Rishikesh: day 17. – DON’T DIE A COPY

DON'T DIE A COPY

Tales on the flip side of conformity.

Rishikesh: day 17.

Sunday loving. Loving Sunday.

My 5am body clock jolts me awake. Today, I decide to head left and end up at Ram Jhula. At this time of day, the streets are calm. When I say calm, this is of course comparatively. I take my camera out and film the trip across the bridge. Motorbikes, monkeys, cows selfie sticks, food carts are just some of the things I have to compete with on my journey.

The sun is glistening off the surface of the Ganges and monkeys are running amok, bouncing on the roofs of store holders as they start setting up for the day. Brightly coloured men and women are down in the river washing themselves in the holy water. Smiling faces are announcing Namaste and Hare Om. I am stopped by a few groups to be involved in their selfie stick activities. Grab the blonde monster and strike a pose! I walk past temples with the sounds of Hare Raya, and past the smells of fresh Chai being brewed in street carts, There is a young boy outside the Ashram chasing cows away with a stick. From what I can tell, he is armed with the task of with preserving the steps from cow dung for the ceremony coming at sunset.

As I start back for home Sanjay and Jen come skidding to a halt in front of me, embracing me with smiles and hugs. They are on an ATM run on the little hotel scooter, which has decided to call it quits in the middle of the road. I help Sanjay kick start it back to life and wish them on their merry way before I am stopped by a blue horned cow just begging for some love. I start scratching his neck and behind the ears which sends him into some form of bliss comatosis and he follows me starry eyed down the street and halfway home, stopping to give his love a new focus to a woman hand feeding him chapatti.

Its well before 9am breakfast, so I head down to my favourite spot the Ganges for some meditation and inversions before heading back to the hotel. There is a day trip planned to the Himalayas today, but I’m feeling quite grounded and want to ride that wave so I get onto some computer work before heading out for lunch with Vero. On our way, she points out a studio that does tattoos and piercing. After my bad experience last night, I think why not pop in and sus it out. The guy in the studio is interesting to say the least and just so happened to perform hypnotherapy on Vero last week. He seems to live in a different dimension. Somehow I instantly trust him and within 5 minutes find myself with a needle in my left nostril! Feeling V must be ravenous by now, I suggest Little Buddha for lunch and we climb the stairs to a little vortex oasis eating felafel and sipping on Limonada.

I had to stop mid conversation, jaw dropped, taking in a group of twenty something cookie cutter Lululemon type girls walk in with matching mala beads, buzzing about their teacher training course. The popularisation of Yogic Asana has a polarising affect in me, as I’m sure it does many others. I know I also fall into many categories in other people’s eyes. The yogic way is to not cast judgements. Overall, I settle on the fact that it has a positive affect of bringing mindful practices to a broader spectrum of places where the population have inherited an “asleep” life, one where we lost touch with ancestral and cultural knowledge. One of the most profound perspectives I came across was from the Tibetan Monks when they were saddened that they almost “lost compassion” when dealing with the invasion. For so long, they had kept the powers from their practices secret, living in retreat. The invasion forced them out of retreat, along with their practices. They said that they (invasion) thought they were destroying their culture, but instead they were spreading it. It parallels what happened with the Bauhaus and the wildfire of the Modernist movement.

So in short, I’m stoked to see so many fresh young faces on this path. I’m also secretly stoked that I am in such a unique and diverse group to do my training with.

After digesting that, next stop is Dude. After years of UM-ing and AH-ing about tattoos and the pursuit of the “perfect” moment, I jump on the fact that I am with a tattoo artist in a tattoo studio, celebrating the direct translation of my name T(ea) to Chai. We mark the occasion with the Sunscript version of the word on my finger. This way, every time I think about lifting a coffee to my ex-addicted mouth I will think Chai. I will think India. I will think Yoga. I will think V. And I will think serendipity. I will remember not to get weighed down in decisions and to practice non-attachment. I will remember to be visualant to synchronicity and plant seeds for manifestation.

Next up, I find myself on the back of a moto again. This time its Mav’s crazy ride and we’re on the same bridge I walked this morning. Same same, but different. Watching the whirlwind of another globetrotter reminds me how I can come across to the grounding pillars I have in my life and I take a moment to send them some love. I’ve got a tendency to neglect the people who matter most to me, forgetting that although they are in my thoughts, my stories and my moments every day, unless I express it to them, they never know. Not that this has anything to do with Mav or his actions, but pondering lifestyle choices took my mind here.

Love, light and all things bright to those pillars. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

As I have a dejavu moment of walking back into Little Buddhas to meet Mav’s group he’s taking trekking in the Himalayas, they greet me with an air of familiarity. “You were meditating by the Ganges this morning, and then doing all kinds of things on your head.” Yes, we are all connected and the world has a way of coming in a full circle of itself. We never know what is around the corner or why, we just don’t know anything. All there is is the present moment and our ability to be present in it. Connection of the mind, body and soul. Union.

The pursuit of Union.

I’m over halfway through my training and we start teaching this week. I can’t believe how fast its moving and I just can’t wait to put all my knowledge into practice.

Thank you to everyone who contributed so far to my training. SO MUCH effing gratitude.

HELP FUND MY NOT SO DIRTY THIRTY YOGA TEACHER TRAINING IN RISHIKESH.

 

Sunrise on the Ganges.

Sunrise on the Ganges.

 

The best time of day to cross the Ganges.

The best time of day to cross the Ganges.

 

Fly free.

Fly free.

 

By the Ganges.

By the Ganges.

 

Sanjay and Jen appear out of nowhere.

Sanjay and Jen appear out of nowhere.

 

This face was just begging for some love.

This face was just begging for some love.

 

Giving love.

Giving him some love.

 

Ecstacy.

Ecstacy.

 

This little guy was way too cute not to snap up.

This little guy was way too cute not to snap up.

 

My place for meditation by the Ganges.

My place for meditation by the Ganges.

 

Meditating by the Ganges.

Meditating by the Ganges.

 

Sweet Vero wearing our light.

Sweet Vero wearing our light.

 

Felafel. nom nom nom.

Felafel. nom nom nom.

 

After yesterday's debacle with piercing, this place was perfectly serendipitous.

After yesterday’s debacle with piercing, this place was perfectly serendipitous.

 

Eddie (aka Dude) at the one and only Dude Tattoo.

Eddie (aka Dude) at the one and only Dude Tattoo.

 

Tattoo #1. Getting it done. After UM-ing and AH-ing about the perfect meaning and placement of my first tattoo for years, I serendipitously decide that V should stick and poke my Indian nickname, Chai in Sanscript on my finger. Why Chai? Direct translation of T(ea).

Tattoo #1. Getting it done. After UM-ing and AH-ing about the perfect meaning and placement of my first tattoo for years, I serendipitously decide that V should stick and poke my Indian nickname “Chai” in Sanscript on my finger. Why Chai? Direct translation of T(ea).

 

Chai.

Chai.

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