Rishikesh, top of the world
Sat Nam and Namaste divine ones!
Tomorrow is my last full day, and with all of the sights, sounds, smells, and full on feeling of Rishikesh I wanted to post before I depart. Â A friend and I found probably the one internet “joint” with wireless and a fan, thank God for that! Â Did I mention it gets a wee bit warm in the afternoons now? I have taken to napping and meditating for about 3 hours in those hours!
Where to begin??? I feel like we are in a little city, perched on a pinhead sitting on top of the world overlooking the majestic and holy Ganges River! Every day has provided me with completely new experiences, and yet there is a soothing routine to the early morning yoga class, meditation by the river, breakfast at a little “cafe” (not anything like what you are imagining, so don’t get romantic on this idea!), and then time for reflection before Kundalini Yoga (YES, there is a visiting teacher here from NY, she is a new KY teacher and is filled with enthusiasm and vigor, we have been doing all navel point kriyas!!!), and then lunch in the intimate dining room (again, not what you imagine!) and then the afternoon of napping, meditating, writing, reading, touring, walking, swimming (yes, we took some dips in the river!!), climbing to see waterfalls, shopping, and simply being!, then the famous Arti ceremony on the river, (the sacred ceremony of Light, honoring the sunset), then dinner, then more KY meditation, then BED!
Now, what is happening though inside, is at least as mind blowing as what goes on outside here. Just getting used to the incredible sensory overload is a job in and of itself. The upside is of course the majestic river, her overwhelming energy and the way the people pray, bathe, wash, swim, and drink from her. Â Just seeing her, sitting beside her creates in me an overflow of emotions at times. Â Watching the beautiful women wash their saris and then how they billow in the wind to dry and then rewrap themselves is amazing!
The interesting modesty of the people, you must keep your shoulders and preferably ankles covered, but the entire waist and stomach are free for exposure, quite a different viewpoint than what we have. The people, both men and women will bathe in the river, men always leave on their wrapping, and women bath in a sari and then change into another one, although sometimes they are topless.
We enjoyed a dip up river one particularly hot afternoon, and talk about a cold plunge! It is freezing!!!! But what a feeling when we got out! I felt totally new and revitalized, like I had been baptized! BTW, can you imagine people white water rafting down the Ganges, well, it happens!!!
Ashram life has given me a whole new awareness and gratitude for the luxury I live with. Â Austerities aside, the vibration does pervade every waking moment, and I am constantly reminded of what I am doing here. God resides in every sound, sight, smell, touch and taste.
My heartfelt feelings are still “coming together”, and I will post more when I depart, but for now, know this, I have held each of you in my heart, and I will continue to pray and meditate for you on every level. These last two nights will be very special as I begin to synchronize myself for departure. Â I will depart Delhi on Friday, and spend the weekend in Boston with my daughter and finally wend my way home by Monday. I absolutely cannot wait to see you in class on Wednesday, March 31st!
Thank you also to Diane and Eleanor, you two are grace in action! thank you for being there!
Peace, love and light to all,
Denise Kirpal Kaur