Butterflies and Panchakarma Day 5 – October 18 2012

October 18, 2012

Butterflies and Panchakarma Day 5 – October 18 2012

Someone pulled the plug!

Today I feel like I am doing panchakarma….like someone whose batteries have run out or like an appliance whose electric cord has been unplugged

But blessings still come my way, even if it is only during a walk back up the mountain to my room after my treatment and lunch

There are butterflies everywhere

the weather is wonderful

1:30 in the afternoon in Tapovan Rishikesh

nothing can compare with the fruit salad served at the New Bhandari Swiss Cottage containing, papaypa, pineapples, apple, banana, nectarines, pomegranates and watermelon

and the view of the mountains brings joy to my soul each time I sit here on my rooftop looking at it

The treatment today was in place of Vamana (vomiting or purging of the upper body of mucous, phlegm etc).  Since I began my treatments in a very weakened state this year, the doctor felt that Vamana would be too enervating and exhausting for my body.  So a milder, gentler form of treatment was done today, and again tomorrow, bringing about the same results supposedly. I was told it would be a hot chest pack

My chest area was wrapped and bound in several layers of a soft fabric which was dipped first in very hot water.  And then I was covered with a sheet.  After a couple of minutes I felt uncomfortably cold and called the girls…who put more hot water on it but it seemed like a really ridiculous kind of treatment and I was getting annoyed.  Then Devi came in again when I called and covered me with several warm blankets, but very shortly afterwards I became very cold again.  So she came in and sat there just pouring hot water continually over me.  And then it was over.

I went down to talk to the doctor about it but he was busy, so left to go for lunch.  And all of a sudden, while eating, I felt like someone “pulled the plug” on me and finished eating and came straight back to my room where I have been sleeping since

I will have to get a full explanation of this from the doctor.  I don’t know if it is from the treatment, or just the panchakarma in general which is making me feel so exhausted, but when I find out, you will too

I met my dear friend Lalita today and haven’t seen her in a couple of years so very nice seeing her again, and once again, there were also some nice kids at the restaurant who I had an interesting conversation with, both about ayurvedic medicine and Indian food.  Quite nice…too bad I had to leave to get back to my room.

Tonight is an Indian Classical Music concert right here, and hope I will feel up to going.  I love tabla and flute and can listen to it for hours, and there is NOTHING like hearing it live.  It moves me on all levels to unknown realms of joy and tranquility

Namaste from Rishikesh


Monkey Shines and Happy Tourists – October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

Feelin’ Good!! Panchakarma Day 4

Ganga from Laxman Jhula Bridge

To my great surprise, I am feeling wonderful.  Actually better than I have felt for the past few months.  I was “out and about” today…met a lovely Israeli girl when I went for lunch and we spoke for more than an hour, and then continued down to do lots of errands in Laxman Jhula (none got done, but it is not important).  Had a wonderful walk, the weather is getting better each day, I am getting stronger and more fit and the hills are easier than they were even yesterday.  I have  more energy than I have had in a very long time.  I know there will be more difficult days during Panchakarma, but for now I am in heaven.

Just making this into a photo post with some sights of the day.  Enjoy!

Local Tourist During Navrati Festival-NOtice the Plastic bottle at her side. She has filled it with water from the Holy Ganga and will take it home.

Happy Indian Tourists


Monkeys on Laxman Jhula Bridge

Bathing in Ganga

Refreshing Fruit Salad Along the Ganga-My favorites-Pineapple and Papaya

Ram Jhula in the Distance

Colorful Table Centerpiece

Beautiful Colors-Waiting on Line to Drink at the Water Fountain

…and just for fun-More Monkeys:

A great day to everyone!

Namaste from Rishikesh


Things are Falling Into Place – Day 3 Panchakarma October 16, 2012

October 17, 2012

Things are Falling Into Place – Day 3 Panchakarma October 16, 2012

Navrati Festival – See Below for more Info

Ganga View from Cafe Delmar

It is now 6:30 in the evening and I am happily sitting out on my rooftop terrace, enjoying the still comfortable evening air.  Soon it will be much to cold at this time of the day to sit outdoors.  Even now I am wearing jeans, woolen sox and my warm shawl, but am comfortable and feeling blessed.

