Monday, January 22, 2007

India Journeys - 1.22.07 - Rishikesh

Hello kiddos! (freaks, family, friends...)

I am loving you here from my beautiful temporary home of Rishikesh. Indeed, still here! (As anticipated :-) I have moved on from my sweet little ashram to a hotel up the hill. It was a gentle and protected way to enter India, to be swept immediately into ashram life, but I am glad for my freedom now. Ironically, I also miss the groundedness of routine (specific sadhana - spiritual practice - and mealtimes each day...). So I am discovering my own organic daily ritual which includes beautiful moments of sadhana in the sunshine (it's still a bit chilly here, but warming up), including yoga and pranayam, as usual... But the spaces in between are filled with wandering...

Visiting the children's school/orphanage to play with the kids, visit my friend Aaron and the other wonderful volunteers there, eat great organic food in their cafe, sing prayers in their evening children's satsang...

Sitting in Tulsi restaurant, my other favorite eatery - not only for the great food, but for the eclectic mix of mostly young foreigners from all over the world...

Wandering the dusty streets and its mix of smells (incense, dung, deisel...), sounds (bhajans amplified from the temples, pop and sacred music from the vending stalls, boundless bubbles of hindi, endless foreign accents, noisy engines, shouts and calls from people selling things...), and sights (I can't even begin to describe!).

I seem to meet new friends each day. A young Israeli woman who we had a good laugh about how funny it is that so many people spend all their energy complaining about life ("but that's how they find meaning!" I exclaim :-) We laugh and "commiserate" about how much we enjoy our lives, both traveling, and back home... Another amazing woman, who I'm just starting to know, from Norway. We met initially when she asked, "were you singing around a fire in Colorado last summer at a Rainbow Gathering?" Indeed, and she remembered it had been Rebecca and I singing "Jai Ambe Jagadambe..." Getting to know the proud owner of Tulsi, a foreign woman who is marrying her Indian husband this Saturday! Her belly full of baby, we talk about education, ways to kinestetically awaken learning in a more holistic way. We talk of spiders, the web of the universe. We talk of anything we can think of, well into the evening, staying out till 11:30 (late by Indian standards - although I was out one night till 1:30 with my American friend Karl, again at Tulsi).

I spent one afternoon in satsang with ShantiMayi and her sangha, just before they headed to Allahabad for three days of the Kumbh Mela. Very sweet community, although striking that everybody is western, all the way here in Rishikesh! That's where I connected with my friend Karl, who I had a fun two days being American in India with. Laughing in that way only irreverent Americans do, only minutes before sharing blessings and ancient Vedic chants down by the Ganges...

Another western-woman teacher is here, Candice O'Denver, teaching the "Great Freedom," resting in awareness... Very beautiful teachings, and I may attend satsang again. But I don't feel I'm here to seek teachings and teachers. They are all around me, in every breath of the air, curve of birdwing, scent of rose, laughter of child, deep gaze of friend, cold mornings and achy feet even!

So I continue on here, for another week it seems, before heading to the Mela and then Varanasi. For now, just enjoying living a life here, being simple. Spending time with the children. Breathing in the sunshine in the morning, practicing yoga and bharata natyam on my rooftop in the afternoons, wandering the streets, smiling and meeting as many gazes as possible...

In Peace ~ Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi:

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Blogger Shashikiran Vaze - Vastu Expert said...

Dear Ariana Saraha,

Extremely happy to read some of your scribes and particularly write-ups during your visit to India. I have also heard your Kirtan and some songs.
What I have observed is the pronounciation of Mantra which I think you have got to get polished properly to make excellent permanant impact on the listener.

In case, should you require my services in this respect, perhaps I may be able to guide you. Please feel free to communicate.

SHASHIKIRAN VAZE - Vastu Consultant


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