Tuesday, February 13, 2007

India Journeys - 2.13.07 - Varanasi

As I type, a little mouse comes by to check out the little neglected chai cup near my computer in this little open air internet stall...

I'm finally relaxing into the madness that is Varanasi. It hasn't been easy, but now I am studying and have a decent place to sleep, so it's starting to feel very sweet...

Not many days more to study here, but always sweet, even just to dip a toe into the river of raga...

I'm taking morning lessons with a wonderful French woman named Uma who has studied Dhrupad for countless years (the oldest style of classical Indian music, in the North at least). Then after wandering free for the afternoons, I take an early evening group class with Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, a beautiful and sleepy-seeming ancient old man who happens to be in the family that is the lineage holders for Dhrupad... Miraculously he is here only one week, overlapping with my stay... And I'd intended to seek the Dagars out for years!

It wasn't easy landing here. Dirty, noisy, crowded... a city! It is to San Fransisco what Rishikesh is to our gentle and magical Boulder. I tend to love the city in small doses, but never seem to feel at home... I was met with a myriad of challenges that shattered any semblance of conditional peace. But weathering it out, I've found it was the perfect challenge to clarify my dedication to God, beauty, and Love (same same :-)

Speaking of "weathering it...," we've had quite a bit of sloppy rain, a unique challenge in open-toed shoes in a city filled with every possible unknown grodiness imaginable... No, I'm not yet comfortable walking around barefoot, I still feel the separation between my tender white skin and the steaming cowpies...

But I'm used to rock hard beds, little or no pillow, lack of central heat on chilly days, all the crazy smells that come my way...

So many stories I don't even know where to begin! But I will be returning just in one week, and we'll be singing kirtan that Friday, rockin it with Tribal Electra Saturday...

And in case you really want into the heart of my journeys, I will be transcribing my journals upon my return, so look for the book out soon... :-)

Loving you all greatly. I'm sending my blessings that you are wonderful and well, that you are finding ever more that place of deep peace, and that you always know you are Loved, that you are the heart of pure Love....

Happy Valentines Day :-) And Maha Shivaratri!!!

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous ys said...

Nice to know you could attend Ustad's classes :) I relish them whenever I get a chance!

01:44  

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