I have already eaten my kitcheri for supper and later, before going to sleep, will have my wonderful hot spiced milk and biscuits.  But I now bought myself good, wholesome organic oatmeal cookies…much more expensive than the “biscuits” the doctor recommended – plain cookies made from flour oil and lots of sugar and additives.  Those were 5 rupees a packet, the ones I bought were 120 rupees a packet!!  But I will feel much better eating a couple of those with my milk. :-

I cannot believe what I did today!.  After my treatment,  which was lovely- massage and navi basti (hot oil bath on navel area – a kind of bowl is formed out of chickpea flour which is made into a kind of clay, and then placed over the area to be treated, and hot medicated oils are poured in and left to do their magic on the chosen part of the body).

Then I was told that Manju, the doctor’s wife would be arriving.  She is one of the sweetest women I have ever met, a wonderful cook who I learned much from regarding Indian cooking, and a dear friend.  So I waited for her and was so happy to see her when she finally arrived.  I will be going, together with my friend Michal, to visit her one afternoon in the coming days, and to enjoy some of her wonderful cooking (whatever I can while doing panchakarma) and of course her lovely company.

And then I decided to have pulao, something I am allowed every few days instead of vegetables and chapatti, but was by then too tired to go all the way down to where I had intended to eat.  So I decided to go to a nearby place and see if their pulao was any good (it wasn’t).  But it is the lovely place along the Ganga which I so enjoy, which changed hands but is still in a beautiful setting  overlooking the Ganga PHOTO

….and then, cannot believe what I did! I walked full force into a plate glass entrance door to the restaurant- which I absolutely did not see! Strong enough to draw blood from my mouth and nose and raise a huge bump on my forhead!!

Thank God for Rescue Cream and Reiki!!

By the time the meal arrived, the bleeding had stopped and the swelling was down.  I continued with Reiki and Rescue for a time after the meal.  When I got back to my room there was still some slight swelling on my upper lip and forehead…did more Reiki while napping and now it is fine. There is still some slight pain but nothing compared to what I felt when hitting the glass!  I almost fainted.  Now I understand the expression “seeing stars”!!

The restaurant itself is lovely.  Still called Café Delmar, but with a Beatles, 60’s theme about it.  It offers many Vegan options – a first here in Rishikesh and there was even classical music playing in the background when I arrived.

AND….they have free WIFI!!!!!!!

Began taking a few odd photos today and will try and post several each day if something worthwhile comes out.

Will relax the rest of the evening, go to sleep early, and hopefully be awake for another lovely sunset tomorrow.

Below, if you are interested, is some information regarding the significance of the 9 Day Navrati Festival now being celebrated in India, and bringin many local tourists to town as well. 

Mahanavaratri , nine night Goddess festival started today and ends on 24 October with Vijayadashami.

Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess.

First three days
These initial days

are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power, energy and transformation, also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities and negativity. These three days the devotees meditate on the fire aspect of Goddess and purified their Sanskaras , the conditioning of old vicious habits etc.

Second three days
When the impurities are removed then the pure spiritual wealth is bestows by Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance. These three days the devotees meditate on the soft and soma qualities of Goddess to experience love and compassion as his inherent pure quality.
Final three days
Once the aspirant succeeds observing the evil propensities, and develops Sattwic or pure, divine qualities and then only he can receives the light of supreme wisdom by the grace of mother Saraswati..The final set of three days is spent in meditating on the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati..

The tenth day, Vijaya Dasami is the celebration of liberation of the soul, the victory, the achievement of goal of all goals.
These nine nights are designed for our spiritual evolution. It also falls on very special planetary situation, twice a year, the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter on a very auspicious day.

Namaste and Blessings from the Goddesses to all


October 14-15, 2012 – Panchakarma Day 1 and 2

October 15, 2012

October 14-15, 2012 – Panchakarma Day 1 and 2

What a glorious day.  Began panchakarma this morning. Breakfast of course is porridge, which I like to add nuts and raisins to, and of course plenty of ghee.  Eating it overlooking the Ganga from Lalita’s Mama Mia restaurant….what a perfect day to begin.

Notice the difference in the color of the water-Previous shot taken during the winter season when the glacial snows begin melting

And then of course my first, long awaited massage for this year, and it was just as heavenly as I remembered and expected it to be.  Both Devi and Laxmi worked on me and it could not have been any more perfect.  And for the first time in many years, I am not doing this during the freezing cold winter months.  So I did not need 3 blankets, hot water bottles etc., to keep me warm during the massage, and did not feel the icy air each time another naked body part was exposed to be massaged with oil.   It was pure delight being in a warm space for this luxurious treatment.

