Jane's India Journals

Journals from 2001, 2003 and 2004

Friday, September 07, 2007

What You Will Find Here

Just a quick post to let you know what this is all about.

First of all, all posts have a "read more" link at the end, but in many cases the entire post is available on the page and you do not have to click the link. For very long posts however, I have truncated the post, and you can read the rest by clicking on the "read more" link at the end of the post.

I have completed posting all my journals from 3 previous trips to India in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Before the actual Journal entries begin, I have summed up all 3 trips in the following post titled "Lessons Learnt" and this will give you a good feel for how deeply India influenced me, my way of perceiving the world and myself, and what changes it initiated. I have truncated it as it is QUITE long and you can expand it to see the whole post by clicking where it says "read more"...You can easily get to this post by clicking the link on the sidebar for Previous Posts.

The 2004 Journal Entries are complete and in chronological order from first to last and most are dated. However, they do not appear in the listing of Previous Posts on the sidebar as I have reached my limit apparently...So, you can access them by going to the Archives for August and you will see all of the posts for the 2004 Trip. As I am having trouble with the blog, I may be starting a new one for my 2006 Travels, but as I have had to cancel my trip, I have time to decide.

The Journal for 2003 can be easily accessed as well for the same reasons by clicking on Sept 2006 Archives and scrolling down until you come to the first 2003 Post.

The 2001 Journal becan easily accessed as well. The first 10 posts or so are on the main page and listed in Previous Posts, and the rest are also in Sept 2006 Archives.

Any posts you do not see listed in the sidebar, can be reached by clicking on the Archives Links below the list of individual posts.

You can also check out different topics by clicking on the category links.

Now, hopefully, the next posting will be from India and my new adventures of 2006. These can be found on the new blog: http://indiajournal2006.blogspot.com which is also quite lovely. It includes my journals from two trips. February-June 2007 and February-April 2008. I am now in the process of beginning a third India blog for my upcoming trip this coming October, 2008, for 6 months.

When I have the time, I will add relevant photos to give you a better feel for each entry.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Journey Inward - Lessons Learnt - A Summary of 3 Trips to India

Sept 15 2001
I am surrounded here by nature and it is no wonder
that green is the color of the heart chakra. G-d has
chosen to make this the main color for all the beauty
he has created and to show us his infinite love for
all mankind.

The peacefulness and strength of the trees, they truly
do invite us to be like them "be rooted and at peace
and then grow"

Where are my roots?? Perhaps not in any PLACE
...perhaps that is part of what I am feeling...the
need to be rooted in myself no matter where I am...to
truly be one with the Universe and flow with its
overview in peace and continue to grow within myself.

October 5 2001
I am first amazed at the resiliency of the human
spirit. From feeling guilty at feeling happy to
exhilaration at dispelling a lifetime myth about
myself, all within the same day. Life does go on and
that is the beautiful part about living it to the

In spite of crises and difficulties with coping with a
situation, life goes on and the beauty of discoveries
about ourselves and our inner strengths carry us

Perhaps this inner wakening occurred in me precisely
on the same day as hearing about Shira (my daughter
whose house and family were attacked by terrorists this week)
simultaneously almost as the Universe's way of getting me through the
last couple of days or as a RESULT of my getting
through the last couple of days!! Don't know which!

Whichever-it has been an incredibly rewarding
experience for me and I will never be the same as I
was. No matter what I do when I get back to
"normal"-normal will never be the same for me as it
was just 2 months ago.

The revelations of my childhood memories during my
first long walk made me realize that many things we
believe about ourselves and allow life's experiences
to reinforce for us over the years with our own
interpretations, we are erroneously basing on false
perceptions of ourselves as children and adults. This
creates modes of behavior and beliefs which stifle our
very physical being for as much as 1/2 a century of
our lives!!

To be finally released from these beliefs-to dispel a
myth-is like being released from the shackles of a
certain type of bondage and being freed to discover
and develop all the wondrous things just waiting

That a walk in nature can do this to a person is again
proof of what I wrote awhile ago...the green of nature
is G-d's way of showing his love for all creatures on
earth and it is there, surrounded by his love that we
can truly find our selves and achieve a true feeling
of LOVE for ourselves.

I don't remember a time in my life when I felt so
invigorated and alive. and not just physically...all
my senses were totally involved in the experience
bringing me into my most inner being as well as
filling an expansiveness of my aura itself with
amazing energies, tingling through me and expanding
outward to join with the trees and mountains etc.

These days, spending time with others is almost an
intrusion... This precious gift of being with ME is a
blessing and it will be over in just a few days. I
will have a different kind of experience traveling now
with someone else which I'm sure will be no less
important and revealing to me. I am just sad that
this beautiful period of isolation by choice is coming
to an end. I feel as if I could live for months like
this and not get tired of it. There are always people
here if I want them, but being by myself has the
distinct advantage of allowing me to NOT speak with
or see anyone by choice without insulting any one or
feeling bad about going off by myself. and no
explanation is ever required! It is a true luxury.
Read On....There is MUCH MUCH MORE!!!




Everything on this trip up until now was child’s
play...a preparation leading up to what can only be
described as a “peak experience” as described by
Abraham Maslow. If we are lucky enough, we may have
several peak experiences in a lifetime...but these
will leave us changed forever...childbirth CAN be a
peak experience and I can honestly say that 4 of my 6
childbirth experiences were. Being at the births of
my grandchildren were for me also peak experiences.
My first truly beautiful and loving sexual experience
was also a peak experience. All of these peeled back
layers like an onion revealing inner beauty and
strengths hidden by years of conditioning and
preconceived notions and beliefs which we harbor from
childhood and reinforce year after year with our
minds, egos and physical bodies. At these times, we
see ourselves as we TRULY are and can be and can then
strive to continue to live on this new plane. These
experiences cause us to shift our perceptions and
compel us to keep reminding ourselves what a truly
amazing person we are and if we can only maintain this
awareness to recognize these wonderful strengths,
compassions, love and unity with the whole that
envelopes us at these moments, we are changed for

These experiences release blockages which have been
reinforced for years and we feel a sense of unlimited
joy and peace. These feelings are not based on
outward stimuli but on the total experience of BEING
in the moment. We are simply and suddenly made aware
of, or take notice of what has always been right in
front of us but we don’t see as we have a tendency to
focus outward.

