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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

India

The healing waters of  Ma Ganga.

So you ask me to tell of India, but one doesn't "tell" of India . . . India wraps itself around the core of the Soul, and as it slowly unwinds, perspective, speech and habit subtly change. The transformation is the tale. -- Layne Neville

How about that beautiful quote from my new friend Layne?  She is one of the many reasons I had an amazing trip to India.  Not just a trip really, but a spiritual pilgrimage.  With a healthy dose of tourist-type experiences and shopping for beautiful things.


Me, Lisa and Uschi in an auto rickshaw
I have the enormous blessing of spiritual sisters all over the place, and one of those sisters is Lisa Bergley the founder and primary teacher at Spirit of the Lake Yoga in Excelsior, Minnesota.  I tagged along with her group of yogis and non-yogis, meeting up with the fearless and fabulous Uschi Gibson who runs LuckyUschi.  Be sure to check out her website www.LuckyUschi.com,
which encompasses her women's empowerment work in creating a line of fair-trade clothing and also offers her incredible knowledge of the country and culture in coordinating journeys in India.  (AND be sure to check back with me at Uttara because I'm going to have some of these gorgeous creations for sale at the Studio soon!)

While I was in India, I realized people would ask me about my trip and let me tell you -- there are no sound bites or quick, snappy sentences that can even hint around at what it is to experience India.  Places like Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Rishikesh and Hardiwar -- places with enormous spiritual power.


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Meeting the women; Charrie and I said we liked to dance so they asked us to dance for them!
Any time you travel, you are changed in small and large ways; and sometimes the changes reveal themselves slowly.  I came home with a deep appreciation for what I take for granted; feeding my children so well (even if they complain and they do!); my house still seems enormous.  I came back with a strong sense of wanting to spend my time wisely; to make more time to meditate, to pray -- to take my troubles to the Goddess instead of talking them to death.  And to spend more time with the people that I love. 

I feel more responsibility as a privileged woman with a large amount of freedom to make wise choices for my sisters in other places; I never really thought that much about the bargain yoga pants I bought at TJ Maxx; now I wonder; who is sitting where and in what conditions making my ultra-cheap clothing?  That beautiful silk scarf -- someone sat a loom and made that fabric; like the beautiful mittens my friend Pat made me for Christmas one year that I cherish and make sure to never lose -- could I be more wise with what I purchase and value the time and the person who made it?

There was also so much joy there -- children flying simple kites of newspaper, life spilling out everywhere, dogs nursing puppies, markets and mess and life and death and everything in between; nothing is hidden in Mother India.

So as I integrate my experiences, there will be more writing, more thinking; and hopefully many more trips to that complex and beautiful country.

Shanti,

Jill

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