Laxmi-Massage Therapist

Following the massage, back downstairs to hear what tomorrow holds in store (massage and sirrohdhara –warm oil drip on forehead), and my first medicated ghee of the panchakarma.  I usually am given a small amount on a teaspoon.  Horrible, but tolerable.  This time, Devi appeared with a heaping TABLESPOON.  I was sure it was either a mistake or a bad joke, but Doc looks at me and nods for me to take it.  Disgusting and truly barely tolerable.  When I asked why – “Your body in very weak state.  We need to get you well”. I guess every treatment has its own sort of unpleasant medicine .  this was definitely mine here.  We were given some herbs to begin taking twice a day to stimulate digestion and sent on our way.

I was also told I could eat FOUR chapattis at a meal, instead of the usual two-maybe three.  But I couldn’t eat four even if I tried.  We went back to the restaurant for lunch, nice veggie plate and chapattis, on which I put lots of ghee.  I felt full and satisfied, but getting extremely tired by then.  My friend who has agreed I call her here by her full name, Michal, thought we would go down for some more shopping and I needed stuff in Laxman Jhula so I agreed to “see how we feel”, but kind of knew it wouldn’t happen. She also began to feel the effects and the truth is, we barely made it up to the room and into bed where I just slept like a baby for quite some time.

Awoke with a very slight headache, which from experience gets worse for the first 4 days before going away…Part of the toxins beginning to release from my body.  This evening we have kicheri which Laxmi prepared for us and they have agreed to refrigerate it and then heat it up for us here at the Swiss Cottage kitchen, so all is well.

I am eating some lovely grapes at the moment and I am content-and truly blessed.

Just a quick summary of the evening and today (the next day).  Our kitcheri in the evening was really delicious (it is not always well prepared…sometimes very watery but this was really good), and I went to sleep early after reading for awhile.

This morning was day 2.  I awoke very early, did my meditation and yoga outside which was beautiful, and then was very hungry so I went down to breakfast alone.  Had delicious wheat porridge today (Michal arrived awhile later) and then went over for my second day.  Long talk with Doctor about his sons etc.  His eldest is married and after leaving his job as manager of a 5 star hotel in Gurgaon outside of Delhi, he is now on “vacation” and living with his wife in his parents home (which is typical for Indian families…wives always come to live with their mother-in-laws).  And when I asked about the second son, if it isn’t time they also arranged a marriage for him, he answered “yes for sure”.  Seems they are now looking to find a girl who has just completely her medical studies so that there will be someone in the family to run the clinic when he retires!  His son teaches yoga, meditation, and is a massage therapist, so it would work beautifully.

Meditating Along the Ganga

And then up to my treatment.  Today, to my great surprise, I was treated by THREE people.  Seems the daughter-in-law is now being trained to be a message therapist also, so they let her “practice” on clients while one of the others watches her, and then, after apologizing to me, the other massage therapist “redid” whatever part the other one was practicing on.  All in all it was lovely and not annoying in any way.

And then my sirrohdhara drip (which most people love but I don’t) and then, covered in oil, had a wonderful hot bucket shower at the clinic.

And then I remembered that I hadn’t asked the doctor if I can have my glass of hot milk with turmeric once a day.  He said of course.  When I asked what is better, morning or evening…he said “why not both!!!”.   And on top of that, told me to have a couple of biscuits with the milk!  Pure luxury during panchakarma.  Of course I got another tablespoon of medicated ghee, but with the thought of all the lovely ghee on my chapattis and veggies, and then a glass of hot spiced milk and biscuits, I left overjoyed.

And to make the day even more perfect, I met my friend Reingard, by surprise, at the clinic.  IT was sooooooo good to see her after several years when we did not meet up here.  And she will begin her panchakarma next Monday so we will see each other each day.  Life is good!

I was feeling really good, had my delicious lunch again and then down to do a couple of errands in Laxman Jhula, sit overlooking Laxman Jhula bridge at the German Bakery with a glass of fresh pineapple juice and then back up to the guesthouse.  A long but lovely day, and not tired as I was yesterday.  Feeling really good.  And loving this mobile stick in my room!!

Promise to begin photographing more as the days go by…hope you enjoy the few from today.  (One of the Ganga Views is from last year-it is at a different time of the year – winter when the ice begins to melt in the high glaciers), and you can see a difference in the color of the water.  Interesting.



Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

October 14, 2012

Back in Rishikesh 2012 Part 2

View from Guesthouse at Dusk

I write this as I sit outside in the morning sun which warms my bones after the chill of the evening, night and early morning.  The sun is not too hot to be uncomfortable or prevent hours of happily walking around.  And it’s heat is felt truly for only about 3 hours a day.  It is a beautiful time of the year to be here…before the need for warm clothing, uncomfortable layers etc., of the winter weeks, and without the scorching, debilitating heat of the hotter months.  And of course without the rains of the monsoon.

