Dream of having your own Eat, Pray, Love Moment? Part Two
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Dream of having your own Eat, Pray, Love Moment? Part Two
Allow me to continue my story of my own Eat, Pray, Love experience in India…
Two days into the journey I was out on my own.
One of the concessions, I soon found out, was to leave Varanasi early and fly alone to Delhi on a cheap flight!
Ok, so that was not the group experience I was looking for and unfortunately it was the first of many shortcomings of that group tour.
But I digress, there was in fact a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow just around the corner.
I set my alarm clock super early so that I could get up just before sunrise.
I got dressed quickly and made my way down to the steps of the Ganges river.
My mission was to take in as much prana or life-force energy as I could fit in.
Bottle it, store it and allow it to float me around for the rest of the trip.
The day before I had seen a holy man sitting on the steps meditating and I thought to myself what a great place to start.
I had my journal and I perched myself in the same position I had see the holy man in the day before.
I used my journal as my meditation cushion and I settled in and as you can imagine my meditation was like magic that day.
I was living the dream, ticking off the bucket list and doing what the Yogi’s have done for thousands of years in the homeland of this sacred art form.
What a site to behold, the sun rising over the Ganges river in the holiest city of India – the oldest living city in the world!
I floated into the inner landscape and merged with the outer and I had to pinch myself when I came out because I felt like the luckiest girl alive.
I journalled to ground myself and document my experience and by this time all of the river activity had come to life – the bathing, the rituals, the mantras and offerings.
Something caught my eye – an old man down by the river was gesturing for me to come down and my heart sank.
I shouldn’t have been sitting there assuming that you can just treat this holy land as your own.
To my surprise when I got to the bottom, my head held in shame, the old man had prepared a large piece of cardboard for me to sit down on next to him.
He was fascinated with my meditation and my journalling but off course he only spoke Hindi so I was forced to resort to every single yoga word that I knew and luckily I have a bit of a thing for Sanskrit.
Through limited words and a lot of hand gestures I was able to communicate that I was a yoga teacher, that I had recently been studying the Bhagavad Gita and that I was doing my sadhana (daily practice) here by the river.
He was so intrigued and his kind face made me relax so I asked him if he knew anything in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita that he could write down in my journal.
He was perplexed for a little while as he was quite old and frail.
Meanwhile, another holy man, a Hindu priest, came along and wanted a piece of the action.
He was dressed in all of his holy garb and offered to bless my brand new rudraksha mala (meditation beads) by the banks of the river.
Off course I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and I felt confident that the old man would keep an eye on me.
I left him with my journal to see what he could come up with and edged closer to the river for the ritual.
The priest had me recite after him some special mantras, interjected with the name of my mother and father and he performed a ritual with rice, ash and something that looked like dried spaghetti!
He bathed my mala in the river and sprinkled drops of the water on my head.
I was purified and my mala was blessed, infused with Ganga Jal, the holy river water of the life-force of Divine Mother India – the Ganges River.
The ritual was complete and off course as it happens often in India the priest asked for a donation…whether he was a legitimate priest or not, I guess I’ll never know.
The old man, who by this stage I had established was called Rajendra-ji started to speak very firmly to the priest.
From what I could gather, he said something along the lines of, you can’t charge her she’s a yoga teacher and then he asked me to sit down with him again.
I sat down and he slowly revealed the beautiful Sanskrit phrase that he had managed to recall and had written in his best hand neatly in my journal.
He recited it for me, looked up and smiled and closed my journal pressing it to his heart.
That moment was so heart warming that I will never ever forget it and it was right there on the banks of the river that the little seed of my Spiritual offerings in India was planted.
A little seed that has blossomed into two very special offerings in the North and the South of India.
I vowed to create my own experience of the Divine Mother where you are held in a container of safety and nourishment yet free to roam and explore.
An experience where you have the time to connect to the local culture, the rituals and the environment in order to make your own way back to yourself.
These are the experiences of India that I wish to share.
A chance to get away from your regular life and take your own sacred pause – stop and connect back in with your forgotten hopes and dreams.
An opportunity to have some fun with other like-minded women and re-kindle your relationship with yourself.
Why not come and take the time to sit with me and do just that.
Meditate whilst floating on the holy river Ganges in Varanasi or sitting in the majestical mountains of Kerala.
Ponder the beauty and majesty of the Taj Mahal or saturate yourself in herbal goodness and healthy living by experiencing Ayurveda and a vegetarian lifestyle.
Take time out from normal life, to meditate on life – to sit, to ponder, to reflect and to plan.
Take time off to explore, time away to re-connect and for the first time in a long time make investing in your own self care your top priority.
Divine Mother India holds within her a large piece of my Spiritual development together with a conducive environment to share the teachings of how to live in greater alignment – I hope that I can share her beauty, depth and mysticism with you too.
"Be prepared to feel your soul expand because that is what happens in India! It was a beautiful experience to travel to India with a group of like-minded women who lift you up. I felt like I had all of the wonders of a group tour together with the depth and nourishment of a retreat."
