THINGS BEGIN TO SHIFT

November 1, 2015

THINGS BEGIN TO SHIFT

RAM JHULA

RAM JHULA

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. 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.

everyday sight along Swag Ashram ghats

everyday sight along Swag Ashram ghats

The photos in this post are part of the shift as I’ve realized I must do my walking alone if I am too truly receive the benefits of it on all levels. So I spent a beautiful day just roaming around Ram Jhula and Swagashram areas and ghats…and while there, taking photos of whatever took my fancy. I won’t post all of them here, but rather over a few posts.

Have you heard what happened to....???

Have you heard what happened to….???

One of the result of this shift is my really allowing myself to enjoy whatever suits me at the moment. 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. IT’s been interesting for me to note what strikes my fancy in music over the past few days…

say cheese!! Weekend tourists enjoying the Ram Jhula ghats

say cheese!! Weekend tourists enjoying the Ram Jhula ghats

decisions, decisions, decisions

decisions, decisions, decisions

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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  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.

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weekend tourists

weekend tourists

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FOOD FOR THE FISH

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along swag ashram ghats

along swag ashram ghats

on ram jhula bridge

on ram jhula bridge

dressed for the holiday weekend

dressed for the holiday weekend

tour group with guide

tour group with guide

TRANQUIL RAM JHULA

TRANQUIL RAM JHULA

Hope you enjoy the rest of these photos as much as I enjoyed experiencing them.

with love light and JOY

Jane


Qutab Minar – Delhi

May 24, 2014

An oasis of serenity, tranquility and beauty in the midst of the eternal hassle, noise and chaos that is Delhi.

qutub minar first photo

The impressive architecture, the intricate designs and carved works on the structure walls and pillars….all are quite amazing

I visited here last October with my friends, and this is also a great time of year to tour Delhi as the weather is quite pleasant.

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No matter where you stand in the compound, you can feel the power and energy radiating from this impressive architectural feat.

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Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India.

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An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

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DSC04256note the jet….quite amazing to see this structure still standing after all these years
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All in all it was an lovely day with my good friends, Preeti and Sudeep Lal (they can be seen in the photos below…waiting on line, and in the shadow of the impressive arch

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If you are in Delhi, this is definitely a must see!

DSC04237Namaste

Jane

 


Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

November 29, 2012

Perfect Paneer Parantha – Finally Good Outcome from Panchakarma-Nov 20, 2012–11–28

I just ate the perfect paneer parantha.  (You can see a perfect aloo parantha Here )

 Would have been the perfect aloo parantha if that had been my choice today but I felt like paneer this time.

VERY thinly rolled, not doughy, not greasy, lots of turmeric and cilantro and the slightest hint of chilly powder.  And lots of paneer.  So different from what most places serve.  Just as good as any I make myself at home.

Got up this morning-my last “real” day here before leaving tomorrow evening for the airport in Delhi..  Got dressed and decided to out for breakfast in Laxman Jhula. Below some of the sites I saw and pretty much the last photos of this short visit to Rishikesh

early morning family outing

 

On the way down to the Ganga

stuff to buy along the way

colorful surprise

 

Stoppedby Dr. Arora to make final arrangements for dinner tonight at his house.  Really excited.  Manju is THE best cook I know personally in India!

And weighed myself.  I could tell from my jeans this moring that the results of the final stage of panchakarma, rejuvenation, are finally clicking in.  My body is finally beginning to get slowly back into balance.

Well, I got on the scale and to my great joy and surprise (as well as the doc’s-he gave me a huge grin and then hugged me), I gained 5 kg in the last 10 days or so.  And it is the first time I’ve managed to put weifht back on since my digestive issues began more than a year ago! Went from 47 to 52 Kg!! My normal weight is around 56 kg so I am on my way.

Despite the setbacks during panchakarma this year, and it being soooo difficult, I see for sure tht slowly the full impact will be felt in the final results.

So I now sit at the Ganga View Restaurant, across Laxman Jhula to the left past the jeep stand.

breakfast view Laxman Jhula

My View While Eating Breakfast just One Week Ago

 

This is a place I usually come to eat often, but will not have the time this year.  They have the best iced coffee, toasted cheese (made with yak cheese), tofu and veggie dishes, and to my surprise, have now added bakery items to their menu.  And of course a wonderful Ganga View to enjoy.

