INDIAN WEDDING AND MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATIONS OCT 13-14 2015 RISHIKESH

October 21, 2015

INDIAN WEDDING AND MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATIONS-OCT 13-14 2015 RISHIKESH

HAPPY COUPLE

HAPPY COUPLE

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PROUD FATHER

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BEAMING MOM

HAPPY PARENTS

HAPPY PARENTS

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These are just a very few of the many photos I shot at this joyous Indian wedding celebration and the Mehandi (henna) the day before, for Manish, the youngest son of my dear friends Dr. Arora and his lovely wife Manju. Hope this gives you some idea of the scope, energy, joy and amazing colors…(see link below for full album)

COLORS COLORS COLORS

COLORS COLORS COLORS

This was an amazing two day celebration and and the photos don’t do justice the the joy and great celebration that is an Indian wedding.  I have a few videos and have also posted links below to give you a little more feel for what was going on… The thing that most stands out, in my mind, are the colors!  Please open the link below to see the amazing array of colors, and energy, which is an Indian family celebration.  The Mehandi (henna), day before the marriage ceremony, was particularly lovely and I was privileged to be an invited guest to the intimate family celebration at the home of the groom’s parents.  I was lovingly accepted and joined in all the fun, including having my hands hennad and dancing.

HENNA BEING APPLIED

HENNA BEING APPLIED

HENNA BEING APPLIED TO MY HAND

HENNA BEING APPLIED TO MY HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINISHED HAND

FINAL RESULTS THE FOLLOWING MORNING

FINAL RESULTS THE FOLLOWING MORNING

But there was no place for me in the beautiful, traditional Punjabi dances the women did.  Dressed in traditional Punjabi clothing and jewelry, with their hair done up with braided extensions ending in feathers…the photos truly don’t do justice.

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCING

Thought to give you  some of idea of how an Indian wedding works…food is available the entire time, no sit down dinner…people eat when they want, dance when they want, everyone goes to sit with the bride and groom on the dais to have their photos taken, others sit in the arranged seating to just watch…it is really lovely.  And goes on until about 5 in the morning when the final puja is celebrated.  I did not stay for the actually ceremony…I had a ride and was actually relieved to be able to go home early….at midnight!!!!!

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

TRICK TO GETTING THROUGH AN INDIAN WEDDING FROM START TO FINISH

Sorry about the video below, but I held the camera sideways to get a wider angle, but do not know how to rotate the video now.

I truly feel blessed to have been included in these celebrations and feel very fortunate and most grateful.

Hope you enjoy these few photos and get some idea of the scope, energy, joy and amazing colors, and that the links work wel

1. Link to indian wedding photo album

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153254194751545.1073741890.547896544&type=1&l=34192e68fa

2. Quick Video View of Wedding celebration

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153252458946545/?l=4478702815688441160

3. DANCING TO LIVE DRUM BEATS AT MEHANDI (HENNA) CELEBRATION

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153252114701545/?l=2610473460996498368

4.  TRADITIONAL PUNJABI DANCE…NOTICE THE USE OF THE BRAIDED HAIR EXTENSIONS DURING THE DANCE

https://www.facebook.com/LADYJANE62/videos/10153250689691545/?l=2837730209960891909

With much love light and joy to all

Jane


GANGA VIEWS AND DEVOTIONS OCT 5 2015 -#5

October 6, 2015

GANGA VIEWS AND DEVOTIONS
TRIVENI GHAT – RISHIKESH

GANGA DEVOTIONS

GANGA DEVOTIONS

Had a lovely day in Rishikesh Market yesterday, shopping for shoes for the upcoming weddings I am invited to, a lovely visit with a good friend and her first grandson, and of course a lovely lunch as well.
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Will post some photos with market scenes in the next post, but here are a few scenes from Triveni Ghat, just off Rishikesh Market’s main roads.  A place of serene quiet, powerful spiritual energies, and just a beautiful place to sit.

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with love light and JOY

Namaste

Jane


Letting Go-Insights From My Last Sojourn

June 18, 2014

This was originally posted on my Not in India Blog , but I have come to realize that these insights are the result of a process which began during my last sojourn in India. Each visit to India brings me the opportunity for deep personal growth and wisdom,and I usually understand the purpose of each visit while I am still there. This time, this did not happen, but rather a very deep journey inward was initiated by certain events which occurred while there, and it is only now, six months later, that I am seeing the results, that the work has begun to bear fruit. It is a blessed feeling which I am most grateful for.

