Sunday, March 25, 2007

India Journal 2006 #30 March 23rd...Meeting with Akhilesh

Akhilesh, my Reiki Master, who some of you may remember from the interesting stories revolving around my first meeting with him in 2001, is someone I always look forward to seeing, particularly because of our interesting history together.
I knew he would be with his Swami in Rishikesh and finally found the time to go and look for him and see him at his ashram today. He had told me where it is, and several people told me it was no problem to get to as all the riskshaw drivers knew where the ashram is apparently quite famous. When I finally found it I understood why. Called Dayananda Ashram, it is almost in Rishikesh town, on the banks of the Ganga (opposite the river from what used to be the Maharishi's ashram-known here as the "beatles' ashram"), and it is very large, very beautiful, and totally Indians. Very very few foreigners

come there and it has a truly lovely feel about it.

I had an easy morning and afternoon and then picked up a shared rickshaw on the road for 5 rupees, and he knew exactly where to let me off, but tried to convince me to take a private rickshaw for 40 rupees to take me all the way down...I said the main road was fine but he looked skeptical. Anyway, he dropped me off just a couple of blocks from the main market and told me how to walk, but the owner at the guesthouse had already given me a map as to how to walk and Akhilesh had given me some landmarks so I felt OK. I began walking through small side streets in downtown Rishikesh...real India you could say, and nothing was written anywhere in English. I just stopped every so often and asked a shopkeeper, and they all knew exactly what I was looking for but had difficulty explaining exactly how to go. In the end, I found it, without much difficulty, and when I got to the gate there was a guard sitting there. I asked if he knows Akhilesh and was very happy to say he did (afterwards I found out why everyone seemed to know him so well...he has been living there for over 20 years, in recent years only 1 1 /2 months twice a year but in the past for much longer periods)...he sent some boy with me to show me where to find him, but all of a sudden he left my side and just said Akhilesh, pointed straight ahead and walked away. There was an office there so I went in and an old guy was sitting at one of the desks, dreaming. I asked if he knew Akhilesh and he said yes but didn't know what room but he would find out from the guy at the gate who DOES know. A few phone calls later and his saying, in English into the phone "Some LADY (!) is looking for him"....he told me room 159. OK, I ask, and where is room 159..."in garden" says he...and where would that be? Some more pointing and then as if to say "get lost", sits back down at the desk and goes back to his dreaming.
I walked out and asked the first person I saw for room 159...points in a certain direction and sends me off as well...I try again, and again come to prayer places, "no footware beyond this point",,,,meeting rooms, but no room 159. Finally came to another guard and asked him for 159 and he says "Ah, hour...back..."...and with hand gestures I asked "what to do? where to go wait?" and he looks at me with a big grin, as if to say "what a silly question"...and just says "Ganga".....Guess it was a silly question as I was on the banks of the Ganga and didn't realize it...and so very happily went to sit for an hour on the Ganga....aside from the pictures in this post, I also took a video..perhaps the sounds will come through as well.

So I went to sit, and it was quite lovely, and peaceful.

Women doing puja, some babas meditating on rocks, and children frolicking naked in the water...
and just as I was getting comfortable on a rock I had chosen, someone comes up behind me, a cute young Indian guy, and I became worried...he approached me and said "come, come...Akhilesh is looking for you!".....And sure enough, he was up top waving at me. Seems this young guy had heard me talking to the guard, and not wanting to waste time, began running towards the market to find Akhilesh and bring him back!

So, we spent a lovely hour or so together...he had to get to another course at 5 at the Iyengar center in Ra m Jula as a prominent Yoga instructor named Barbara from the States was giving a course fo 10 days and he had signed up. When I asked him why, what did he have to learn from an American, he said not so much Yoga, but teaching methods and English ways of explaining ideas and postures etc. Since he now teaches all over the world, France, Switzerland and Barcelona this past year, he is always looking for better ways to explain things to foreigners so that they will understand.

I am always pleased to see him, and each time I do, there is a new presence about him, a further dignity, (even some grey hair which is distinguishing for a man), and a new seriousness about his life purpose. I was very pleased with our meeting and he was as well...I showed him pics of the family which he always likes to see, and told him about my experiences with Reiki classes in Rishikesh, and he was very pleased and very encouraging as well.

I will see him again in Bhagsu, but this meeting left me with a very wonderful feeling. Getting feedback and validation from your Master is always wonderful. When I arrived back at the guesthouse, one of the guys who works there stopped me asked what happened to my eyes? I didn't understand and thought perhaps my eye makeup was running, but he said look ....and he was stuck for the word so asked where I had come from.

I told him from my Reiki Master and he said "That's it...your eyes are look extra happy"...It was amazing that he would notice that and even more amazing that this meeting, which left me feeling wonderful, would show up so clearly on my face!

So, all in all, a lovely day, as they all seem to be lately....enjoy the pics...hope to write up another post yet today about my further meeting with Nandu and the work when I get back, but will see how things go....