I don’t sing in public out of respect for the sensitivity of others.  🙂  (well, I DO sing but only when lots of others are singing as well as during a “sing-a-long” or group chanting – and I sing softly so no one can actually hear me – except the unlucky person who happens to be sitting next to me)

And very often when I hum along with music in my own house-not even realizing I am doing it, if someone happens to hear me, they always ask me to stop.  I even hum off key!!!

[I always have music playing, in one form or another – depending on my mood and my needs- I must have music in my life- to calm, to excite, to invigorate, to inspire, for romance, for fun, for dancing or just for its beauty.]

So, while here in India, at some point, I “find my voice’, and begin to sing outloud, to chant outloud.  It is a release of secreted inner joy which doesn’t usually express itself, and it is awesome to feel when it occurs… and a huge  and welcome shift for me.

Finding  my “aloneness” again is also a great shift.  Always being surrounded by others-not always physically but mentally and emotionally – can be exhausting and draining , even when they are dear loved ones – of which I am blessed with many- 6 children, their spouses and my 14 grandchildren.  And then of course my dear loving partner and my friends.

The “space” to be completely alone with ME is a rare occurrence – times are few and far between- I make a great effort to at least begin my day with just ME – but very often even this sacred time is snatched from me for various reasons.

This space  for me is a luxurious blessing, and I am at a place where I am now withdrawing from others around me here as well. Going within, alone, as much as possible.

I have slowed down my mornings, leaving later for my treatments, taking this special sacred time to do those things which are most important to my balance and well being – prayer, meditation, yoga, Reiki, sitting in the blessed warmth of the sun, watching the mountain change colors as the morning moves along, sitting quietly along the Ganga eating my breakfast…contemplating or doing nothing…this is a precious time for me.  I always try to bring this home with me, but it is not something which I am able to always do.  And I miss it dearly.

Morning time is sacred space just for me, and I have not been honouring that space.  I tried adapting to the comfort zone of my friend-leaving earlier in the morning for treatments, walking faster than I like to, etc.  And this is another part of the shift.  I will now make my morning fully and solely devoted to my own needs.

My first resolution therefore, has been to at least do what I can from MY end to insure this sacred space.  And that is NOT to touch the computer for any reason, before lunch time-and later if possible.  This began yesterday, here in Rishikesh, and I will do my best to implement it once I get home as well.  It will not be easy, but it is an essential part of keeping the morning space just for ME without the intrusion of others – even others who I invite in via the computer.

My friend also has a certain animosity towards the Ganga – the son of a friend drowned while swimming in the Ganga and she cannot forgive the river for taking him….but this has effected my joy in being near Ma Ganga when we are together.  So I now breakfast alone (she has found a restaurant which  DOESN’T have  a view of the Ganga, not easy to do here in Rishikesh – and I am happy for her),  and the sacred energies once again come through to me as I sit here.

I will now do my Ganga strolls alone as well to completely absorb the healing energies this Holy river so lovingly gives me.

And will enjoy my slower pace of living as well.

Namaste from Rishikesh


From New Moon to Full Moon and Everything in Between – October 29, 2012

October 30, 2012

From New Moon to Full Moon and Everything in Between

From the time it took the moon to go from this, when I first arrived…:

bright crescent moon with whole moon showing

To this below…now:

  • I’ve come from needing the fan all day and part of the night, with all windows and door open and pretty much no clothes for sleeping, to warm blankets, warm clothes for sleeping and everything closed (at night-not during the day) and even a blanket under the door to keep the draft from coming in at night
  • From full time open windows and door and mosquitos and mice in the room, to closed windows and doors (still opened during the warm daytime hours), chilled air except for a few hours midday, but peace and quiet in the room-no surprise visitors and hardly any noisy tourists around!.
  • From needing mosquito repellent at all times outdoors, to being able to sit outside at any time of the day or night, without a mosquito to be found.  (there is no way I can do this at home in Israel, at any time of year!)
  • From summer clothes, looking for shade to walk in and sit in to eat my meals, and cold fruit juices to refresh me during the day, to sweaters, woolen shawls and sox,  and of course sitting as much as possible in the warmth of the sun, and lots of hot drinks.
  • From water barely trickling out of the shower head (same problem as every year but  much worse this year-good thing I was able to take a hot (bucket ) shower at the clinic each day), to a beautifully fixed plumbing system and lovely hot , strong, long showers as often as I want them.
  • From a poor, weakened state of health, exhaustion and a feeling of “running on empty” to a vibrant, energized “full power” state of health.

