Namaskar and hello after a long break.
No Newsletter doesn't mean no news... mostly it means too many news! When so many things are happening continuously I have to live right in the present. And that's not bad, to fully live every moment with all lifes ups and downs. Still I am living in the present but the speed has slowed down since last month when the "India & Nepal, Spiritual Adventure Tour" concluded. Slowly slowly I cought up with all the mail that had piled up over two month, sorted out most of the photo's and started to prepare for all the projects this year; I hope to build and tech about domes in seven places! An other busy year ahead so it was good to spend a bit of slower time here in Singapore. In any case the heat and humidity doesn't make for running around, though I enjoy going everywhere by bisycle!
Back to December... Not sure how much I'll write but I selected photo's for two newsletters. If I get inspired I tend to write more, if flow doesn't start it'll be mainly photo's... Some people wrote me it's mainly the photo's they enjoy in any case:-)
|Lotus temple, a place of worship of the Bahai faith||Lots of them, and making lot's of noise|
Well, as usual we started in Delhi and had a bit of a look around. Now there were some reasons that we couldn't attend our program in Ananda Nagar over the new year and would join an alternative program in Rishikes. Rishikes is normally the next stop after Delhi but instead of going twice we moved the program around and found some time to visit some altogether new place: Pushkar.
|Jyotish, Niilakanta, Vimala', and Didi Ananda Ragamaya||It's me, and you have to trust it's on a camel...|
Pushkar is in Rajastan, an overnight train journey from Delhi. Here it's very much desert like, with camels everywhere. The middle of the town has a lake and several hills (with temples on top) are around. Above you can see us on Camels! We did a two day camel safary. At night we slept on the sand under the stars and around the fire. I think we got a bit sick from the food provided but otherwise it was a great experience. Especially sleeping in the desert with no light except for the stars above is really unique.
|Our ancestors watching us on the climb up the hill||The pickture I always have of desert cities out
the "1001 night fairy tales".
We also climbed up the hills to visit the temples. The temples themself not overly interresting (one was closed) but the view was terific and doing meditation sitting on the rocks on top of the hill is also very nice. Well worth the climb!
From Pushkar back to Delhi to pick up Maya from the USA. She was not on holiday, but on study journey! A year off from college to learn everything about other cultures and get lot's of life experince. I think all teenagers should get such chance!
From Delhi, the same day, an other over night train to Bodhgaya were we meditated under the famous Bo tree, where the Bhudda got enlightenment, as well as in the cave where he spend years of meditating. Unlike last year there were very few people so we could actually do some real meditation! Last time people kept coming and going, dropping coins in the donation box while going... Not quite the right admosphere for quiet contemplation on the Divine!
|Breakfast time: Vimala', Vimukta', Didi, Niilakanta
Maya. Mayadiisha hiding somewhere, me at the camera
|On our way to the Buddha's cave|
From Bodhgaya, agian an overnight train... yes, almost all trains in India are overnight! Sometimes even two nights.
Next stop was Jamalpur where our Guru was born and spend His youth. There are so many inspiring stories around from the time He was there and visiting the place gives a whole new perspective. A lot has changed since, most trees cut, the town grown but still the charm can be felt! We also had the oppurtunity to visit the Railway office where our Guru worked in the accountants section as supervisor in the 60's. Still a few of His colegues of that time were there and told us about how it was to work with Him. They were not his diciples but had so much respect not only due to His exemplary conduct but also how he used to answer all their questions like a living esiclopedia. Many more inspiring events that are hard to express here.
|Nearby Hill in Jamalpur where our Guru
used to do meditation when He was a child. That time it was a dense
and dangerous jungle with tigers and other wild animals. Now it's still a bit remote, you can see on the right
photo that the town is beyond the lake in the distance..
After four days in Jamalpur we were on our way back to Delhi (yes overnight, 18 hours) to pick up five more participants and go all together to Rishikesh where we would have our new year program. Christmas we celebrated on the train, wearing paper yellow crowns made by Maya... Ok, we had only one crown but took turns and photos:-)
|Visit the home of one of the early Jamalpur devotees||Mayadiisha: feeding the monkeys in Rishikes|
After all this travelling we could relax for a week in Rishikesh with walks to waterfalls and beaches, picknicks and rafting. Though I am not sure if the rafting was really relaxing... I think it came under the adventure part. No one stayed dry and some were soaked completely! Though really cold it was great fun and exhilarating.
|Monster size cat, guarding the temple||Kiirtan and meditation on the banks of the Ganges|
|The ashram where we stayed||Ready to launch|
That's it for now:-) Part two, starting with the treck in Nepal will be ready and send in the next days
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