Let Go and Let God

To Let Go isn’t to forget, not think about, or ignore. It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret.

Letting Go isn’t winning and it isn’t losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear and it’s not about obsessing or dwelling on the past.

Letting Go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts and it doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not giving in or giving up.

Letting Go isn’t about loss and it’s not defeat. To Let Go is to cherish memories, but at the same time to overcome and to move on. It is having an open mind and confidence in the future.

Letting Go is accepting. Letting Go is learning and experiencing and growing.

To Let Go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gain.

Letting Go is having the courage to accept change and the strength to keep moving.

Letting Go is growing up. it is realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.

To Let Go is to open a door and to clear a path and to set yourself free.▼

LETTING GO
Release anger,
Release fear,
Release Worry
Embrace love
Embrace faith
Embrace calm acceptance.

The river will take you swiftly along at certain points
And allow you periods of motionless calm
But the current will always be there to move your boat along
You may see places you would like to stop at
But the choice is not always yours
Release into the flow of the river
And calmly and joyfully accept whatever direction it takes you.

with much love light and JOY

Jane


Ram Jhula in the Golden Glow of Sunset

February 21, 2014

Ram Jhula in the Golden Glow of Sunset

Ram Jhula at Sunset

I can visit Ram Jhula every day and never tire of the changing view.  This particular day was clear and sunny, although chilly, but the brilliance of the sunset was reflected on the bridge.  If you’ve ever been here, you will appreciate how special these views are.

Ram Jhula at Sunset

Ram Jhula at Sunset

Namaste

Jane


Monkey Shines

November 23, 2013

They look SOOOO human!!  Or is it vica versa??  🙂

Let's see...what should I do today?

Let’s see…what should I do today?

hmmm....where DID I put the car keys???

hmmm….where DID I put the car keys???

Just enjoying the view

Just enjoying the view

Namaste
Have a great day!!
Jane


Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

December 1, 2012

Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

Last Morning in Rishikesh-Clouds Over the Mountains

I was invited to Dr. Arora and Manju’s for dinner together with my friend Michal.  I usually spend quite a lot of time visiting with Manju while I am in Rishikesh.  Daytime visits where we just chat and I watch her in the kitchen-best cooking lessons available-and these visits were missing during this short stay.  But at least I would get to spend the evening with her, and I was excited about going.

We wound up spending the evening in prayers, chanting and singing with all the female members of the communal family dwelling (5 sisters-in-law, a couple of THEIR daughters-in-law, a visiting sister of Dr. Arora from Delhi, and even one baby granddaughter).  I couldn’t have found a more suitable, uplifting and beautiful way to spend my last evening in Rishikesh, or better company.  I have no photos, as it seemed neither appropriate nor necessary at the time, but the wonderful pictures will remain in my mind for a very long time.

It seems over 30 years ago, Dr. Arora’s father decided that every Tuesday there should be an evening of Kirtan (sacred chanting) in the family temple situated in the center of the family dwelling, and the women at the time decided they would be the ones to do it.  And to this day, this is precisely what happens every Tuesday evening.

There is nothing that compares with the power, and empowering energies of the prayers of women.  The chanting was done joyfully, sometimes playfully, sometimes with deep serious mindfulness and devotion, but always directed directly towards the deities.  I felt it on a deep soul level and felt myself being swept away with the power of the connection to God felt in the small room.  Since the chanting is repetitive, and the women took turns leading it, I was very often able to join in. And from my years in India, several of the chants I realized I actually knew the words to myself!  This surprised me and of course brought great joy and approving pleasure to the faces  of the women. And of course, clapping along with everyone else was a no brainer, even for me!!  🙂

The visit afterwards with Manju and the Doctor was thoroughly enjoyable as always, with good conversation, seeing the beautiful wedding album from their eldest son’s wedding last year (the daughter in law of course now living there with them) and of course a superb light dinner.  With soup, idlis, subji, shahi paneer (Manju makes the best in India for sure and she always remembers how much I like it and makes it for me when I come), chutney and of course chapattis with ghee . Dr Arora drove us home, quite late…tired but with full stomachs and happy hearts.

