My first trip to India in 2006 taught me the power of surrender. I was quick to understand early on to ‘let go’ when my plans did not coalesce as I thought they needed.
I learned to trust the guide to walk across what I perceived chaotic street crossing as he knew the rhythm of the street. As long as we stepped into the street in a measured step, the traffic flowed around us. I realized it was a dance.
Each lesson had immediate and profound effects on me. They resonate with me to this day.
Now, as my book Cleanse Your Body, Reveal Your Soul is about to be released (Aug. 11, 2020), I look back on my many trips to India. I try to go once a year.
Beauty in spirit
Once I left the big city of New Delhi and became acquainted with homestays, including former palaces, I connected more with the locals. From the vendors to the staff at the homestays, there often was a generosity of spirit and kindness. I have found that to be true when I have visited other parts of India.
Spirituality in India feels to me to be imbued into the very soil. India is referred to as Mother. I feel the energy of Her presence. Connecting with the Divine Feminine comes easily here. For me personally, I feel like I have come home when I am in India.
That said, I know there are significant problems with violence toward women in India as the headlines have shared with us in the past years. They are beginning to be addressed with their own #metoo movement with much work still to be done.
India is a very diverse country culturally. Northern India has had the influence of various invasions including the Mughals. The architecture reflects their presence as well as the British. The south was invaded less, so much of the culture reflects the India from long ago.
I have ended up in Jaipur more than once as the size and the culture of the town appealed more to me than the more crowded, polluted larger cities. I really prefer smaller cities in India
In Nagpur, I have often attended a Folk Art festival. Part of the evening festivities have increasingly included tribal dances from all over India. The indigenous people are starting to have a greater presence.
The history of India has created some of world’s greatest literature, song and dance in homage of the Divine. The Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita, which is part of the Ramayana, have much to offer us in teaching to navigate the uncharted waters we are facing these days during the pandemic.
Exploring the temples, mausoleums such as the Taj Mahal, and museums has given me a perspective of India’s complicated history.
Wisdom of Ayurveda
Ayurveda is making a resurgence again in India. Prime Minister Modi has created AYUSH (Ayurvedic, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) department to support Ayurveda and other holistic disciplines. During British rule, many of the schools were undermined with the push to create a British version of health care. Few British saw the depth and importance of Ayurveda for the people of India. It is a sophisticated medicine.
Being able to see how it is now practiced in India, I am excited about offering support as I go forward to share how Ayurveda and panchakarma have had a profound impact upon me personally.
Nagpur is now the city I most often visit due to my commitment to be present for longer periods of time for panchakarma. It allows for rejuvenation to be truly supportive for me at this stage of my life.
As I have shared here, there are many reasons why I have fallen in love with India. That’s partly why I wrote Cleanse Your Body, Reveal Your Soul. It is a vicarious passage to India.
I look forward to exploring and sharing parts of India in my future travels with you.
May you be drawn to join me on a guided tour that I hope to create in the next year or so. There will be a time when travel will be safe again and I look forward to that time!