All of this and more in the time it has taken the moon to move from new to full.

I have moved into a “vacation” kind of mode, don’t feel like even looking at the computer, so for now posts will be fewer and far between….using this precious time for R&R and enjoying the quiet for the moment.  Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Devi and her lovely family.  Her Mom is a special friend-we have no common language and yet there is nothing we cannot say to each other.  More about that visit another day.

cresecent moon and venus

This stage of panchakarma is not so much tiring, as demanding retreat inward, and this is exactly what I am doing for myself at the moment.

I actually “worked” today, giving a Reiki treatment to a lovely Brazilian girl, but it left me so calm, at peace and relaxed afterwards, that there is no way I can truly describe it as work.  It is pure healing pleasure for me, and I get paid for it as well!!  🙂

I am in the perfect place for this time of  quietude, there being nothing that I “have” to do…just those things that I “want” to do.

A rare luxury and great blessing.

Namaste from Rishiesh


Effects of Panchakarma after Just Two Weeks-Oct. 28, 2012

October 28, 2012

Noticeable Effects of Panchakarma after Just Two Weeks

(Note:  I wrote the following post this morning before going down to the clinic.  So you can imagine my surprise when I walked into the clinic afterwards,  and when I said good morning to the doctor, he looked up, a huge smile crossed his face, his eyes lit up and he said: “You are looking VERY good this morning!”  Sure confirmation for the things I felt myself and wrote below.  🙂

Don’t know if this is of interest to anyone, but for me it is important to document .  After just two weeks of panchakarma, the effects are definitely felt.  Today I begin the full enema regimen with my first water enema, after two days of medicated oil enemas.  I know that this final stage will move the cleansing through to completion, but so far, I am able to feel changes in my energy levels and see visible signs of change.

I have been “running on empty” for so long, I don’t honestly remember when I felt full power the past months.  And I can now see that my energy levels are finally being restored to normal for me.  Meaning, I can be out and walking for hours each day, as much as 6-8 kilometers, and still feel fine in the evening.  I can do this for 2-3 days straight and then must take one day to rest.  This is the norm for me and I am pleased that I have reached that stage of activity once again.

And visually, there are changes.  My eyes first of all are indicators of health for me, always.  When I am not well, they look dull, half closed as if it is difficult to keep them open, and kind of “sad” looking.  Since yesterday, my eyes have once again taken on their full glow,, they have their joyous luster back, they are wide open and alert looking, and of course, “happy”.

My joint pains have eased immensely, despite my walking so much, and in general, I am feeling better than I have in over 10 months.  Before coming here, I would experience 2-5 days where I was NOT  ill with one thing or another, or just weak and unable to function, and then the weakened ill state would return again for up to 2 weeks at a time.  It had become the norm.

I have been here now for almost 3 weeks and have been well and energized the entire time, (except for a couple of days when weakness and tiredness were the direct results of the treatment that day – and this expected).

So all in all, things are going extremely well and I am optimistic that the final results will bring me back to my own perfect health.  And then hopefully the good health will continue once I get back home. This of course depends on me and if I continue to eat properly, live a suitable life style (especially getting back to my proper sleep habits which have been totally disrupted this past year with my new life partner) and manage to limit stress – this being a big issue when I am back home – between living in Israel, having six kids and 14 grandkids, financial worries, etc., managing stress is not always easy to say the least. I do my best but there are underlying matters which slowly bring about unwanted symptoms without even realizing it is happening.

Life is good and I am truly blessed!

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


The Paradise that is Rishikesh-October 24-26 –Some Catching Up –Panchakarma Days 11-13

October 26, 2012

The Paradise that is Rishikesh

[As I sit getting ready to post this,  there is an amazing desplay of color in the sky as I look out the window-it almost looks like the heavens are on fire! Notice the moon rising as well….(sorry about the wires,  but they are part of the “scenery”)…so this post will also have a gallery of shots taken over about a half hour period.  Hope you enjoy it here as much as I enjoyed it live!]

Panchakarma wise, there is nothing much to write about the last couple of days,,,just massage and sirrohdhara and massage and steam. And I was feeling really good and decided to take full advantage of these last two days of the easy stuff, so the next posts will be about those two lovely days I spent out and about and truly enjoying the paradise that is Rishikesh.

