To Everything There is a Season

December 2015

It has been some time that I have not been writing on my blog. Actually I would say that I am sort of a seasonal blogger, as during the tourist season it is almost impossible for me to find the right moment or to get inspired.

It is only Baba and I who run the shop, plus our four year old daughter who is keeping us company there during the whole day. Usually she has a good time there at Baba Cake: She goes visiting the neighbors, helps me to bake when in the mood, plays outside with the dogs and goats and many of our customers are delighted to play or paint with her for some time while they are enjoying a chai at our place.

But, obviously, it is not always like that; there are days (…in fact many days…) when she demands my attention, and A LOT OF IT! Of course, this usually happens when our café is extremely crowded and we can barely handle all the orders we get.

My husband stays in the shop until late, while I go home in the evenings to prepare dinner for my daughter and to bring her to bed. When she finally sleeps soundly, I don’t have the energy anymore to start writing or to even think.

Everyone who has been working in the services sector knows what I mean; there is not only physical tiredness from standing most of the time during the day and serving tables, but also mental fatigue from talking and listening to a lot of different people for hours, which I usually enjoy, but yes, it can be tough! From time to time I give blogging a try, but then I find myself staring at the screen and my mind goes blank.

creamcake

Our main season here usually falls also on the same time when I help to organize alternative travels to India for spiritual seekers with a beautiful project called milindias. I really enjoy being part of it with all my soul, but it can also be a real challenge: Between cake-baking, preparing sandwiches, serving thalis, taking customer orders and my daughter tied on my apron strings, I make business calls and answer messages as best I can, already thinking about the work that awaits me at night on the computer, hoping that there won’t be any power cuts.

Sometimes I get so desperate that all I want is to run to the top of one of the Himalayan hills to scream out a very nasty swearword from the top of my lungs!

Then, when the off season starts the change from doing everything to doing nothing is drastic! In the beginning I feel lost in time, as all of a sudden there is not much to do, but to get our home back into a decent state, as during the season there is as good as no time for the household.

If my mother would see that!

In the beginning of the transition I feel like trapped in a gap and frequently find myself just sitting there observing the landscape, wondering what to do with myself and with what where to start. Most of the time, I then opt for not doing anything! It takes me about two weeks, sometimes more, to get back to my old self and to be able to enjoy the sudden silence and tranquility which again covers my village life.

India is a place full of extremes in all aspects and as I live here, I seem to have automatically joined the play: There are periods when life runs smooth, things simply flow naturally and everything is perfectly balanced. Suddenly it’s over!

When a problem occurs, no matter how small, it for sure never comes alone! Problems and complications here apparently feel more comfortable in company of many of their kind! They burst in like a hurricane and all of a sudden action is required! It’s like a shock; as if somebody tried to shake you up while you are in the middle of a beautiful dream.

himalayaview

Getting things started here is extremely difficult and requires a triple effort, as the mountain energy of the Himalayas is very heavy, dense and grounding. It is a bit like trying really hard to move a huge rock; it takes a lot of strength to push it the first few inches, but once it starts to roll, it cannot be stopped!

The other day I discovered an article about a thing called the “Van Allen Radiation Belt”. It is said that Kasar Devi is under a great influence of that energetic phenomenon as the ridge is situated in a gap of it and therefore has gained the reputation of a so called Power Center. It is probably a wonderful energy if you plan to retreat into a cave to meditate all day long, but possibly not ideal if you try to live a mundane life.

This could actually be an explanation! Great, now I can blame it all on the Van Allen Belt!

Eventually I came to the conclusion that these so-called “extremes” of my life in India are nothing but what life in deed is. Would we learn anything at all if life consisted only of a constant, single line instead of many waves? I am trying to learn how to enjoy the downs and how to cherish the ups:

To Everything there is a Season” (The Byrds, 1965)

Advertisements

Discoveries with MILINDIAS

March 2011

Finally I came back to the Indian Himalayas with a bit of money in my pockets in February. Up here this is the coldest month of the year, when it sometimes even snows and we spend most of the time sitting around a fire, on which we also cook.

At night, we light the wood stove in our room, if we don’t want to sleep covered with ten blankets. That year the winter was short for me; soon it would be March. Spring was almost around the corner and it was easier for me to deal with the coldness, which can be pretty uncomfortable in a house which does not exactly match western standards. But this year after not having seen Baba for many months the chilliness was putting me rather in a romantic than in a bad mood.

Fire Cooking

Furthermore I was full of new energies and felt very enthusiastic because while I was working in Spain a friend of mine, who also lived in India for several years, contacted me asking to join him organizing alternative travels to India. Funny, this was the same way how I set foot on Indian soil for the first time.

INDIA –  a single country containing a thousand worlds!

Now I had the opportunity to accompany people who were going to perceive the magic of India for the very first time, in more or less the same way I did.

A wonderful project came into life: 

MILINDIAS

My friend and I truly wished to share our Indian experiences with others and give them the chance to perceive the amazing plurality of India as we do, by offering insights one would probably miss by booking a simple package tour. For both of us, India is an important chapter in our lives; it teaches us how to need less and how to love more, to accept and act instead of react.

We wanted to show India how she is; which also means to experience exactly what you are supposed to. A journey to India means diving through magic moments, but at the same time it is almost impossible to escape from her unconcealed shadows; both aspects let you reflect and grow.

Soon I would be on Indian roads again, as the small group of adventurous travelers would arrive in March.

We picked them up from Delhi, where we went to meditate in the magnificent Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It was a great group of open-minded people of different ages, who were ready to go with the flow of the Indian rhythm.

From Delhi we took a train to Rishikesh to learn more from different kind of practices at the International Yoga Festival. We visited amazing spots like the abandoned Beatles Ashram invaded by the jungle and the ancient cave where the Sage Vashsishta was meditating for ages.