Everything is still very green and lush and walking around is just complete pleasure.

At night and early morning it is already fairly cold with the strong winds which are so typical of Rishikesh…but of course, the sun rises just over the mountain , (now at 7:20 but it is getting a little later each day), through the window which faces my bed and gently pulls me awake (if I happen to still be asleep), with it’s shining kiss.

And then I sit in it’s warm embrace as I do my morning prayers and meditaion. Could there be any better way to begin a day?

There are of course changes, as there always are in India, and yet things continue to feel like ‘time stands still” in most things.  The first shocking change was a wall which was put up on one side of “my” rooftop by the neighboring hotel, which completely blocks one of my views…very disconcerting but doing my best to come to terms with it.  If you can’t change something, learn to accept it and change your perception of it!

And all the local places are now setting up WiFi which is lovely, but still not truly working well yet.  Perhaps by next year.

And then of course more new rooms, more new guesthouses and a lovely surprise.  My friends who run the wonderful Pundir Provision Shop

Pundir Shop Tapovan Rishikesh , have now opened a restaurant upstairs.  We have eaten their twice and the food was superb!  AND, it is air-conditioned!!!  It was actually so cold we had to ask them to turn it off!  J

But of course tomorrow I am starting Panchakarma, so no more of the lovely food I’ve been eating up until now.  I had my full of yummy stuff over the past few days…am sure I gained at least a kg., and will now be able to settle into my very boring and limited diet for the next month.

And of course hearing the lovely news from my friend Devi that her sister is getting married!  Just wonderful.  This is a family of 5 daughters, the father has not worked in 15 years.  The oldest daughter was already married but the others were sure they would never marry because they would never have enough money for a dowry.  This sister has found an arranged match with a wonderful man who wanted a very limited dowry, just for appearance sake, and everyone is extremely happy as you can imagine.  The bad part is, the wedding is 2 days AFTER I leave.  If I had know, I would have flown in a couple of days later.  I cannot extend for even one day due to problems with my government pension…really sad.  However, the owner of the guesthouse has already invited me to TWO weddings of his niece and nephew, and so once again I will get to go to the production that is called “India Wedding”.  Should be fun.
Indian Wedding

Walking through the streets here is like coming home.  So many friends to see, from local shop keepers, to beggars and rickshaw drivers.  And of course my dear local friends and their families, who I will see often and visit over the weeks to come.

And then, to my great surprise, I am being recognized as a “celebrity” in the area and didn’t understand why.  Seems the guesthouse has finally put up a website, and they used MY photo (from several years ago-don’t know where they got it) as part of the cover photots of the website.  So when I walked around the first day I was hear in my red “suit”, the same one I am wearing in the photo, people were pointing at me until someone finally showed me what was going on.  It is soooooo  funny.   Here is a link and if you check out the dots under the cover photo, you will come to one of me.  You can see me in my red suit on the rooftop and the room behind me to the left is my home here in Rishikesh.  http://newbhandariswisscottage.com

And that’s about if for today.  Hope begin getting out and about and getting back to my camera over the next few days.

View from Guesthouse at Dusk



To Cook or Not to Cook-That is the Question!

September 19, 2012

…and the answer is NOT TO COOK!!

This sounds very cryptic I know, but is quite simple.  Every year for the past number of years I have set up a kind of very simple kitchen system to be able to cook in my room while in India.

Good enough to Eat

In a previous post I explained the reasons for taking a room and setting up a primitive sort of kitchen , rather than a full apartment with kitchen, as follows:

My first “kitchen”

”  The limited kitchen as a blessing: I sometimes find myself annoyed that I don’t have a real kitchen and have to improvise to prepare my simple meals. And I am very limited in what I can cook, as I have one pot and one frying pan, [the past two years I have added a pressure cooker which is a BIG plus ]  

no counter top, no kitchen sink (I have finally figured out how to best wash my dishes using the bathroom facilities), and basically all I can cook is kitcheri, vegetable soup, pasta, porridge, pancakes, eggs, grilled cheese or toast with tahini, hot drinks…I cannot make anything more ambitious even if I want to, including chapattis and paranthas. And even these few simple things involve great planning and thinking things out before beginning to actually cook them. Measuring out of ingredients, peeling, chopping etc., in advance outdoors,

Veggies ready for cutting up outside on the terrace table

making sure each thing is lined up on the table to be put into the pot which is on the gas balloon which sits on the floor and which I either squat over or sit in a chair to stir. I’ve gotten very good at all this actually and no longer find it difficult in any way.