Today I found a lovely spot in the sun to enjoy.

peek at laxman jhula

Had the wonderful paneer parantha and masala chai, and for dessert had a delicious chocolate/banana muffin which was perfect!

morning music

early morning ghat view

lady on crutches navigating ghat with child

 

Final Look Towards Laxman Jhula

 

Heading home to rest and finish packing and be ready to go to the Arora’s for dinner. Hope to write about it in one more post, as well as post several photo posts with shots that didn’t make it into any of the posts from this trip,

Namaste (but now in Israel  🙂   )

Jane


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


A Day Along Laxman Jhula Ghats-Photo Post-Oct 31, 2012

November 6, 2012

Action and Tranquility – A Day Along Laxman Jhula Ghats-Photo Post

panorama towards laxman jhula

Just some photos of a lovely day I spent strolling, relaxing and meditating along the ghats in Laxman Jhula.

Looking Across towards Tapovan

I think the photos speak for themselves and perhaps bring you a small amount of the tranquility I felt while sitting there.  (Once I got across the bridge and past the Festival crowds that is! Before that, it was pure action adventure!  :-))

queuing up to cross the bridge

Ganga Offering

Festival Crowds Taking Holy Dip Before Going to Temple

Temple Seen from German Bakery

Kyakking Down the Ganga

And that’s me!


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


A Day Along the Ghats of Ram Jhula, Rishikesh – Oct 25-27, 2012

October 28, 2012

A Day Along the Ghats of Ram Jhula, Rishikesh

Just a quick summary of the last few days of Panchakarma….On the 25th I had a lovely massage and steam bath, this being the last day before beginning the cleansing part of panchakarma.  Twelve days of enemas, alternating between medicated oil, and medicated water enemas.  Usually, there is a higher percentage of water enemas, but this time, due again to the fact that I need a gentler approach this year, the majority of them will be oil, and those are not unpleasant in any way.  Plus I get to eat a paneer parantha every day before the oil enema!  :-).

Flower Delivery Man

So the last two days have been oil enemas, and the days, as they will be now, pretty boring with nothing much to write or photograph. It is more of a going inside time, and I always enjoy this forced kind of retreat inwards.  If there is anything that needs writing, I will post, and if not, I may be silent for several days now.

Ganga Rafting

Here is the last post before this stage of treatment began….a lovely day out along the ghats of ram Jhula, the weather still lovely and many local tourists enjoying the Ganga, either for spiritual bathing or just for fun!

Just a Cool relaxing Afternoon

It was wonderful to be out and about and see all the joyous groups of families and friends celebrating the Festival period which continues up until Diwali in November.

Combing Hair after Bathing

Company Comes to Call

Family Dipping Together

1,2,3…all together now!

Taking Boat Across

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Hope you enjoy the “sites” through the lens of my camera and will take time to open the full gallery below.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


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


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

Jane


Faces of India Part 8 – Colorful Local Tourists

September 3, 2012

Rishikesh is a famous Hindu religious destination .

These are not local people from Rishikesh. You can tell by the style of clothing they are wearing

It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, salvation,  as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.

It is considered an abode of Gods, a place of worship and penance

colorful Saturday Tourists On the Way Down to the Ganga

Rishikesh has been the centre of spiritual and religious activities since ancient times. It is around Rishikesh where sages, seers or the rishis and munis in ancient times practiced severe penance and meditation.

crowds on laxman jhula

The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. It is here that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India. Many temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh.  (It is also still pristinely clean-not having become polluted like the River in most places further South- coming straight down from the melting glaciers and so one is able to truly enjoy taking a holy bath or swimming just for fun – assuming you enjoy ice water!!  🙂 )

Rishikesh’s spiritual origins stem from Hindu mythology that Lord Rama was sentenced to penance at this spot, for killing Ravana the demon god of Lanka; the Laxman Jhula Bridge is named after Laxman, Ramas brother who is recounted as crossing the river at this point by jute rope.

indian family on vacation posing at bridge

Rishi, meaning “seer,” was a name given to monks living in caves in the surrounding hills, holy men to whom the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) were originally revealed.

tourists in rishikesh

For these, and many more reasons, including breathtaking scenery, adventure sports such as rafting, hiking in the Himalayan foothills, fabulous food, and lovely, friendly people, Rishikesh is an extremely popular place for both family pilgrimages and just plain holidays.  People come from all over India to enjoy everything Rishikesh has to offer tourists, as well as for sacred pilgrimage and bathing in the Ganga…all at the same time!!  No matter when you are there, you will always see hordes of local tourists, and during Festivals, it is sometimes so crowded you simply cannot walk.  And of course, this is in addition to all the foreign tourists who come to relax, do Yoga, spend time in the numerous ashrams, meditate, or just chill out after frantically traveling through the “rest of India”!!

a day with friends in rishikesh

Hope you enjoy just a few photos of local tourists, as they are so more interesting and colorful to look at than foreign tourist.

tourists on Laxman Jhula

tourist crowds

Can’t be a tourist without a camera!!

Family Outing including Sacred Dip in the Ganga

 

 

 

 


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