Beatles Ashram

Interesting talks about Buddhism and the teachings of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa came up and the group was keen on learning more; and so it happened that we all together decided spontaneously to cancel the scheduled visit to Amritsar, and take a train into the opposite direction to Varanasi and Bodhgaya instead, where we would have a personal audience with His Holiness.

This is what I call flexibility and a wonderful spirit of traveling!

Varanasi is definitively a must to visit in India. It represents much of what India is in one single spot: Beauty, ugliness, devotion, magic and death. We reached the city at night. The next morning before dawn we walked through the darkness to the ghats and took a boat ride on the Ganges to contemplate the sunrise and the awakening of the city from the river. Slowly the smooth light of the first sunrays started to paint the skies. As if under a spell, everyone was visibly enjoying the placidity; we even spotted the pink dolphins, whose existence I previously considered a mere rumour. Perfect moments!

The facial expressions though changed drastically after the sun started to reveal the scenery more clearly: Dead bodies of cows and dogs were floating here and there and we saw from close the smoke and movements on the burning ghats, were cremation takes place 24/7.

Just like life itself: From one moment to another perception of things and situations can change unexpectedly

All of us enjoyed the entire experience of this journey to the fullest. It was enriching in many ways and I learnt that sharing and giving is something which makes me feel really happy; but this was not my only personal discovery during that trip: I also found out that I was pregnant!

By the way.. in case  you wish to learn more about MILINDIAS, maybe you would like to have a look at our page:

https://www.facebook.com/milindias

 

 

Link

ARTÍCULO PUBLICADO EN

http://www.yogaenred.com

__________________________________________________________

Rishikesh, la ciudad sagrada en las faldas de los Himalayas, siempre ha sido un lugar de fuertes vibraciones que atrae a buscadores espirituales como los sadhus, los ascetas hindúes que siguen el camino de la penitencia y la austeridad para obtener la iluminación. Poco tardó en llamar a su regazo a incontables buscadores orientales, para así convertirse en la capital mundial del yoga. Escribe Uma Nath.

Enlightment

En cuanto pisé Rishikesh por primera vez, la magia de este lugar tan especial con la energía fluyente del Ganges, me cautivó de inmediato. Me fascinó la presencia de la espiritualidad en cada rincón y por supuesto quería practicar algo de yoga. No tardé mucho en darme cuenta de que no iba a ser nada fácil encontrar una clase y un profesor de yoga que encajasen conmigo. Hay cientos de ofertas de clases y talleres de yoga y meditación, así como incontables escuelas y ashrams que ofrecen sus programas a buscadores espirituales. Los muros de las calles y los restaurantes están repletos de carteles anunciando clases y retiros de todo tipo. Uno en especial me llamó la atención. Decía:

¡Ilumínate en solo tres días!

¡Impresionante! Tampoco tenía muy claro qué tipo de yoga quería probar. Entre Hatha, Kriya, Ashtanga, Iyengar y Trika yoga, estaba hecha un lío. Me decidí por el Hatha, y mi primera clase la probé en un ashram cerca del hostal donde me estaba alojando, donación sugerida 200 rupias.

He de decir que el joven profesor era un hathayogui excelente, sus posturas eran impecables y realmente admirables, pero igual no era tan buen profesor. Durante una clase me giré para ver de dónde procedían los extraños gemidos que llevaba ya escuchando desde hacía un buen rato detrás de mí. Eran unos chicos coreanos, que probablemente estaban tomando la primera clase de yoga de su vida. Intentaban imitar al profesor lo mejor que podían, pero sus caras reflejaban un sufrimiento algo frustrante. No llegué a entender por qué el profesor no les enseñaba posturas alternativas y por qué no se acercó para cuidar de ellos.

Algo que dijo mi maestra durante una clase de Kundalini Yoga en Barcelona y que nunca más olvidaré me vino a la mente: “Yoga, practicado sin amor, no es yoga”.

Así es, al fin y al cabo la palabra yoga significa unión. Personalmente considero que el yoga es mucho más que practicar posturas complicadas: es una forma de hacer el amor con el alma.

También tuve el placer un poco espantoso de conocer al campeón mundial de yoga. Hasta entonces no sabía ni de la existencia de este tipo de campeonatos. Él también era por supuesto un súperyogui, que disfrutaba mucho de dar una pequeña demostración de sus habilidades yoguicas en forma de ásanas complicadas o bajando el ritmo de su corazón al mínimo delante de quien mostraba cierto interés en yoga. Muy interesante, pero yo pensaba que el yoga es una práctica muy íntima y personal que ayuda a abrir no solamente el cuerpo, sino también el corazón y el espíritu.

¿Acaso estaba equivocada?

Gracias a Dios encontré finalmente el yoga que me gustaba de verdad! El profesor sij, un hombre sabio y muy humilde, enseñaba el Hatha desde el fondo de su corazón, cuidando de cada uno de los muchos estudiantes presentes en sus clases. De hecho, había dejado su carrera profesional de ingeniero para dedicarse a su pasión, el Hatha Yoga.

Por supuesto hay un buen número de buenos profesores de yoga en Rishikesh, y cada uno de nosotros acabará antes o después encontrando aquel con el que más vibre. Yo por mí, encantada con mi descubrimiento, me quedé con este.

También puede que, a veces, no dominar del todo el idioma inglés (y uno tarda un poquito en acostumbrarse al acento indio) represente una barrera para profundizar la práctica.

Si estás barajando la idea de formarte como profesor de yoga en India, igual te interesa esta propuesta que desde Milindias organizamos junto con Ricardo Ferrer, Instituto del Yoga Europeo.

Si quieres más información: www.milindias.com

Om Namah Shivaya!

Milindias banner