And then I realized that these limitations are a true blessing.

I usually sit in the chair but a friend caught me one morning like this!

Knowing myself, if I had a comfortable working kitchen, I would spend a lot more time cooking as I did when I had a kitchen in Mcleodganj several years ago. And that involves shopping each day,

Local Provisions Shop (not including fruits and veggies)

carrying the heavy stuff home, spending money on expensive ingredients, spending LOTS of time in the kitchen making all kinds of lovely dishes, and even inviting people in for dinner a few times a week. And this is NOT what I want while I am here. I want things as quiet and simple as possible and being limited in my kitchen facilities, guarantees that things are kept to the bare minimum and as simple as possible while still being able to cook twice a day for myself. So, for me, no kitchen is actually better. ”

my second ‘Improved” kitchen

I have always enjoyed being able to cook these simple meals for myself however, and since I began using a pressure cooker a couple of years ago, it has gotten even easier.  I can now make steamed veggies in 1/2 minute!!  Kitcheri, delicious vegetable soup with lentils in less than 10 minutes etc.

But cooking still does involve work.  Especially getting everything set up when I first arrive.  It takes a couple of days and lots of energy, and then the same energy to get it all packed up and back into storage before I leave.  And of course the shopping for ingredients, the cleaning up after cooking, etc.

Since I will only be in India for 6 weeks total this time, not my usual several months, I have been contemplating the wisdom of going to all this bother this trip.  On the one hand, I love the option of preparing food for myself when I feel like it, and having the freedom not to have to go out to eat all the time…but most of this trip I will be on my special panchakarma diet anyway (which I will write about at a later date), and the big plus is being able to make my own vegetable (with a larger variety than the restaurants would prepare for me), or even having a good rich vegetable soup once in awhile. And of course there is nothing to compare to the porridge I make myself with apples, cinnamon, raisins and almonds,but I will “make do” with the restaurant version for the month.  On the other hand, I will be needing the time to rest and take care of myself as much as possible, and cooking during this period of time is usually on a very limited basis for me anyway.  I do most of my cooking before and after my month long treatments…and that’s when I enjoy it mainly.

My vegetable plates will not be as exciting this year!

So, after much contemplation of the pros and cons, this morning I came to the final decision, that this trip will be TOTAL vacation.  No cooking, no shopping, no cleaning up, no setting up and repacking before I go home etc.  If I want a larger variety of veggies in my daily vegetable plate, I will provide the kitchen with them myself !!  And if I need my kitcheri heated up in the evening, I will ask the kitchen to do that for me as well.   And if I REALLY feel the need for vegetable soup, I will go down to my friend’s house and cook it there, making up a large pot for her and her family as well!!  🙂

I am pleased with this decision and happy that it has finally been made.  Takes another “load off my mind”!  🙂



With Joy and Gratitude – One Lovely Blog Award

September 10, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been writing on this blog for over 4 years, and on two previous India Joural Blogs for even longer, and this is the first time I’ve been nominated for an  award.  Now this in itself is not strange and I am extremely honored to receive this award.  What is strange, is that my new, current blog  , Not in India 2012 has been active for only 6 months or so, and has already received 5 awards!!  I can only imagine that it is the nature of this blog, where people find their way here for specific reasons, looking for information about India, Ayurveda, Panchakarma, etc., and are mostly one time readers.  Statistically, there have been over 27,000 hits here (!!), a full ten times as many as on the current blog.  So imagine that most of these ARE one time readers, and that the true fans have found their way to my current blog, and read it regularly.

Which makes this award even more special to me…meaning at least to me, that I have begun to attract “regulars” and this is always a lovely thing to find out.  So thanks so much to you, dear Jofelyn, at  Sleepy Tales and Lucid Dreams for this lovely honor. I highly recommend you check out her lovely blog and find pleasure in her wonderful way of telling a story. I also look forward to seeing as many of you as possible around here for my upcoming sojourn which begins in EXACTLY one month from today!!  🙂


Include the blog award logo in your post.

Thank the person who nominated you.

Write 7 things about yourself that know one here knows about you.

Nominate 15 other people, and let them know you have done so.