"I finally had the time to meditate in a way that I've never been able to before. Travelling to India was such a personal and profound experience. Through doing the ancestor puja I felt a deep connection to my late father. And seeing how yoga really works there has helped me to bring so much more substance to my yoga teaching."
"The experience has been profound and will continue to be processed in time to come. I feel a deepening of my spiritual awareness and I found the connections made between Hindusim and Buddhism very interesting."
"I have learnt that I am enough - even though I notice that the internal dialogue on this can change. But right now, in this space and time, I am enough."
"The experience on the boat in the Ganges, in the flow of the current with the wind in my face and the smells and sounds of India all around was quite profound for me."
"Belinda teaches from the heart and offers a truly meaningful experience. It is a trip that lets you dip your toes in a rose petal topped pond of India: feminine, nurturing, all planning and preparation lovingly taken care of - all while bringing you to the real face of Spiritual India."
"We met amazing people, learnt about the Hindu and Buddhist religions, gave offerings, were blessed, and at times felt like celebrities. I loved how colourful the locals dressed, how incredible the food tasted and so enjoyed the wafts of incense most places we went. Never could I ever have imagined that this country would leave such an impression on me."
"I had a lot of fun and experienced sites and places that I would have never visited on my own. The pilgrimage was well organised with great yoga, safe travel, good accommodation and a balance of inner and outer work."
"Over the course of the 10 day pilgrimage the regular daily practice of pranayama, perfecting the art of using mala beads and the japa chanting of one of the special mantra’s has permitted me to make slow but steady progress towards understanding the soulful practice of meditation at a deeper level."
"Being with a group of amazing women showed me that I do have the inner light. The balance of spirituality and mindfulness practice was perfect for people who are considering a full retreat but are not yet ready for a strict regime. This was the perfect stepping stone for me."
"This was an intimate female tour to India with a strong spiritual and self exploration theme. The all women aspect was great and I loved the yoga...even the Indian Guru!"
"I liked being looked after and I was happy to connect with and learn so much more about Ancient India. There is a lot of knowledge given about the Gods and Goddesses and mantras which is done in an authentic way without being overwhelming."
"My main feeling as we started to get to the end of the trip was that I would like to have kept travelling through India. This trip has given me the confidence I need to explore India and all of it's offerings further. I would highly recommend this trip, so well organised, the pace was perfect, teachings excellent and accommodation great."
"The experience the stands out the most for me was receiving the protection sutra in the temple in Varanasi. It was an emotional, magical, heartfelt, out of this world experience and I felt this energy sensation in my crown chakra which I have never experienced before."
"I connected with the entire concept; like minded women on a journey of exploration and introspection. A wonderful introduction to India and an opportunity to explore your spirituality in a safe, supportive environment - and it was fun!"
"I have an overwhelming feeling of peace and calm. This was a wonderfully safe introduction to India and I found it very enjoyable to travel with a group of like-minded women where the travel, energy of the group, laughs and learning were all shared in good company. Our guides and leader were also particularly knowledgeable."
"I think travelling in the group was a really good experience. I think India can be a shock to all of the senses and it puts you on a alert. To be able to feel and experience everything knowing that someone is there guiding you through is the perfect way to do India. There is no way I'd want to do India alone!"
"I am better in myself for now having seen India and understanding their culture and beliefs. And I think it's a great way to see India in a warm and friendly group, meeting other women who share similar interests."
"The most special for me was the joining together of all of us women, the coming together of 13 beautiful hearts and souls and the friendships formed and stories shared will stay with me forever."
"An amazing seamless journey in what is possibly the toughest country to achieve this. I learnt a lot on many levels - leading and living from the heart, exploring faith and trust in that which is bigger than I and being inspired to follow my dharma."
"I loved the Mehrotra Silk Factory and trying on beautiful Indian sarees in all of the jewel colours of the rainbow with the sisterhood of women on the trip, it was just magic. "
"If this is your first time to India then this is a great way to get insight into what this country has to offer. I know that travelling in this way has been a great security and that there have been 13 new friendships formed that I am looking forward to continuing."
"If any woman feels apprehensive about travelling to India alone then this experience is amazing because it's safety within a group. I loved the feeling of calm in the spiritual surroundings, the wonderful temples visited and mantras and meditations taught."
"The aspects I will keep in my heart forever are visiting the Taj Mahal, meditating with the monks and soaking up the ambience at the Mahabodhi Temple, the boat trips on Mother Ganges and seeing the cremation ceremonies and evening Aarti as well as the Puja at the Shiva Temple and learning new meditation practices."
"For me, the trip was pure magic. It was great to travel as part of a group because you're able to interact and find that you are all connected and experiencing something unique on a deeper level because it's together. I think that everyone should give it a try for their own soul, for their own spirit and inner wellbeing. I'll do it again!"
“I have gained a wonderful insight into Yoga, Buddhism and all of the other aspects of Spiritual India and have found an opening in myself to embrace these practices.”
“I really enjoyed the group and loved the company of other women around my own age. And I now have a deep sense of gratitude for the people of India, I was mesmerised by their devotion to their religion and how warmly they welcomed and shared their culture with us.”