I look forward to posting some lovely photos, which I haven’t even looked at myself yet, and hopefully this will happen over the next couple of days. Today begins the harder portion of panchakarma, which leaves me with the feeling that I need to just rest in and around my room most of the day.

So I read, watch movies, write, do certain projects I may have committed myself to (making a new collage of my grandchildren, copy editing Dr.Arora’s new website), visiting with my friends near home and just relaxing. It is a good time for contemplation, or for just doing nothing.

SOMETIMES DOING NOTHING IS SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT

You can read more about this idea and its importance in our lives at this post:

http://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/doing-nothing-is-doing-something-very-important/

Yesterday I ate the best pullao I have had since coming to Rishikesh.

best pullao in Rishikesh at Flavor’s Restaurant, Ram Jhula

Ate it at the lovely Indian restaurant, Flavors, following my long stroll along the ghats on both banks of Ram Jhula. It was full of wonderful herbs, fruits, nuts and veggies and the seasoning was just perfect. It was moist, not dry as many are…just heaven. The photo does not do it justice.!

I am now resting in my room and will shortly eat my wonderful paneer parantha prepared by Manju, the Doc’s wife, and a necessary precursor to the oil enemas, which I do in my room. It is one of the best parts of panchakarma (the parantha-not the….:-) ) . And today I plan to watch the movie, Intouchables, which came extremely highly recommended, and will probably begin watching lots of movies over the next 12 days as well. And that’s about it for today.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


A Blessed Day from Sunrise to Sunset – October 24,2012

October 25, 2012

Blessings from Sunrise to Sunset

It is actually the next day, evening time, and I am now getting ready to go to sleep.  I had two amazingly beautiful and active days….so full that I have had no time to write or post.  But tomorrow I begin the more difficult part of panchakarma, and wanted to take best advantage of these last two days…and  I DID!  I will have lots of time resting over the next days, so will have plenty of time to write, post photos I have shot over the past couple of days, and tell you about all my lovely adventures.

You may remember that the day yesterday began with a beautiful sunrise (above) .  Well, I was still out and about late enough to also enjoy a spectacular sunset,

and in between also was able to enjoy the Vijayadashmi festival, which ended the 9 day Navrati festival.

Will be posting photos and video from this as well.

So here is just a quick post to let you know all is well , and that I just have had better things to do than “blogging”  the last couple of days.

Me Enjoying the Sunset over the Ganga

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Poetry of Massage Revisited Oct, 24, 2012

October 25, 2012

Poetry of Massage

Forgot to mention yesterday that I was pleasantly surprised a couple of days ago to receive my massage from Manju, Dr. Arora’s wife.  Since I’ve written about this previously, an since the experience repeats itself each and every time I get my massage from her, I will simply copy the post content from last year’s post.  Enjoy!

Manju Arora- Ayurveda Massage Therapist Supreme

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.

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!

Namaste

Jane


“Dynamite” and Clouds – Day 10 Panchakarma- October 23,2012

October 24, 2012

“Dynamite” and Clouds

The day began actually the night before.  This will be a short post but hope you enjoy the accompanying photos.

Yesterday as I left my treatment the doctor handed me a little packet containing a “treat” for the evening.  It is a combination of herbs which have a laxative effect and is the first stage of the cleansing process itself which now begins following the initial 10 tens of preparation.  But in past years it had little or no effect on my, so this year he gave me “dynamite”.  AND IT WORKED!  Enough said.

In short, I slept very little, and was exhausted from not sleeping and from the effects of the herbs during the night and morning hours.  So today I rested the entire day and by evening was feeling much better.  But it definitely was one of my more uncomfortable experiences with panchakarma.

But there is always a bright side to everything, and the evening provided me with a beautiful display of clouds which I always love seeing.

These look to me like water rippling…

Namaste from Rishikesh

 


A “Face” Out of the “Book” – Day 9 Panchakarma – October 22, 2012

October 23, 2012

Surprising, Exciting, Exhilarating Special Day in Rishikesh

view of laxman jhula snuggled in the mountains

Today a “face” came out of the “book”. I met a Facebook friend “face to face”.

I’ve been friends with Mukesh for some time now on Facebook.  We met through another lovely mutual friend, Preeti.  And today he was in Rishikesh area visiting his family and his new wife who live nearby on the way to Dehradun (he himself works in Delhi), and asked if I’d like to meet up.  I was thrilled of course at the idea.

He is an extremely accomplished photographer. You can check out his work on Facebook :  Mukesh Bhandari.