We feel suddenly completely alive and awake and aware
of our TRUE selves and the marvelous being we truly
ARE. Not how we and others perceive us to BE.

Which leads up to the following:

I did my first REAL trek today and I cannot describe
in words what it did for me but I now know what a baby
feels like the very first time he gets up and toddles
all across the room for the first time into his
Mother’s waiting arms and the meaning of his squeal of
sheer delight he lets out when he realizes what he has
just accomplished!!

I not only did this trek, but did it at the pace of
the young 30 years old who is a seasoned trekker!. We
were told the trek takes about 3-4 hours to get up to
these waterfalls. I was up there in less than 2 hours,
including a tea break and a “camera” break. I used
my whole body to navigate the very narrow footpaths
which at times were clear and just had to be carefully
walked over (forest sloping up to the right and abyss
to the left-the path just barely wide enough to stand
on with 2 feet together!), but mostly climbing up over
boulders and tree trunks and slippery rocks still wet
from the last rain. Over landslides and descending
back down over the same terrain only to climb my way
back up again...I used every muscle in my body...very
often afraid of loosing my balance and falling or
spraining an ankle. I descended in a crouching
position or actually sat on my behind and slithered
down. (it is actually Sunday now and I can tell you
that I REALLY did use every muscle in my body...they
are protesting quite loudly today!!)...at one point in
our final descent there was a 180 degree drop straight
down and we had to use a tree truck to keep us from
falling...we very often grasped fronds or grasses to
keep from sliding down very steep areas or to help
pull us up over steep climbs...and part of the way was
made more difficult by the altitude and breathing
became difficult especially on climbing (we had to do
this all AGAIN on the way down). At times we found
ourselves in very deep dark forests which kept
reminding me of the story of Hansel and Gretle getting
lost in the forest for some reason...There were a
couple of times where I lagged behind and became quite
frightened that I couldn’t make it but had no
choice...had to catch up...I ask myself a couple of
times “WHAT are you doing here and WHY are you doing
this!!!” But in the end we came to this paradise of
aqua green pools at the base of a glorious waterfall
where we sunbathed on boulders and ate lunch for a
couple of hours...both of us dreading the thought of
retracing our steps but neither one admitting it to
the other...we both faced our own fears...she is
afraid of heights...and me my fear of not being able
to do it because of my “weak” body, or of falling and
breaking something or of simply being overwhelmed and

BUT I DID IT...and will never see myself in the same
light again! I am amazing and truly can do anything!
And when we got back much earlier than expected,
everyone just assumed we had only made it to the ½ way
point and then given up. You should have heard the
reactions when they realized I not only did it, bit in
such a short time!!

There is no way I can thank Darya for giving me the
courage to do this and for then giving me no option
but to continue following her along the way. It never
occurred to her that I couldn’t do it so she never once
stopped, or waited, or suggested otherwise. It was
obvious to her that I could be behind her and took for
granted that I COULD...and... I CAN!!

October 8 2001
Monday October 8th-8 AM

I didn't really know how to write about what just
happened but it has been another turning point for me
in my work with myself and my quest to come to terms
with my painful past experiences which have had such
enormous impacts on my whole life. to know the past
and to perceive it in a neutral light and to truly be
able to forgive and put it all where it belongs..in
the past..and not have it always accompanying me in
subtle forms in all I do and in my relationships up
to this day......I very often felt I had managed to do
just that, but certain memories would keep coming
back to haunt me and the same painful emotions were
always still there...dealing with this and freeing
myself from this has eluded me until today.
The fact that this happened on the very last day of my
2 months alone is for me at any rate, very
significant...it means to me that this was the time I
needed to purge myself and it is now perfectly
suitable for me to be getting on with my travels with
someone else...I no longer so desperately need this
time "with myself". It is just another proof to me
that we must never worry about "what sill happen
when..." as the natural flow of events, the overview,
is always in place and perfect for our needs...we do
not need to waste all of our valuable energies
worrying if we made the right decisions and analyzing
each move before we make it and what if it will not
"work our" and maybe we should have done something
else. the idea is to just "DO".

I just read a quote by ray Bradbury (of all people)
which is quite appropriate:

"Make your journey be a joyous one!
Don't think! Thinking is the enemy of creativity
It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy...
You can't try to do things.
You simply must DO things!"
Very apropos for all of us actually.

I really am still working on quieting my mind but that
will still take time but the basic idea is "to do" and
"enjoy" without thinking so much. all will always
happen for our own personal best interest.

Now...What happened..was I have been trying all kinds
of techniques and exercises and processes to rid myself
of several poisonous memories which have been keeping
me from truly feeling completely forgiving of the past
and these memories were still preventing me from fully
getting on with my life and with certain
relationships. I felt that none of the things I was
doing was helping and again went to sleep last night
feeling quite disturbed by the fact that I couldn't
overcome these feelings which always flooded back to
me every time I tried working with the past.

One particular memory headed the list always and
perhaps is representative of the injustices I felt as
a child and I could never seem to see it in any
perspective other than a child being unjustly treated.
No matter how I approached it, it just remained the
same and hurt me and angered me every time over again.
It is an incident involving an ice cream tart and
probably I am the only one who even remembers it, but,
I have finally broken free of not only that incident,
but every feeling of pain, anger and injustice it
represented from my past.