Now having my last breakfast here at the Pundir Restaurant after being treated to a wonderful whole wheat chapatti and homemade ghee when I stopped by Seema’s house earlier.

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The sky is cloudy today for the first time in 6 weeks.  I feel “cloudy” myself. Must be raining somewhere up in the mountains to bring the clouds and colder weather today.

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

Neelkanth Temple in Distance

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And somewhere deep inside of me there is a “rainy” feeling as well.

evening clouds

evening clouds

The day continued quietly, with goodbyes to everyone, always difficult, but even more so after such a short stay, and of course packing up my stuff for storage as well as for taking home.  The sky was beautiful to watch during the day and evening,

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and before heading off to Delhi by taxi, I had my last supper of schnitzel and chips!!  🙂

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The ride on the new highway took less than 5 hours….

Sachin provided me with a pillow so I could sleep in the car on the way.  I dozed on and off…and to my great surprise was in delhi in less than 5 hours!!  New road is good for sure.
Found a nice bench in the departure lounge to lay down on for another hour until they opened the RJ check in counter.  They really hassled me about my carry on- it didn’t fit into the “rack” which measures them.  Finally they called the supervisor, and she allowed me to take it.  What a pain in the ass.  The whole thing took over an hour but luckily I was first on line and when I got to the gate, there was even a free bed to lie down on which I did of course.

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Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

Last Sunrise Over Delhi During Take Off

the flight was fine but it seems the AC as not working….it was really hot on the plane.
Good flight to amman but it is over 7 hours going back.  The plane was not full so there was no one next to me which made it easier to  sleep a little with my legs over the handle of the next seat.
1/2 hour delay in Amman but that meant yosi actually got the airport in time to pick me up.  It was nice.
We went and had a nice breakfast in Yehud and then headed home and got stuck in a HAIL STORM!!  Thought the car windows would crack the pieces were so big!
And then later on in the evening, my house was struck directly by lightning and my phone went dead while talking to yosi.  and my cellphone needed to be charged but I had no electricity, so we couldn’t talk.  It was easier talking to him from India!

And now I am home, a week later, writing this last post!!  I will be posting several more photo posts, and then saying goodbye until next year!  Look forward to seeing you all once again then!

Namaste from Herzlia, Israel


Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures – Nov 12 2012

November 15, 2012

Freedom to Vacation- Redecorating, Movie Shoot and Other Adventures –  Nov 12 2012

Today is the first day I am beginning my day with no thought of panchakarma.  I officially finished yesterday after deciding the the doctor to cut it short by 3 days and begin my recuperation period before heading home.

APPLE CRUMBLE

I still have 3 “fun massages” coming to me later on, just before I go home which I can still take advantage of  if I choose to.

The sense of freedom , of having no responsibilities, of there being nothing I “have” to do (even though everything I was doing was for my own benefit), makes me feel almost giddy with joy.

I now sit at the Pundir restaurant, the weather much cooler than even last week, although the sun is still  beautifully warm.  I am waiting for my paneer parantha. Yesterday I ate pasta – TWICE- and am already feeling my strength come back.  Although fruits and veggies and of course kitcheri are the healthiest foods for me – my comfort food-my soul food- is carbohydrates.  Breads, pasta, anything doughy.  And as Dr. Arora always reminds me – this is not cheating – cravings come from a soul level and if the soul is denied what it needs – the body will never be completely healthy.  So now I will be taking good care of my soul until the cravings end – probably around 3-4 days from previous experience. (today is actually the 15th-and I no longer crave these things!)

Not quite as energized as I imagined but just feeling wonderful being out.  Had this dream of “redecorating” using colored pillows and a throw on my sofa.  And today finally was able to these things.  Took me ages to choose with so many to choose from but think I will be happy when I get it all home.

DIFFICULT CHOICES-HUNDREDS TO CHOOSE FROM

PILLOW SHOP

MY PURCHASE-CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT AT HOME ON MY SOFA

 

But I am not a good shopper and am now exhausted.  Not ready to eat yet so sitting on a bench just next to Laxman Jhula bridge watching the sights of local tourist groups going by with their guides. Will relax here for awhile.  Lovely breeze coming up off the Ganga- Most refreshing!