So he came to meet me by my room following my morning treatment which included a lovely massage, today by Devi, and my very favorite:  steam bath. Still trying to get a photo of this…basically I am closed into a wooden box with just my head outside and wonderfully warm, moist steam is pumped through the box.  It is luxurious.  (You might remember an “I Love Lucy” episode where she got stuck in such a box).

Mukesh arrived by bike and we had a no special plans so just set out and before we realized it we were across Laxman Jhula bridge (not an easy task with the festival crowds in town at the moment)

I THOUGHT I was shooting a video but had pushed the wrong button!!  🙂  )

….he suggested we head up to the waterfall, and I of course agreed.

It was an exhilarating ride and he is a great driver.  Very careful and considerate of his rider, who was ecstatically enjoying each movement, curve, sway and motion.  The ride was really cold and I was not dressed properly, not imagining that this is what we would be doing.  But it was so beautiful I really didn’t care.

It was so wonderful to be back on a bike again ..and to feel the wind on my face … the true meaning of flying free being felt as we drove along.

You can read about my previous bike adventures and my feelings the FIRST time I ever rode a bike at these links:
Bike Ride to Kunchapuri

Another Bike Adventure

We began our way up the forest trail towards the waterfall,

and each step revealed yet another scene of Natural beauty.

Mukesh told me that he took his fiancé here rather than to a fancy restaurant as most guys do.  He couldn’t have taken her to a more beautiful place.  As we neared the waterfall however, there was a place where we had to go across a small section of water.

you can see the continuing path at the top right of the photo across the water

Having not planned this, I was not wearing proper footwear and didn’t want to take the chance of getting my feet soaking wet and then having to continue riding back in the cold air in that condition.  Did not want to take the chance of getting sick, so to our mutual dismay, that was as far as we got.  We could hear the waterfall in the background, but not see it.  But I WILL go back more suitably dressed at some point, and bring along a change of shoes if necessary.

We had to turn back but not before enjoying the beauty of the place

and Mukeshtaking lots of shots which I will eventually post once he gets them to me.  It will be after he returns to Delhi and his PC.

From there, we took the upper mountain road overlooking Rishikesh below

We then found our way back to Ram Jhula, where I DID manage a video…but nothing compared to what we had to get through on Laxman Jhula.

It was an amazing day, even more so as it came as a complete surprise.   I haven’t felt this energized in a very long time.

Just being back so close to Nature once again has its own healing powers.  And the sense of freedom and the joy it brings have brought great blessings into this day.

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Mukesh…you are an angel sent from God and I am grateful to Him and to you for this wonderful day.

Hope you will enjoy the gallery of photos which I myself shot.  Being on such a journey with a fellow photographer has additional benefits, as he also looks forward to stopping many times along the way to take photos wherever possible.  My shots will not be as good as his for sure, but they will give you some small feel for the beauty we were blessed with today.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

October 21, 2012

Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

Oct. 20- Full, Fun Day with Lots of Good Food

Just Enjoying the View

Came down for breakfast this morning only to find the cook in the shower! The shower is actually in the same bathroom which is on the  balcony that we love to have our breakfast on each morning.  The helpers were all upset because  a customer arrive and there was no one available to cook for her. So they yelled something into the shower, probably telling him to hurry up etc.  But I was in no hurry and it sounded like he was really enjoying his shower. (bucket showers make lots of noise). So I also yelled into the shower, “don’t worry…no problem…enjoy shower!”

So now I sit and listen to Lucky (the cooks name) taking a long, leisurely shower, every so often sighing in pleasure as he pours water over himself.  And I myself sigh with pleasure as I enjoy my Ganga View.

During these holy festival days there are many people already bathing in the Ganga at this early hour.

Bathing In the Ganga during Navrati Festival

There is always something to see wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.  Being Mindful of your surroundings brings great joy and pleasure into what would  otherwise be a boring day.

Had my treatment today which consisted of massage and Natri Basti (warm medicated ghee poured over the eyes which are cupped in the same “bowl” used for other types of basti on various body parts.)  The ghee of dripped out of the sides of the bowl and so I had to of course take a shower and wash my hair.

I knew I would be out for a long day of fun and shopping with Michal, so decided to eat my kitcheri at the clinic before heading out.  And then, to my great surprise, the doctors wife came in with aloo parantha for everyone for lunch and the doctor offered me one.  I said I would love one but my doctor doesn’t allow it during panchakarma.  He said  “it is ok, for you ok…have have”.  So I DID have and it was of course great.  This is the most fun panchakarma I’ve ever done!!