In the early morning hours when we have "those kinds
of dreams", a kind of video film of my childhood
started to play. but it included feelings, smells,
sounds, sights and impressions which placed me in the
role of both participant and at the same time neutral
observer of the events and scenes. Places and people
and sights and events and memories arose going back
to when I was as young as 2 up to about the age of
10-12. So detailed was the "video" that I was
actually there once again. I can still feel the
essence of the places and smell the food and hear the
traffic noises while I sit here and write!! Most of
the places and people I had not thought of in 50 years
if ever, and these came flooding back to me, candy
stores, movie theaters, my grandmother(!), dancing
school, on and on and on...friends, neighbors, it was
unbelievable!! I wish I had some kind of dream video
recorder to save it and replay for all of you to see!!
but I guess the idea was just for me to BE there just
once more and live through it as well as neutrally
observe it in order to finally purge myself. Now this
all sounds clever and nice and I know even while still
watching it that it was working to finally get me
moving on without the burden of my past...but as I
opened my eyes (at first I had to rub them to be sure
I was now really awake) a sparrow sat on the string
which acts as my closet here and just looked at
me...When I opened my eyes, it chirped as if to say
"Oh, now you are a "free bird" just like me!!"
(sparrow in Hebrew is called a "tzipor dror" meaning
a "bird of freedom") and this is truly now how I
feel. I helped the sparrow find his way out of my
room (don't know how he got in...was he here all
night??) and then had an enormous cry of overwhelming
joy and here I am writing!! I feel "light as a bird"
inside and cannot truly believe that this happened to
me. Having the bird here to confirm it and physically
emphasis the impact of what happened is almost
unbelievable. but true!! So...that's if for
today...must truly assimilate what has happened to
me...it is quite amazing!!

October 9 2001
After reading something by the Dalai Lama now I had an
even greater insight into that ice cream tart incident
I mentioned yesterday. It says when someone hurts you
or angers you...not only to see it from the other
persons point of view which is obvious...but to think
what opportunity it gave you to grow or something
positive from YOUR point of view. Up until today I
had actually not seen anything positive from my point
of view in the incident...when all of a sudden it
dawned on me...just now...and I burst out
laughing...Am still smiling as I write this... I was
given the opportunity at a VERY early age to learn
that you "cannot fool Mother!!"..a fact which probably
made the next 15 years of my life a lot easier for me
(or maybe you CAN fool her but you've got to be very
clever and subtle to do it...so I was forced to
develop some very useful tools for the rest of my
August 16 2003
Listening Beyond Words
Most of us hear through words. This is how we understand what others are trying to tell us. Many of us who are trained in some form of counseling, or healing therapies etc., in addition to listening to words, have been trained to "hear" in many other ways as well, body language, facial expressions, tone etc. But I never quite realized how little we "hear" when we understand the words spoken to us. The words themselves distract us from truly listening in other ways and so even the most trained and experienced person will still be influenced by the words themselves. I didn't understand just how true this was until I began eating 3 meals a day at a table with 3 other people who speak Hindi among themselves...(like Hebrew, every once in a while an English word will be thrown in, but it is never enough to help you know what is going on...just an annoying hint and proof of how much you are left "out in the cold" when you don't know a language)...what I have begun to feel very deeply, is how body language, the twitch of a nose, the lift of an eyebrow, the quick almost unnoticed glance passed between two people, the tilt of a head, the movement of a hand...how all of these tell us soooooooo much about what is happening between these people...no matter how softly the words are spoken, tension, anger, disappointment, are always so powerfully felt that you can almost touch the emotions in the air...and joy, surprise, peace etc., are felt just as strongly, and are much more conducive to pleasant eating...I know that I will never again stop listening to, or allow simple words to be the focus of my "hearing"...this has been a very powerful lesson for me...perhaps this should be part of all training courses for the listening professions...theory is always good, but nothing can compare to practical work "in the field"....

August 20 2003
Didn't take long to learn...just a little over 3 weeks and one day...
"THEY" have probably wanted to tell me for ages, but knew it was something I had to "realize" first on my own before they spoke with me....and as usual, it is SOOOOOOOO obvious it is embarrassing to think it took this long to figure it out!
I've already begun caring for myself as I know I must, yoga in the late afternoon, and beginning my morning with full Reiki, sounds for my soul, pranayama, yoga, meditation in the morning (missing a hot shower for my joints but you can't have everything in this life)
So why did I have to be here in Kodai to get back to this? well...the whole thing just flooded before me in neon light clarity...
WHENEVER there are others around, no matter who they are, my healing, caring for, "worrying about" energies will ALWAYS go to "the others" and be depleted before I get to myself. The lesson is:
Learn to reserve your energies for yourself as well. STOP denying your OWN needs when confronted with others in your life. If this next relationship you will be in (hopefully the final one) is to succeed (with whomever it may be)...you must first understand that you must never again "lezalzel" yourself...You know this in your mind and would NEVER allow ANOTHER person to take advantage of you, to take you for granted and to always place their own needs above yours. So why do you continue to do it to yourself when in the presence of the needs of others. You know it brings you to the point of exhaustion and dysfuntionality (word?) each time both physically, emotionally and spiritually, and yet you persist. DESIST!...Leant to be with another, and still be completely with yourself as you must. Do not automatically do for another first, before you've taken care of your personal health and spiritual needs. It will do no one any good in the end. You know that for a fact and yet have not yet managed to put it into action. It is very easy to put aside the couple of hours you need a day for Jane, when only Jane is around-the hard part is doing it when there is someone else in your life needing you. THIS is the lesson. Learn it well or you will remain alone for the rest of your life to safeguard yourself. You will be unable to live in good health, physically or spiritually for any length of time if you do not care for yourself and continue your self growth and inner quest...These are things which even the most loving person cannot do for you and the more you will love, the more you will "need to do" for this other person. There is enough time in any day to "do for all"...stop neglecting YOU in the overwhelming need of yours to "be there always" for others. Allow another to BE with you and still BE completely with yourself. This is the lesson. Learn it! You do not have to BE by yourself to CARE for yourself. This whole "admonishment"-