So…7 things about me:

1.  My greatest joy and blessing during this sojourn on Earth is my family. My 6 amazing children and the extended family of additional sons and daughter-in-law they have brought me, and my 13 wonderful grandchildren (#14 on the way) ranging in age from 1 year to 19 years!  They are all  a fantastic addition to my own life journey and I continue to learn each and every day from each of these very different individual beings.

Me and My Kids – Five daughters, and one son-the “baby”

2. I had the honor and privilege to meet Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo-the first Western woman to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist Nun.  This meeting resulted in a powerful but subtle shift in perception for me  leading to a “growth spurt” in my life’s journey. You can read about her amazing life story here:  Cave in the Snow

You can also find more information about her life’s work, her nunnery, at this website:  www.tenzinpalmo.com/

3.     I have three loving Guides who have been with me since birth (although I was forced to deny their existence on threat of punishment when I was 7 years old). I reunited with them in my 50′s through a deep meditation practice and they  have agreed to publicly reveal my pet names for them since childhood.  Kaki, Gee and Chuchibell!!

4.    I was blessed to have an audience with HH Dalai Lama in 2001, and the effects of that brief meeting are still rippling through my life to this very day.

4a.  I love photography.  I make it a point to be mindful at all times…to really be aware of everything around me wherever I happen to be.  That in itself is a great blessing.  I then love to photograph these mindful moments (hmmm…sounds like a good name for a new blog J )  which allows me to relive these special moments many times over afterwards – and FEEL the moment again-even years later.

5.       I love to play computer games rationalizing that they are good for my rapidly aging brain, but how much brain power do you need to play Bubbles?!?!?

6.       I love to dance and have been doing it in one way or another since the age of 2. For the past 35 years I have both taught and danced Israeli Folk Dancing-I currently dance 3 times  week, each session lasting about 4 hours.

7.     I am a technology freak and really have to work hard to keep myself from spending too many hours a day “playing” with all the new toys available these days

(Hope you didn’t notice I cheated above…. there are actually more than “7” things there!  🙂

And now the hard part:  Choosing just 15 blogs to nominate for this award as well

….there are just so many of you out there, so will try to pass this award along to some at least who I have not yet nominated for other awards, although you are all so amazing and so deserving, each in your own very special way!


http://crystalmoons.wordpress.com/  Into the Heart

http://heartwhispers.co.uk/ Whispers of the Heart


http://perisspiceladle.com/  Indian-inspired Food for the Global Palate. If you love anything Indian, or simply love wonderful food, Peri’s  blog is a MUST!

http://professionsforpeace.com/  You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body. Gina writes: My…goal of each day is to remember how loved I am and to share that love outwardly. She most certainly succeeds with her blog.


http://johncoyote.wordpress.com poetry story and real life

http://momentumofjoy.com/ where spirituality meets reality

http://theblacktwig.wordpress.com A drifter off to see the world

http://dranilj1.wordpress.com/  life is mysterious

http://phranqueigh.wordpress.com/  words/love

http://idolanuel.com   To Be Aware

http://hillsofherchastity.wordpress.com/   Maxima

http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/  Everything about this blog is Divinely inspired creativity!! I love all things magical, and I am sure that cupcakes have healing qualities! This is one of the things Nicole says on her About page.  Her blog is not to be missed.  From things spiritual, inspirational and amazingly informative, to the most superb recipes you can imagine…and SO much more…please do check out this blog

http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/about/ Sustainable Farming, Permaculture, Gardening and Homesteading in Ohio –fascinating blog-extremely well written

http://maggiesonebuttkitchen.wordpress.com – There is no way you can see the photos of the food without having your mouth water and then trying out the recipes. And her food is full of love so it is of course delicious!

http://mylifemystuff.wordpress.com/about/  Home remedies, Yoga, Thoughts on India and so much more…worth exploring


and much love light and JOY to all


Faces of India Part 7 – Happy Shiny People- Me, My Friends and I :-)

September 2, 2012

Just wanted to share some of my favorite photos of myself in India, either taken by friend’s, or WITH many of my wonderful friends and “family” there. I don’t enjoy being photographed, so when someone finally DOES get a shot of me, it is always a joyous occasion!

best friends

Each photo has its own lovely story, most of which are narrated throughout the posts on this blog over the years. Hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoy recalling the beautiful moments they hold so dear for me in my life …so many wonderful and dear friends, so many wonderful and dear memories,

So many blessings! 🙂

My Buddies – Devi and Laxmi

udeechi huts naddi 2004 with Dear Abdellahji, His Soul rests in Peace

For Abdellahji’s full story see this link:  http://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/an-angel-returns-home/

