Wednesday, March 12, 2008

#16 – March 10-11, 2008 – Back to the Real World and A Really “Rough” Day

Interesting, during the previous 3 days I had this intense need to be alone, and work on the issue of irrational fears. (A posting will eventually find its way to the Mindfulness Journal, but it is still being contemplated to try and get the full impact of those 3 days across). And to my surprise, I WAS entirely alone. No one came looking for me at my room. Id didn’t meet anyone in town anywhere, nor bump into any new, or old friends at meal times. And today (yesterday actually), which I declared a “vacation” day for myself, and just hung around doing relaxing things –
nothing require any great effort either physically, mentally or spiritually, the people who saw me during the day told me I looked: renewed, vibrant, full of life, at peace, tranquil etc. But still was alone most of the day. [ Except for my meeting with Dudi, which will have to wait for another post].

And when today, (really today), I more or less got back to my “real” world, everyone staring turning up again…pretty much coming out of the woodwork so to speak. Yael, a young Israeli girl, came for advice and we sat for a long time early this morning. Then I went down to mail my package and met a nice Indian guy on the way and we talked for awhile. He is from Kerala and vacationing in Rishikesh and wanted my advice about sending a package “home”! Then, back to my room where I had prepared a small snack of cheese and grapes before headingoff to the Ganga, when Ben turned up. He’s started his teachings with the Swami Dyananda (also Akhilesh’s Swami), and I figured I would not be seeing him for awhile. Well, HE came to tell me about his first evening and morning and so we snacked together and he talked. . Then finally got down to the Ganga, and following my “swim”, walked into Moksha, the nice new restaurant down there and again met Yael, not planned, eating with a young German guy so again had company. There was hardly a minute during the day when I was not with someone else. And just as I thought I’d be heading back to relax, my phone rang (I had it with me for this exact reason, just in case) and it was Nikolai, asking to meet me in about an hour for Chai! So, back to the room, quick shower and down to spend a lovely 3 hours with him, after not seeing him for a year. And WOW! What a story HE had to tell.

From a deeply devoted practicing Buddhist of 7 years, living most of that time in India with short and infrequent trips back home to visit family, living at a monastery and preparing for his first 5 year retreat, he is now going back to Moscow to get married to a very rich girl he knows since age 14 (he is 32), who was married previously, divorced, has a 7 year old son (which he says may even be his anyway), and is very rich. He will go into her father’s business which he says is dirty, cut throat and completely demanding, and wind up getting rich himself!! When I asked how this will effect his practice and all his Buddhists beliefs, and why he was doing it, he replied that if he didn’t do itnow, he would always wonder if he made a mistake and with regrets, could never move forward in his practice anyway. If it works out, he will assume he was never as truly committed as he imagined himself to be, and if not, in 4-5 years he will simply leave it all and come back and continue from where he left off!

It is now the next day…March 11th, and I had planned, after the very intense “people filled” day yesterday, to go early to the market to do some shopping I still have on my list. But Ben joined us (my 2 British neighbors…I know, I haven’t written about them either), for breakfast and then came up to speak to me further about the teachings and why they are not working for him, and how disappointed he is in himself etc. It was an intense, and long talk, but quite insightful for him, and in the end, I didn’t leave for the market until after 12.

I easily found the computer shop recommended to me on Railway Road, and if I hadn’t just seen myself walk into it off the Rishikesh street, I could have sworn I was back in raanana! I bought a Logitech cordless mouse and it was so pleasant shopping there . They didn’t just hand it to me, take my money and say goodbye as would have happened back home. They opened up the substantial packaging, took out the mouse (I hadn’t said a word, was just expecting to pay and go), showed me how to put in the battery, how to store the USB piece, how to get the best results from the mouse, plugged it into their computer and asked me to try it and see if it was comfortable…all this before taking any money for me…)

I then decided to look for a mortar and pestle from marble for myself and one of my daughters, and some fabric to have a couple of favorite tops remade for me by a local tailor. But then remembered that the cosmetician I went to last year was right up the same street so figured I’d walk up just to make an appointment. I wound up spending the next 2 hours being completely pampered including back massage, and all kinds of beauty treatments, which were as wonderful as I remember them being, my face is as smooth as a baby’s behind, and all for 250 rupees!!

I DID find a mortal and pestle, as well as having my late lunch of brown rice and steamed veggies, went up to my room to rest from this really “rough” day…it was 4:30 by then and I have been up since 5:30 this morning. I am liking Rishikesh more and more each day and will definitely be back here.

I have BTW, begun doing my yoga, pranayama and meditation outside each morning facing the rising Eastern Sun and it is quite powerful. Trying to figure out some way to do that at home but so far cannot think of any practical option.

Namaste for today