"nu, nu, nu" part was channeled directly to me while I was still writing. Realization was my own...THEY could not just "tell" me this. I first had to realize it...it took an awfully long time and a trip to India. Ravin was part of their plan in this as well.
No one before has ever been so aggressively "nudnicky" with me in the past and succeeded. Quite the opposite-it always puts me off-the more someone insists, the more I do the opposite-he is definitely a part of their plan!... It's always been sooooooo obvious and yet I never saw the pattern until just now! They have probably wanted to tell me this for ages but knew it would be ineffective until the "AHA!" first came from me. It's not just needing to "take care of" others. It's always accommodating needs and wants of others before my own. As I am uncomfortable saying "not yet-I haven't finished my yoga yet" or whatever...and always prefer "going along with" rather than confronting - even when I don't always necessarily want what the other wants...I am easy to please...but don't always please myself...I have never been able to say "I can do anything you like provided I have my 1 -1 1/2 hours of alone in the morning and one more hour in the afternoon as sacred times for me with nothing urgent enough to change that!

So, now that I have learnt that lesson...what else is in store for me....? Again...time will tell.
As always, my thanks for this enlightening experience and my sincere request for guidance and the wisdom needed to "activate" this newfound understanding in my daily life and in all my encounters with others...no matter who they are...friends, relatives, co-workers, etc.

August 26 2003
The best of Ruskin Bond”. I am enjoying it immensely and for all his simplicity, some of his ideas are quite deep….just one or two examples of many:
“I’m not a bird of prey [says the crow]. YOU are not a beast of prey. So it is not by pursuit that we succeed-Because if we become hunters, then we would automatically bring into being-victims. And a victim’s chief object is to get away! And so it is with success. Pursue it too avidly and it will elude you”.
On fretting: …”when you keep fretting about [the outcome of ]something you’ve done, you can’t give your mind to anything else”….”expect the best-always expecting the best and usually you will get it!”
August 30 2003
before the "next thing" we sometimes need a period of "nothing"...very cleansing and relaxing and a good way of renewing energies for whatever is to come.

September 9 2003
From the Valkyries by Paulo Chelo - Entry into the world of light and following a dream without giving up obligations. How we destroy ourselves by not remembering where we came from and that the gate is open for all to pass through-we must simply be reminded of it's existence which we have forgotten over the years. And those of us who now remember what we once knew many years ago...who have been reminded by an event, a serious loss or illness, a book, a song, a poem or another person-now have the job of helping others, those who are willing and open, to remember as well by speaking of this wherever we go and as often as possible.
"Have courage-open your heat and listen....only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God"...Each person will arrive at this place via a different path-and his angels alone can guide him...if he learns to listen.
Page 153-Now I know why you brought me to this book today!...To confirm what I've been saying and have know for years about. You being my imaginary friends all those years until I was forced to "banish" you...Just a few days ago I spoke of angels and imaginary friends children have and of adults who make us forget...and here it is all written in the same words by another person!!! But YOU never abandoned me and now I wonder which of us is
happier at the reunion.. YOU or ME??...Are you crying as many tears of joy as I am? I think you are...I have felt you so close all day spurring me onto read more and there is nothing unique in what I am reading...but powerful confirmation of what I know now to be true and what I feel...you have brought me to this "desert" to allow me this.
"Fill my heart with enthusiasm"....a wonderful thing to pray for!
"I have no idea what awaits me, but I want to get back-I need love affection. I need someone who can protect me here on earth just as my angels protect me in heaven. (pp 159)...it is as if Valhalla is speaking my thoughts here-In just a few words, she says it all.
Near end of book-seeing angels and then what happened to me-being told to pick up pen and paper and write and then just having the words or ideas or even poems spoken to me...really weird seeing it written in a book by someone else! again confirmation for me!

You have to be willing and ready to allow your soul to grow to feel the true magic of this place.(or whatever your own place may be)...Only then will you be open to feel and know the tangible energies of this place. We all reach the PLACE special place of our own soul in different ways...but do we always know when we have arrived? If we allow our angels and guides to direct us, and we listen to them, we will each find our own magical place where our soul can truly grow...it may not be the same "physical" place for all of us...but it exists for all of us and once found, it will continue to call us back. I have been lead to this place and having found it 2 years ago, have never really left. Anyone TRULY desiring to find their soul's place can do so, as I did. I am nothing special...Let your spirit, your angel, your guide, your intuition, your dream lead you there. Do not wait until "the time is right"...the time is never right...we always have others who need us, obligations, things we must do...but we must love ourselves enough to find this place our soul seeks...true peace, happiness, contentment and tranquility will follow.

September 12 2003
Growing from within
Joining without
Becoming one with
And part of the Whole
Expanding into the oneness of the Whole
Bringing forth from the depths its love and protection to surround
and enfold me
To make me one with Divine Spirit, almighty
Our joining in partnership- the supreme miracle of the Universal forces
of Love and Light!
second one....
My Love is whole
My Love is true
My Love runs deep
Deeper than ever before
But where will it flow to
If it has no banks to direct it's course?
YOU must be the banks.
Strong, dependable, guiding the course of my Love
and our lives
I can now only be the river of love which flows within your banks
My energies can no longer determine the course
Envelope me in your banks of loving strength and direction
YOU must be the master of our love
If the banks collapse the river of my Love will disperse and may never find
a true course again.

Sept. 12th 8:30 PM

Why are others always an intrusion?
I don't seek them yet they find me...
Must I become invisible to be ALONE?
Or is this part of who, what I am
Flowing along and blending into the river of common pain
Floating as a log for those drowning to latch on to.
Where is the log meant to keep me afloat?
Or have I been given the strength to stay afloat ALONE?
Do I draw my strengths from my ALONENESS?
Or from the giving OF myself?
Who will be there to keep me from drowning
When there is no more strength to draw on?
I am surrounded by heavenly love and protection...
Spiritually I am never ALONE...
I am physical as well
As is my life...
All the new that awaits me...
All the changes to be made...
All the wonders still to reveal themselves...
Are not meant to be experienced ALONE
My soul, my heart, my body all yearn
For the one with the same yearnings
To continue the journey together in our ALONENESS...