TOURISTS LISTENING TO GUIDE’S EXPLANATIONS

Went up for a snack and had lovely apple crumble, (shown above) but was really tired.  Rested for a long time and finally made it up to my place.  Not before watching a film or TV series being filmed on the street.

FILM CREW

DIRECTOR COMING OVER TO GIVE DIRECTIONS TO ACTOR

DIRECTOR AND ACTOR

PRACTICING SCENE

GETTING READY TO SHOOT

“LIGHTS!”

ACTION

Home at last, tired but happy.

Namaste from Rishikesh


India Lesson 2012 FINALLY – Nov. 9, 2012

November 10, 2012

India Lesson 2012  FINALLY – Nov. 9, 2012

I figured it out actually while writing THIS post…so you will have to bear with me until it gets put down in words here…as it happened!

Butterfly on the way to the Clinic

Don’ know if this will ever get posted.  No internet for a few days which is definitely a blessing in disguise for sure.  I am still in my “healing crisis”-taking longer than I had planned on-or what the doctor refers to as: “strong reaction to panchakarma” .

So I am being forced to eat very lightly-my stomach wont’ tolerate much more yet, and resting. Don’t have energy for much else and it is very frustrating.  There is so much I need (or want) to do these last couple of weeks and being forced to stay up in and around my room is annoying and boring…especially without internet!!

Coming Down from my Room

I am now sitting at the lovely new Pundir restaurant where I ordered a fruit salad.  Just anything not to have to go right back to the room.  And to my great surprise, they just put in free WIFI! And luckily I have my new phone which I can actually use with WIFI- not much good for writing, but at least I can check emails and FB.  Which I just did…and what did I find there?

A message from Eckhart Tohl which was exactly what I needed to see as I sit here writing about how frustrating and annoying this forced rest is for me!

“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to, rather than opposing, the flow of life”.

This is THE lesson I was meant to learn here this year.  I must now find the way to put it into practice both here and when I get home.

I’ve been confronting the need to rest versus the need to “make the most” of my last 2 weeks here.  Frustrated that I can’t be out and about and not truly allowing myself to relax into resting. Even though I spend all day up at my room-“resting”.

If the rest is only physical, it is not rest at all.

I have a big lesson to put into practice when I get home and the practice begins now.

No matter how it effects all those loving and dear ones around me…what they expect of me-how they expect me to feel-or what may disappoint them regarding how I come back from India, is truly not my concern.

Only being “true to myself” is what needs to concern me at this time.

This of course includes the lesson of living in complete Faith and Freedom from Fear-knowing that all is as it should be, and is good.

Experiencing ALL in complete acceptance, joy and gratitude and of course, Freedom from Fear.

And now that I have figured it out….I already feel better! More at peace, enjoying this time alone, playing games, doing my needlepoint, reading, listening to music, even dancing some folkdancing in my room – and not thinking about what I “cannot” do, but about all the pleasures of what I CAN do.

And to really make my day…as I started heading back up to my room…I heard my name called from across the street….and when I looked…to my great joy and total surprise, it was Akhilesh!!

And who is Akhilesh you may ask?  Well, that is a story for another post…hopefully tomorrow…or of course whenever these begin to get posted.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

November 10, 2012

Healing Crisis -Nov 6-8 2012

Well, the first shift is actually my being without internet for the second day in a row.  The local server “fell” and although it has been repaired, the mobile stick I have been using for some reason was effected and the number is no longer in service.  They say it will take a couple of more days to repair it (Update:  this is not the case…but it is a long story not for now, but apparently I won’t have this lovely service available to me for the rest of the time I am here)  😦

Photos Taken on the Way Down to the Clinic

This in itself is no big deal, as there is plenty of internet service available, but during the same period of time, I was also going through a “healing crisis” (which I thought was a stomach virus at the time) and so was unable to leave my room.  All in all, it was a blessing as I was able to completely rest without the distraction of the computer the whole day  Hopefully today I will feel like going out, but at the moment, I will probably just leave all of this until the connection in the comfort of my room is restored  So if this post is late in coming, you will understand why.

