India oh how I miss the peace of mind that you gave me. Here are a few photos and scribbles of my travels...
Red round sun magical and omnipotent, like an eye of a god rises over the palm trees. Dogs free from worries are roaming the beach and running after each other like carefree kids, we walk in a morning meditation. We are meant to keep our minds quiet and I am trying to still my thoughts, (a pretty difficult task to be honest, but I am trying).
Each day is magical, some days though are tougher than others. Sometimes I have energy, other times I just lay outside my hut reading and sleeping. I came wanting to change things, find answers, focus and clarity. After two days I realised that I was setting too many goals again. I let go of the goals and finally relax.
Few of the things I remember from the classes:
Everything you are looking for is inside of you already. Peace, strength, focus, clear mind, determination it's all there you are just not letting it come through when you rush around and try to do it all at once. Stop running just sit down for 5 minutes a day and listen to yourself. (You must put the iphone down while doing that)
You don't know what you don't know: simple right? Well the thing is we always assume things, like oh I am going to get stressed out... because my boss, friend, colleague, husband (insert your own) is going to do this and then it will annoy me and then I will have a bad day and then... How often do we pre-assume things, work ourselves up about something that has not yet happened? We can never predict the outcome, so we must stop getting stressed about things that have not happened.
Learn to listen to people. Without gestures, nodding, without interrupting, without thinking of 10 other things. Just listen and then you might actually hear what they are saying.
There were many more things, but these three just stuck in my head. During the week I became addicted with to the resorts home made nutty granola, amazingly delicious vegetarian food and paneer (Indian ricotta cheese that is to die for), I also finally managed to do a head stand. I reached a level calm that I have not felt since I was 19, then suddenly just like that the week was over.
I am in a car on the way to the airport. I stick my head out, smelling the air: burnt wood, spice, cooking, fragrant flowers, not so fragrant cow poop and plastic bag forests. The smells of the countryside. People lives and stories, dreams and sorrows, some visible to the eye just like the rows of clothing hanging on the ropes, some hidden beyond the walls, all flicker in front of my eyes. Goodbye Goa...
Few hours later I land in Mumbai, I have a 9 hours connection so I head out into the city. After Goa, the city is like an explosion, a visual overdose, intoxicating and wild. All has a rhythm, all has a beat, Mumbai is messy, rich, dirty and regal. It's a cacophony of sounds and smells, it's constantly moving and singing it's spiritual, yet very entrepreneurial and money hungry. It's addictive.
The smells deserve a paragraph, a melange of exhaust pipes, sewage, spice and flowers it's sweet and overpowering and surprisingly alive.
Honking is a national sport. It's a never ending dialogue, that turns into strange music. Flamboyant and kitch the city is crazy. Monkeys and goats, ancient palaces and Louis Vuitton shops, high and low all mashed into one ball.
I rush to Gandi's museum and get lost in history for an hour. The man who changed India, who wrote letters to Hitler, Tolstoy and Roosevelt, who practised restraint and mindfulness and managed to inspire both peasants and intellectuals. After the museum I have two hours left, but as I am dragging around my luggage my movement is restricted and I head to dinner at the Taj Hotel to have some paneer and ice tea, I read newspapers and magazines soaking in the last few hours in India. A quick walk along the promenade and it's time to fly back to Hong Kong.