Can there be such a miracle?

After writing the last poem, which just came to me from somewhere within, I was not quiet. It's almost as if it was written by a stranger and I read it as an outsider and am still trying to completely understand it....but it WAS written by me and must have brought stuff to the surface which has been smoldering within, very deep, for some time...what to do with it exactly, I am still not quite sure...
At any rate, did a Tarot reading asking about :"aloneness"...the card of "silence" came up...I quote" seek out those who can resonate with your silence, or enjoy your aloneness...Now is the time to come home to yourself. The understanding and insights that come to you in these moments will be manifested later on, in a more outgoing phase of your life"...And what song is playing at the same moment? "somewhere over the Rainbow"...just one of those perfectly beautiful moments!

September 14 2003
was talking to anat who was telling me about chance meetings with people just at the right time and we began talking about angels watching over us and she asked how she could return the good deeds done for her and how to thank God for always looking over her. I told her we return the deeds when we also do some kindness for another person in need, and then WE become God's angels for the moment....and that I thank god every morning for his taking care of me by simply saying Modeh Ani..

Sept 16 2003
Music Stolen
....I also remembered the tarot card of 2 nights earlier "silence" and began to understand that there is some very powerful lesson here.....I use my music to keep me from being in silence...I seem to need it...I seem to be afraid of the silence when I am alone in my room...but perhaps this is precisely what I need and the Universe has conspired to make this happen....so I even made a "deal" with God telling him that if he just arranges to have the

music returned, I will lock it in my bag and not listen to it the entire time I am here....Also realized that most of my lessons I seem to learn only the hard way, by being hit over the head, and although I have not yet come to terms with the whole thing, I DO believe that it truly is what was meant to be...

Sept 17 2003
Well, this will be short and sweet...we are truly amazing as human beings and always learning new things about ourselves...and it is certainly true that when one door closes it is simply to make room for another, and usually better door to open...(the previous door was probabaly right for a certain period of my life, but I was unable to release that particular phase and move on to the next...and as usually, I need very powerful prodding to make this moves)...I am quite pleased with things the last few days...although the silence is still sometimes difficult for me, it is nothing as frightening as I expected...and certainly not oppressive...I find myself singing a lot to myself, but basically, I am living within the silence and beginning to find new things...of course, it means my thoughts are not distracted in any way and sometimes fine my mind running away with me, and perhaps one of the things I still need to learn is not to distract myself from the thoughts with artificial, outside means, but to deal with them from within .At any rate, this is a whole new experience for me and I am quite beginning to enjoy it.

Sept 19 2003
A thought came to me a few times over the past few days...since I have been experience something, so far, entirely different than my first trip....I have been "outside" instead of "inside" since I got here, and quite enjoying it, although finding myself missing the "inside" time....

"Using the silences to reinforce my strengths and go outward".....I find that when I do sit with myself, in forced silence, this is the direction my thoughts take me...that I have spent enough time going inward and the time perhaps has come to start doing some outside stuff...without fear of loosing myself....just thoughts...will see where they head over the days to come....

Sept 21 2003
I have also noted a very big change in my eating habits and my needs to constantly be "noshing" between meals to keep my sugar level from fluctuating to often. I can go many many hours with no food, with absolutely no ill effects (except for may hunger pains)...and have had no problem with sugar going up and down erratically and causing me dizziness etc....I also am eating much differently than last time as I have very little desire for sweets and cakes (although I do eat them)...and doubt I will gain weight the way I did last time...I eat out only once a day and simple meals at the guesthouse otherwise...and I am feeling wonderful...I think this must be a long-term balancing of my systems after doing Reiki each day for two years...and something which happened so gradually that I didn't notice it until now....I still keep snacks with me always in my bag out of habit, but have not touched them once since getting here!
Sign in a restaurant: "Regard the one who reveals your faults, as the one who tells you about a hidden treasure"
Think about it!!!!
October 1 2003
Something I jotted down during class today at Beit Chabad while "not listening" to the Rav..."he seems to be trying to shake my faith in God by trying to prove that if I do not follow all the mitzvot (commandments) I am not truly connected to God and this is not true. Torah is ONE way of knowing our soul and being close to God. It is not the ONLY way and I don't believe God meant it to be. Maybe for some it is THE proper way and even the most direct way, but it is not the way God meant for me to know Him and Love Him. I know this to be true ;with all my heart and soul and even find myself annoyed at the continued preaching I am hearing today and may leave at the recess"
October 3 2003
Well, I finally figured out, or was helped to figure out, why I had been a little down for almost a week....and now I feel so much like writing, but have decided that what wasn't written over that period of time, about people I met and things I did or didn't do, were just not meant to be written and I will leave it for now...

