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From Palms to Pines

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

On April 4th, I set out for a journey up North, a 4 day train journey which would take me up to Himalayas (with a brief stop in Kolatta).  And now writing this I can’t say I regret a minute of the 45 hour train ride.  Thankfully I had the time to do it, now if I were only here for a few weeks that may be a different story.  Many fellow travelers and yoga students tried to persuade me into just hopping on a plane and getting up north in a few hours.  But why skip out on such an adventure?  By taking a plane I knew I would pass over so much!  So I spent my time next to the train window witnessing the everyday rural life from South India, to North India, from Palm Trees to Pine Trees.  What my friends had seen as boring, is completely and utterly inspiring to me.      


Various colored sarees were washed and spread out on the land to dry, lined up like an earthly rainbow.

Buddhist temples sticking out atop forests, children carrying buckets of water on their heads, families bathing in ponds, herds of sheep waiting at the railroad crossing, games of cricket at 5 am, a sole farmer eating his lunch under the shade of a palm tree, Hindu temples under construction, woman riding motorbikes on the country roadside with their sarees blowing in the wind, umbrellas perched atop tea plants shading plantation workers for an afternoon nap, teenage boys carrying a load of hay 5 times the size of themselves on their bicycle and school children walking along the train tracks in matching uniforms, the girls each with braided pigtails tied in bows.


In India I have come to understand that the most incredible experiences are of something beautiful, magic, unique, or rare combined with something that is annoying, frustrating, or seemingly impossible to deal with.  The scenery was fascinating enough that the combination of food/drink/bathroom/outside smells and yelling vendors didn’t bother me for the duration of my trip.  At each stop vendors from the town will get on the train and until the next stop walk up and down the isles selling coffee chai and fea, samosas (vegetable filled pasteries), and other baked goods.  At station stops you can reach your hand out the window to buy a warm cup of Chai; pay, drink up, and return the glass before the train departs.


The screaming voices “COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE” were just a soundtrack playing with the incredible passing by scenery and the scent of fresh vegetable curries, chai and bathroom smells remind me that yes, I am in India.    

Only in India

Friday, March 5th, 2010

– Small Candies are an acceptable form of currency.  Often times if the person does not have 1 to 10 rupees in change, you will receive candy instead.

– Your tea or coffee automatically comes with sugar and milk… loads of it.

– In Europe they drive on the left side of the road.  In America, they drive on the right side of the road.  In India, they drive on what’s left of the road.

– Honking your horn at EVERY intersection takes the place of stop signs or stop lights. 

– Cattle, goats, and ponies are common pedestrians/road blocks, even in the cities. 

– If you need to see a doctor, you can walk into ANY ayruvedic medical center, see the head doctor (for a general checkup or to consult about an ailment or concern) and receive natural herbal medicines in Under 15 minutes for around $5.00 (includes consultation and herbal medicines).  No waiting, no paperwork, no insurance needed, and no one just trying to take your money.  If you NEED medical assistance, you get it. 

– There is no such thing as NO.  Instead it is “come back in one hour,” “we will have it tomorrow,” “it will be here in 2 days,” “go across the street to so-and-so, they can help you,” “my brother can do that, I will ask him then you come back tonight,” “they have some of those down the road” etc.

– You can eat like a King or Queen for under 2 dollars (including drinks, several main courses, and deserts!)  

– Business hours are as follows: Whenever someone decides to be there.

– Anywhere is an acceptable place for trash.  Even residential areas dispose of their trash over the balcony into their yard. 

– You can get your shoes fixed for 30 rupess (under $1) on the spot

“I just want to go home”

Friday, March 5th, 2010

“You are home" says Mooji.

" Your 'home' is just an idea of yourself.  At 'home', there are all of these people that tell you that you are like this and you are like that, and now you are away from ... [Continue reading this entry]

What you are looking for, is where you are looking from

Thursday, February 4th, 2010
Typical day at the ashram:
  • 6:00 morning yoga, meditation and pranayama (breath work)
  • 7:30-9:30 Breakfast and Kitchen Seva (selfless service)
  • 9:30-12:30 meditation and discussion12:30-14:30
  •  Lunch and Kitchen Seva14:45-18:30 meditation and discussion
  • 18:30-19:30 Dinner and Kitchen Seva
  • 19:30-21:30 Satsang and [Continue reading this entry]

Birthday Presence

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
After finishing my double scoop butterscotch ice cream cone, I wander into the divine bookstore at the Art of Living International Ashram.  I pick up the book “Silence” by his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Unique Tailor Experience

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

My only birthday wish is to wear an Indian sari.  I had imagined wearing my favorite colors, a perfect orange or maybe turquoise.  When I shared this image with my friend Gia she said, “I’m sure you’ll find the perfect ... [Continue reading this entry]

Couchsurfing Bangalore

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


  • Apparantly I bite my nails when I’m nervous because several times throughout my flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Bangalore, India, I caught myself making the attempt, BUT before remembering that I was growing my nails out for the first ... [Continue reading this entry]