It all began on Sunday (today is Thursday), when I went down to the market and all of a sudden felt extremely weak and decided to head home without completing my errands.

The next day I felt even weaker but attributed it to the water enema and just went to my room to rest  But during the day I had diarrhea several times (highly unusual for me-actually, never happens) and that night could not sleep due to a pounding, debilitating headache which painkillers did not ease.

Reported into the doctor next morning, and apparently I looked like “shit” because he was not pleased when he saw me.  Checked my pulse, was disturbed, and surprised, to find my Vatta very high, and gave me some herbs to “fix” things  Went back to my room, rested all day, but was feeling really bad by then, particularly in my stomach.  Felt like I needed to vomit, but could not (another thing I never do)-I would have felt much better if I had, and ate a little during the day but felt worse and worse as the day wore on  By the nighttime, I had developed a fever, chills and general “fluey” feeling and didn’t sleep much at all

There was no way I would find my way down to the clinic, so called the doctor at 9 in the morning, told him my symptoms, and he said he would send meds up to my room  He advised me to eat just fruit juices, fruit and soup during the day, which I did.  Several glasses of apple juice, a fruit salad, which lasted all day, and later in the day, I asked them to prepare chicken broth for me which was wonderful and made me feel a lot better.  Some toast and butter in the evening and that was it  I developed a fever again in the evening and by 8 was back in bed, actually quite worried about the whole thing.

A couple of hours later, I began to feel better, and to my surprise, the fever was gone, my stomach felt like new and I fell asleep, sleeping well until the morning. (Update: The fever was only gone because of the meds the doc gave me turns out..it didn’t dissipate for real for another 2 days-But since yesterday –Nov 10- I am fine-just still needing a couple of more days of rest)

I realize now that this is a final “cleansing push” of the panchakarma.  Makes sense that the cleansing would be equally difficult to the illnesses which preceded it.  I had a very difficult year healthwise, making the “cure” more difficult than usual.

I am feeling really hungry now for the first time in days, and will go down and order breakfast, and then head down to see the doctor.  I’m sure when he checks me things will be back in order, but will update later.

And perhaps I will also have internet.

.


News Flash!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma- Nov 3 2012

November 3, 2012

News Flash!!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma

Crowded Bridge During this Festival Season before Diwali

My diet during panchakarma is usually very restricted in order to get the maximum results from the detox.  Porridge in the morning, kitcheri at lunch and steamed veggies and chapatti for supper.  All with lots of ghee.  In between meals, fruit and nuts as desired and one glass of hot milk with ginger before bed.  That’s pretty much it.

I don’t usually feel hungry once I get used to it, but it gets soooooooooo boring that I feel like pulling my hair out at times. Especially when I sit in restaurants and see what everyone else is eating!!

This morning, I simply could not imagine another bowl of porridge.  So I went to ask Dr. Arora if I could perhaps, just this once, have something else.  I am feeling the need to “get my teeth into something”.  He asked me what I felt like having, and I blushingly said “Paneer Parantha”.  Without a second thought he replied, “Yes, for sure, why not?- Go have it and enjoy!!”

Which I did!!

But then, I realized, this was a one time deal.  And didn’t like the idea of going back to porridge.  So went back to the clinic and…

Sooooooooo Cute!

…. asked the doctor what he thought of the idea of having brown bread (no yeast) with butter for breakfast instead of porridge.  And his reply was, “Wonderful!  But you can put some fruit jam on it as well!!”

Wonder of wonders!  I asked why?  And he reminded me that this is a very easy , mild form of panchakarma, mainly to get my energy levels back up and my body balanced and vitalized again. You may remember that he already suggested TWO glasses of hot milk a day  together with biscuits (which I have been thoroughly enjoying).  And said if I had asked 2 weeks ago, he would have agreed then as well!!  (was embarrassed to ask then – but he was happy that I came this far with the full detox diet)

So, beginning tomorrow morning, I will have my lovely brown roll from downstairs, freshly prepared each day, with butter and sugar free blackcurrant and cranberry jam which I bought now. And will have my hot spiced milk together with it.  What a lovely breakfast treat, for the rest of the treatment days.

 It will be heavenly for sure!!  .  I am a very happy camper!

Namaste from Rishikesh


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