This will be a little strange e-mail I guess as it will include a dream I had last night (actually just before waking this morning) which is still powerfully with me all day...I have not written all the details but must put it down on paper so as not to forget it.
What I have finally realized is the following:
The one and ONLY purpose of this trip is really and truly rest and recuperation. My ideas for further travel from here had put me into deep stress whenever I think of it and that is what was getting me down the past week.....I have concluded that whatever the origin of these fears of travel are, and I can only speculate where they originate-I must listen to my soul land desist from planning and also not feel guilty about not "doing" anything on this trip. IF I meet someone who I enjoy being with and we can go together, fine. If not-it will be on my next rip. I will concentrate completely on doing PRECISELYU what I feel like and that is ready-bought 2 good books yesterday-Shirley McClaine's Camino and the 4th in the Clan of the Cave Bear series (which I began reading from the library in Gush Katif (remember Janis?) and never got to the 4th). walking-exploring new paths here-eating well, (found a new place yesterday and had a fabulous fresh leafy crispy salad and veg. wonton soup in just the perfect size portion-in the salad was : red cabbage, iceberg lettuce, spinach, radish, tomato, carrot, string beans, cukes - all cut in large fresh delicious pieces with the most deliciously subtle dressing I've ever tasted)...and spending as much time each day as I need to be with myself in solitude-. Did a little shopping yesterday as I had an "urge" ....movies if one I like comes up and that's it. Amristra and Rishikesh will still be here when I come back next time...as will Sikkim, Darjeling etc.,..and hopefully next time I will not come alone...so everything will seem more simple.
so I am now quite relaxed and happy..
Oct 5 2003
. I decided to try the Triund path-not to get to the top-just to walk it for awhile, and now I am sitting quite deep in the forest (went off the beaten path) and just enjoying. I don't need to get "to the top" to take pleasure in what these forests and mountains have to offer. Others may see a spectacular view today at the top, but how many of them truly enjoyed the journey up?
Oct 7 2003
A German lady just walked into the internet place asking for someone to waltz with her as she feels like dancing. She sang a Strauss waltz and danced with a guy here until they both got exhausted and then she simply said (she is 65) that the only way to continue living healthily is to continue both inward and outward movement. Always going inside to know ourselves better but never stopping outward physical movement as well. Sounds like a good recipe!
October 11 2003
I am drawn to their mystical, magical, majestic peaks
which climb ever higher
Urging heart, mind and soul to soar to the sublime heights of
Divine Unity.

October 12 2003
Sitting in a shady crag of a rock looking over the view in front of me. Five distinct ranges of foothills and mountains spread out before me one after the other. As they grow more distant, the color changes from deep thick forest green to paler green until it is almost silver green in the far distance. The last range seems to be at it's uppermost point above the tree line and brown and barren and off tot he left the far mountains grey and snow lined. The lesson here is that the just as there is always another mountain to cross, the journey also never ends. There is always a continuation and the only important thing is the journey itself and being aware and alert to all that happens along the way. The delicate mountain flowers-light purple-small white daisy type with yellow center but the white spoked petals are so delicate and thin-butterflies of all colors flitting past-grasshopper-the sound of the cicadas almost a roar at times-the call of the crows, flight of the hawks, blue of the sky with a wisp of a cloud here and there - in the far midst going across the valley more ranges extending as far as the eye can see-ferns, cattails, pines of different varieties, shapes and hues, rhododendron, and many things I don't recognize by name. Walking for quite awhile in the sun and now the blessed coolness of the forest caresses me again....
October 23 2003
Accept not only with complete faith, but with love and thanks knowing it is exactly what should have been. I have been professing things to be true for me for some years now but did I truly believe what I was saying? How would I react in a "tragedy" which struck home as close as possible...not just my loved ones but me directly. I always believed my cancer had been a positive thing in my life, but that was a lesson learned from hindsight. At the time it happened, I was bitter, angry , depressed, seeking blame and certainly not thanking G-d.

It all began with my readings of Kryon and my understanding of the overview, synchronicity, etc...that chains of events are set in motion long before the "thing" itself happens. In order to provide solutions to problems, or answers to prayers which we ourselves are not even yet aware that we will need. The parable of the guy racing towards the bridge which no longer exists but completely trusting that a solution will be in place when he arrives is one of my favorite Kryon parables and I always saw myself in that light.

Things just don't happen, nothing is by chance, everything that occurs has a connection. I can go all the way back in time over a couple of years and see connections of events leading to today and nothing which happened THAN made any sense to me.

So, this whole "thing" now, was for me, a test. and it proved that I truly believe in what I have been professing. My whole reaction was also different than from the way I generally behave. I honestly felt no anger, even for a second...and did not even feel the need to find a culprit. Did not blame anyone, accept perhaps the split second when I thought I myself had been stupid, but it past in about 5 minutes. I was calm, relaxed, accepting, knew what I had to do, continued to pray that I would be saved the hassle of Delhi (but even when it seemed unlikely, I was already planning the fun I would have there...visiting people I know who invited me, shopping at 60% off before Diwali, and even spending Diwali unexpectedly in Delhi!)....Honestly did not care about the clothing itself (although I am still a little sad about the journals and the necklace shlomit gave me!)...Knew for a definite fact that this was a GOOD thing and I realized for the first time, totally and completely, that my faith in G-d and his Universe , His angels and my guides, the desires of my soul are all true to my Higher Good at every minute. Nothing "bad" can EVER happen...I am deserving of ONLY good things and wonderful people in my life and all that happens IS for the best. I have never felt so at peace and thankful and loving and warm as I fell now. God has been wonderful enough to prove to me, to take away any shadow of a doubt I may have had about the workings of His Universe and my own faith and trust in it. It is truly the most wonderful blessing I have ever received. Knowing that my anger and need to find blame are something of the past and my complete acceptance, in happiness of events , is a joy I cannot find the words to express.

The fact is: Everything that happens IS good. Even the "bad" things is good at the moment it happens, We do not have to wait for the good part of whatever happened to reveal itself finally in the future. The "thing" itself at the moment IS good. Nothing "bad" or "wrong" or "unfair" happens. Everything is for our Higher Good as it happens and when it happens.

Sept. 24, 2004

"Unhappiness is the food of anger"-from Buddhist lecture on patience

Sept. 24, 2004

and then he read my palm. Some interesting things...like the guy last year couldn't believe that in one hand (one person) there was so much of the extreme and stubborn with such a good, kind, loving, giving, compassionate, understanding (etc. etc) heart. Said he'd never seen that combination before and it is the reason why all things seem so complicated and difficult to me in life and, combined with my extreme intellectual capabilities, the reason I have so many vicissitudes (yes, that's the word he used)...and why all my lessons are difficult in the learning. He also said I would always be self-sufficient and must never rely on others to take care of me. That the hard times are over for me and only good things await me from this point in life. good health, less difficulties etc. That I spent 25 years with the wrong man, had one great love and there will be one more great love in my life at some time to come. those of you who remember the guy in Chennai last year will remember a very similar reading. He spoke of "the third one" in my life and pretty much said the same about the rest.