Michal and I then had  full day of shopping, errands, post office, more shopping, a wait at Prem’s Namaste restaurant overlooking the Ganga once again (You can find photos of this lovely place from a post from last year when the silk cotton tree was blooming…exquisitely beautiful. ) https://janesindiajournals.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/march-9-2011-%E2%80%93-vacation-day-7-8-%E2%80%93-paying-the-price/

Fabulous Kashmiri Pulao full of raisins, cashews, pineapple, coconut , cloves, cardamon etc., etc., etc….Just superb!

Took her to Prateek the astrologer…it was beyond amazing and he has given her much needed food for thought.  She was quite happy when we left.

Oct. 21, 2012

Today had massage and sirrohdhara, ate my kitcheri and had a long soul searching discussion with Dr. Arora about the difficult health issues I’ve had this past year and their possible (probable ) causes…also giving me some definite food for thought.  I had a sleepless night last night – my mind has begun racing, which very often happens as cleansing deepens during the treatments….so he has helped me put some things into perspective which was well needed.

Had a good nap and am now eating my fruit salad as I write this up.  Look forward to a pleasant and quiet evening…perhaps a movie for the first time.

I know this has been a fairly boring post but I guarantee you that nothing is boring about my wonderful days here which are going by much too quickly for my liking.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Blessed Life, Gratitude and Joy-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

October 20, 2012

Blessed Life-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

Dinner at Laxmi’s

Ganga below, clear blue sky and green mountains across, above and surrounding me, cool breeze, breakfast on the way at Lalita’s restaurant as I begin to write this post in my notebook.  … as tears of overwhelming gratitude and joy for my blessed life stream down my face.!  

Gas Delivery Day in Tapovan

Just a scene from local life….apparently gas delivery day as women were coming down the street one after the other, old and young, all carrying balloons on their heads…I was lucky enough to get my camera out and get at least this one shot above!

Feeling better today but still tired.  Dr. says no more “communal” massages.  No more practicing on me (even though I love all the extra massage care and attention).  Need very gentle, relaxing massage by one person only.  If not, it is too tiring and exhausting for me in my weakened condition.

So today I had a truly quiet and relaxing massage from just Laxmi and the same chest pack again as yesterday.  I wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday (they told me that most people begin sweating when this is put on them) but still not comfortable.  This is just another indication of my still very weak condition.  Dr. will also do some further treatment later to help clear my sinus and chest, which is normally done by the Vamana (vomiting/purging which I am not allowed to do this year), so all is well.

And just to make a day even more perfect, even with the wall blocking my view, I was still rewarded with these slight signs of a beautiful sunset.

It is now 9:30 at night and to my great surprise, just got back home from a fun evening at Laxmi’s house.  She invited us today and I had originally planned to go to the puja to meet some Israeli friends, but I wasn’t feeling up to it and so decided to go with Michal for a quick visit and light snack at Laxmi’s house.  We met her at the clinic and waited for her for quite awhile before she was ready to leave.  We bought some sweets for her kids and mother-in-law on the way.  And to my surprise, my good friend Reingard, from Germany, who I know for several years now and who I spend quite a lot of time with during my stays here (last trip we went to Varanassi together), was also there.

Laxmi’s Kids

We played with her kids, aged 11 and 13, had lots of fun, it was great to see her lovely home finally complete – it was still in progress last time I was here.  After working a full day at the clinic, she came home, changed clothes and went into the kitchen to prepare what we thought would be a light snack.  We sat in the room for quite awhile (after being served delicious chai of course) and she was still in the kitchen.  Went in to see what she was doing…got a few more pointers about getting my own chapattis to come out as good as hers, and then went back again to wait.

Finally, when we were all really tired, but quite happy spending the time with her kids and talking to Reingard, she came in with a full Tali for each of us!!  Chappati (with ghee of course), two kinds of subji (vegetable dishes-one cauliflower, the other potato and cucumber) and delicious soup made from cucumber!!  Talk about a light snack.  This is one meal we certainly won’t tell the doctor about!!  But it was soooooooooooo delicious!   And we had a truly love time.

“Light Snack” at Laxmi’s House

 Her kids have gotten so big, and as they go to a good private school (paid for by Reingard all these years), they speak wonderful English.  Michal had finally picked up the four suits she had tailored for her and so we also had a fashion show, which was great fun!

All in all a lovely evening.  And now happily off to bed.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


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