A Day of Fun with the Girls

Me and Devi’s Mom

me and Laxmi’s mother-in-law after puja

big chill -delhi 2007-Shweta, Sunam and Me

Three Ladies-Dear Friends – Reingard, Manju and Me

dinner at aroras’ home

on the way to mussoorie with Natasha

girls day out for lunch

with Einat and Ilsa

happy holi

train to varanassi

On the way up To Neelkant Waterfalls, Rishikesh

…and MANY MORE to check out in the full gallery below

Hope you enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoy recalling the beautiful moments they hold so dear for me in my life …so many wonderful and dear friends, so many wonderful and dear memories, so many blessings!  🙂

March 11, 2011 – Vacation Day 10 – Change of Plans and Final Shabbat Shalom from Rishikesh

March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 – Vacation Day 10 – Change of Plans and Final Shabbat Shalom from Rishikesh

At this time next week I will probably just be waking up in my own bed!

Hard to believe 3 months have gone by so quickly…and so beautifully.

Now cooking probably for the last time here, as I want to get my “kitchen” packed away today. Making plain pasta with just some ghee.

Earlier today, I woke up feeling really good, especially happy with the fact that I have gotten back to eating properly and pleased with myself.  Got dressed up nicely, put on my makeup for the first time in a long time, and went down first to visit by Dr. Arora and explain to the girls why I hadn’t been around for a few days, and then go take care of a couple of things I needed to finish in Ram Jhula, and hopefully go sit along the Ganga.

Well, this was not to be. I got down to Dr. Arora and simply mentioned my feeling so weak and having a slight fever a couple of days back, and resting up the past couple of days.  He was a little surprised and when he checked my pulse found it weak.  I asked if this has anything to do with the panchakarma, and he asked what I had been doing the whole week.  Didn’t mention everything I ate, but did tell him I had done lots of wonderful walks in the beautiful weather.  And he immediately understood what had happened.  He said even the slight fever was an indication that my body was very tired, because I had not rested properly after doing panchakarma.  Just then I got up to talk to Laxmi, and felt so faint I had to sit down.  He took my blood pressure which was also quite low, and simply told me that I must respect my body and just rest for the next few days.

Truth is, in past years, I did panchakarma at the beginning of my stay here, had plenty of time to rest for a week or 10 days afterwards, before getting back “into action”.  But this time, I finished just a couple of weeks before going home.  Also, the weather had been so bad, I wanted to not only get out and enjoy walking, but get in as much walking before going home.  So I literally went directly into action the day after finishing my panchakarma.  And a week later, my body just rebelled….knowing that better than “me” what was good for me.

So now, instead of all my plans to take full advantage of walking for the next few days, I have been advised, especially before traveling and coming home, to rest as much as possible.

So looks like the next 3 days I will stay very close to home, enjoy the weather from my rooftop, cancel my plans to go visit Devi, Laxmi and Manju, no Papu Lassi in the Market, no facial in the Market as well, and no special meals back at Prem’s Namaste Café.

Perhaps in another day or so, I WILL feel a little better, but truth is, I was so weak, that for the first time here I had to take a rickshaw all the way up to Swiss Cottage…I could not walk back up the hill!

Came back, had my pasta for lunch, and then went down to visit by Seema, as well as the ladies there…came back to my room, had some chai and carrot cake and later a fruit salad, and finally a pleasant visit until now with a lovely young American girl who I have been spending time with over the past week.  I had originally done Tarot and healing session with her, and we “hit it off” and have had some lovely discussions since then.

I will now read a bit and then go to sleep

Shabbat Shalom for the last time from India this year!



March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

Flowers on the “cotton Tree” -more later in the post and on Facebook Photo Link

Outdoors until bedtime…beautiful weather for sitting, and still cool enough that mosquitos are not yet a real problem.  But staying up and about until this hour, also makes me hungry for more food.

You’d think I’d eaten enough already today….will just have some nuts and dates though…in the end I ordered a fruit salad!

fruit salad - apples, papaya, pineapple, clementina, grapes, pomegranate

Have begun getting myself ready to leave….going through my stuff…what stays, what goes, what I still need to buy etc.  Just 5 days left here then I will be for a day and a half in delhi before my flight.

I will begin with the morning of the 9th after the night of the 8th!!

One lesson I have learned in life, and tried to teach to my children as well, is that everything has a price…before you make a decision to do something, consider the price and if you are willing to pay it!