October 16, 2004

After much deliberation and help from some very good friends both here and "out there", I have made the decision to tell Avik that this is not going to work out, and finally get back to living my life honestly, as I always do...living this lie has been almost impossible for me and not something I could continue doing for any more time without getting really sick....It is not who I am, as my children so wisely knew as soon as I told them the problems I was having with Avik as well as his lies....but I felt the practical thing would be to wait until I got home, got a good job and found a place to live before rocking the boat...turns out, practical is not always the way to go....we must always be true to ourselves, as I've always practiced and tried to tell others, and lying to myself, as well as to avik, has been one of the most trying periods of my life.

I am glad it is over.

Tonight I will speak to him, and then, whatever happens, happens. And I'm sure it will be for the best. I already feel light and carefree just having made the decision, and no longer feel grey clouds above me....(Yes, the sun is still shining, but that was just an _expression).

October 18, 2004–05–15Those of you who have been following my journals for the last few years, know that each trip brought with it some deep learning, some lesson, which had to be learnt, and that this trip so far had not yet revealed the lesson to me..Well, it's happened and as always, was quite amazing in the synchronicity and surprising sequence of events leading up to last night.

I have actually been struggling with this decision for several months now, as some of you are aware. But the fact is, I was always approaching it from a place of anger and fear and of course what came back to me, instead of clarity and understanding and direction, was just more anger and fear, multiplying itself from both within and from outside. Saturday morning, something very trivial happened but which, for some reason, opened my eyes to what has been wrong with my approach all this time, and also showed me the "bottom line" in regard to my problem with Avik in a very clear way, So clear in fact that it was as if the heavens had opened and a large hand came down and wrote the message on a piece of paper for me to read. It's as if the mist over the mountains has cleared and all is clear and bright and beautiful!

I understood, first of all, that it is not the BIG lie which was so terrible coming from Avik, and perhaps if all other things had been well, I could have gotten past that, as I know that no matter how stupid it was, he believed he was doing it for love. What I realized so clearing on Saturday morning, is that Avik himself is just one big lie!!! Everything he does is secretive, closed, dishonest, there is no true integrity in anything he does or says. And these small lies have repeated themselves so often until I realized that this is just who he is. A person who is incapable of being open and honest, and forthright with other people.. And this is THE one thing that I cannot live with?.

In addition, as I explained to him, if he truly has found the love of his life which he believes, then he should be joyful and happy and he is nothing but miserable all the time.So whatever he is feeling, it is not really love, more like a teenage infatuation I guess

What happened then, Saturday, was that after a couple of hours of deep thought, it just dawned on me that my approach to the whole thing has been wrong. And immediately beautiful and loving thoughts filled my mind and heart. I no longer felt anger or fear, just peace and calm, knowing that doing what my soul truly needs me to do, and which can only be done through love, is the only true way. And once I approached everything from the place of love, I knew that all would be well. It was something I've always known, but this is the first time I have had to deal with a situation personally which required the relinquishing of anger and fear and the replacing them with true love. It was really an illuminating experience for me. A true "AHA!" as Yonina would say!

Once my heart opened, all the answers just flowed to me in simplicity and directness. I knew exactly what I would say to Avik and how, and although I had no idea how he would react, knew for a fact that everything would be just as it should be.

Well, it took awhile until I got hold of him to speak to him, but when I did, I myself was completely surprised by the lack of hardness and anger in my voice, and the gentle words of love which flowed. He heard all I had to say, and his conclusion (at least as of last night) was that we could simply remain traveling companions and stay together as long as we felt comfortable with the arrangement, just as friends etc. I told him I would really like to stay here as long as possible, but did not express any desire to continue on by myself afterwards. He seemed very opened to the idea of my continuing to use the money which is his, but as I said, that was last night. This may all change today or tomorrow, but you never know as there was another twist to the story which I will write in a minute. .I know however, that his reaction of love and calm was only in direct response to my approach from the heart. if I had spoken to him about our separation at any other point, in any other way, before I "saw the light", I know his reaction would have been in kind, which is to say, .filled with anger etc. He told me that there would be no problem when we get back-everything that is mine, would go back to me, as much as he loves his beautiful house now-and even asked if he could keep the nice arrangement in the computer room. I said I need it for my "new house" wherever and whenever that would be,and he said"anything you need me to help you with, or replace, I will" I will help you move and get everything fixed up just as you did for me when you came to live in my house" I believe he was sincere in this and don't think THIS at least will change. And this is because of what he told me next.

On Friday, the day before I had my illuminating experience, I was talking to Nicolai while avik was out, and when avik came back he continued to talk to him while I prepared dinner. Nicolai recommended a book by the Dalai Lama for Avik, and for some reason he went right out and bought it and began reading it on Saturday! He doesn't really go in for this stuff but I found him completely absorbed in the book.. He had been reading it for 2 days by the time I spoke to him.

What he said to me was: .that everything I've been telling him all this time, about what he is like etc., and which he always denied and became very defensive about, he now, for the first time in his life, realizes is true. He is secretive, dishonest, lies, hides things from people, is afraid of his weaknesses so pretends they don't exist and had actually built a fantasy perception of who he is for his own personal consumption all his life, etc., etc.

And all of these things are the reason for his great suffering (turns out he was reading about suffering in the book and the causes of it and how to overcome it) all his life. He now realizes that he must change who he is if he is to be truly happy, but doesn't know if he is able to at his advanced age, and he knows that my decision is completely right. I had told him that I thought in the beginning I was being kind to him in trying to put things back together and only now realized it was actually being cruel as I was only making him more miserable. He agreed that I was doing the best thing for him and thanked me for it. there is more to his insights which I was quite surprised by, and know all of this was just part of the "plan" .Things just don't happen. .there is no coincidence. By the way- I had originally thought to talk to him earlier, before he had read the book, (WHICH i DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS READING)and for some reason Abdellah told me to wait another day, so we could enjoy our Sunday walk to naddi together. If I had spoken to him a day earlier, who knows how he would have reacted to what I said? It was all combined. My speaking from a place of love and his having understood his own part in his lifetime of suffering?.