Every year following panchakarma I kind of go crazy when it comes to eating things I shouldn’t, and things I couldn’t eat for the past month.  And after a week, this always ends and I go back pretty much to the “straight and narrow”.  Of course, this type of indulgence definitely has a price…and I paid most of it last night, and am paying the final installment today!

I don’t get diarrhea or anything, but certainly would be happy if I could vomit (but never manage to)…It is just a feeling of such total discomfort in my stomach and abdomen that I feel like crying…the pain is relieved temporarily with Reiki, which helps to release gas from the area, and by taking lots of ginger oil and drinking hot ginger.  But there is no way I could sleep last night, and am still uncomfortable today, and of course tired from no sleep, and weak from not eating.  Today I will stick to hot ginger and some dry toast with a drop of ghee.  By tomorrow I will be fine, and if truth be told, when I think back on it, except for yesterday (which still makes me nauseous when I picture everything I ate), the week of food fun was worth the price. (It is now evening, and  I am not feeling well at all.  My stomach seems to be much better, but I am feeling, weak, slightly dizzy and have a very slight fever.  Hope it is nothing more serious than just overeating, but tomorrow will tell for sure)

So what did I eat yesterday?  Well, that is part of nice story of  what I DID yesterday.

I woke up in the morning and decided I had to get back to properly before I head home.  Most of the restaurants I eat at are noisy, crowded, with loud music, etc., and also serve only standard meals from the menu.  Which means if I want to request with no potatoes, cabbage or cauliflower it is a problem as the veggies are chopped and mixed in the morning for the whole day. I also want a place with a shady outdoor view overlooking the GAnga, which also limits me to where I can go.

So today, I went checking out some new haunts, and after several unsuccessful attempts, came upon Prem’s Namaste Café down in Laxman Jhula, with an upstairs sitting area overlooking the Ganga.

view from Prem's Namaste Cafe

The owner came from Nepal in 2000 and opened the restaurant with the idea of bringing something a little different to the area.  And he seems to have succeeded.

He has the standard dishes, but also a more varied menu as well.  Some lovely fresh salads, brick overn pizza, lots of tofu dishes and many many veg dishes to choose from.  When I asked about things I could not eat, he was very accommodating and promised me a good meal to my liking.  It was freshly prepared (which means waiting, but these are always the best meals and the freshest),  Everything lived up to his promises and I hope to be back there for my last few days here in Rishikesh to try some other dishes. (obviously I was not there today, and looks like tomorrow I won’t be either).

It is really quiet here, overlooks the Ganga and is very clean as well.

There is a pleasant cooling breeze coming off the river making it really comfortable..not a drop of sun – probably freezing in the winter, but just perfect now.


SO…what did I eat:

Veggie and tofu dish with beans in it which was scrumptious – not greasy, not spiced in any way – just lovely and something I’ve never tasted before anywhere in India.

I also ordered a butter Naan, the first time I had one this trip, and it was also delicious:

butter naan

And just then, eating, relaxing, enjoying the view

view towards laxman jhula

I had one of those moments when tears of gratitude overwhelm me!  I am so blessed to be here and so grateful to all the powers which make this possible for me.

And the final, extra touch, was my chai was served in a holder so that I don’t burn my hands as usual on the hot glass/

chai in holder

There is this gorgeous tree here with amazingly beautiful red flowers.  Owner says it is a “cotton tree” and that after the flower and fruit, the tree is covered with cotton!  And he says that this tree is one of the blessings of this restaurant for him here in India.

cotton tree-see more lovely photos on the facebook link below

See this link for lots more beautiful photos of this and more from today:


It was just so beautiful I could not leave, and sat and did my needlepoint for quite some time, and just enjoyed the view.  At one


point, a monkey came along to feast on the cotton flowers and must have eaten more than 20 before taking off.

let's see...what's next

I wonder if you can see how much he enjoyed his lunch from the pictures



And then, coming down the Ganga, was a traveler, with small pack on his back gliding along on what looks like a surfboard with a paddle!!

guy gliding down ganga on surfboard -see more on the facebook link

By this time, I was hungry again, and decided on something sweet.  I ordered something called a bhagsu cake, described as layers of cookies, caramel and chocolate – very sweet.

Bhagsu Cake - Sugar Ecstacy

(I am feeling nauseous right now just thinking of it!!!)…Well, it was pure indulgence – sugar ecstasy for sure.

And that is what I ate yesterday and thought I was paying for today, but perhaps it is something else…will see how things go tomorrow.

That’s it for today – Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Link for lots more photos of today…I sat for hours in just one place and so much beauty found me!



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