At any rate, the lesson for me is learnt! ONLY love can bring good things into this world and into our lives. If we deny our soul's desires and needs, we block out its light. We become dark and dull. We no longer shine from outside, we have no true joy or happiness, and this is how I have felt all these months. But my soul is now rejoicing and my face is bright with smiles and the glow of happiness. Whatever awaits me waits to be seen, but I know all will be well. being here, coming home, spending time with family and friends, going off to Uruguay, job hunting, apartment hunting…just new adventures to be faced and enjoyed.

October 28, 2004

I had an interesting thought in a half-awake state this morning which could use some refining, but sounds quite profound when you think about it...
"Learn to properly digest life...you must digest only one meal at a time"

I've been finding it difficult not to continually think about what awaits me at home...not actually worrying about it but curious to know how things will work out, how long it will take etc. so I am finding it difficult to just stay in the moment and this annoys me. So I will try my best to "digest" just one day at a time...and today is so far a perfect one!

October 30, 2004
I had been having pain in my right knee for several months, actually started around the time Avik revealed his "little deceit" to me...but never paid attention to the timing or looked for anything other than a physical reason for the pain...despite the fact that it was nothing I had ever felt before and I have had other problems with both knees in the past...anyway, about 1 1/2 months before I left I started doing regular acupuncture for it and after each session it was partially relieved, but never really went away, and here, I had dondhup take care of it and also it never really left me completely. It was also one of the reasons I did much less walking this time than in past trips...What I didn't realize was, it began as soon as I started to lie to myself about my being able to stay with Avik, and also at the time that I was completely absorbed in negative emotions of fear and anger...fear of what would happen and anger at both avik and myself. From THE very day I "came clean" with Avik, until today, I haven't the slightest bit of pain whatsoever in my knee...and the knees are one of the places where the feelings of anger and pain are stored....!!! So....There IS no separation between soul and body...we are one and the same and it is always good not to forget that...
As for lesson #2: Last few months Avik brought out the very worst in me- "demons" , patterns of behavior which I thought I had "conquered" years ago and which I worked very hard to get beyond, were all brought back to the surface and shown to me "big as life" "Take a good look!! This is YOU"...I know now that we do not truly rid ourselves of these patterns which were formed in early years, but with work can learn to rise above them...but we are always susceptible to "relapses" when we are around the wrong people, or not being true to
ourselves in our daily life. It is a frightening and humbling lesson to learn! But one I am truly grateful for. Thinking how wonderful we are that we have come so far in our personal growth and development is a sad _expression of pride and ego. The only way we continue to grow is to continue to work. And now having learnt the second important lesson of this journey, I feel like I've done what I needed to and can come home easily and at peace with myself.

November 1, 2004

Anyway...Yesterday morning I had a really beautiful channeling which I will write in a moment, and this morning, was up really early as I usually am when I am feeling well and by 7:45 was already out on the roof after shower, meditation, laundry etc. And then I just sat there with my eyes closed absorbing the warmth of the sun down to the depth of my soul, absorbing the sounds and smells and feel of the air on my face...the bird calls etc. When all of a sudden I heard a bird chirping (it was more like a consistent call to me to listen) very close by. When I opened my eyes he was sitting directly opposite me, looking at me and chirping as if talking to be to listen. He sat there for more than 5 minutes and didn't stop "talking" the whole time! It was quite amazing, and it brought me back to a similar incident 3 years ago when I woke up one morning to find a bird IN my room also talking to me...Both were sparrows which are called in hebrew tzipor dror which means bird of freedom, and they both brought the same message to me...reminding me of the importance of freedom and the terrible things we do to ourselves when we "sell our souls" for any reason....freedom in the sense of being true to yourself no matter what and not thinking that someone else can make life easier for you or that love can bring you freedom...these things are external and temporary ...only what comes from inside and is true is what is real and right....
And now to the channeling from YESTERDAY morning!!
It's gone it's over forget it...mistakes happen...don't delude yourself ever again in the future. Listen to us and your soul more carefully. Don't think you "know better". Thinking is what you do best and do worst. Don't use thinking in the wrong situations. Move on to a better place=- better things will then follow. We ARE always here but you are not! We love you and always do our best but we cannot do it alone. So be with US as we are with you and things will be easier for you-life is a good place to be...you know that but have a way of screwing things up when you think you know best at the wrong times. Go inside more-not outside. Listen more carefully-be more aware. You are one with your soul and it will never be right for you until you make decisions from the right place. You do not always need the right reasons-you need the right feelings. Learn this and you have learnt the important lesson. Things will be well. Stop thinking-Do each day-They are each unique and beautiful...don't spoil them by thinking . We are here as you know. Call us and we hear you.
That's all-get on with it...we love you.
PS: We are telling you to go home so go! But watch it when you get there. Don't rush around to please others. Stay where you are comfortable at each point. Don't go to any place under pressure. Keep up the pace you now have here and all will flow as it should. Why do you assume going home means tension? Becuase you make it happen. Follow this new pace you are learning here and all will happen as it should. Do a slow moving. all will find it's place in due time. You can do it but don't let things from outside get the better of your own inner peace.

Well, that was the longest channeling I've ever had a a really amazing one! And for those who still believe it comes from my subconscious, well, I personally don't care where it comes from...it says great stuff!!

Now, just my day!....Received 2 beautiful letters today-one quite unexpected from Theo and Monique and the other from Anaat. But both were exactly what I needed to heal my very injured self-image. I had begun to see myself as demanding and self-centered and vindictive through the eyes of Avik and was very disturbed with his seeing me as such. I know I am not always an easy person to live with...but I never thought I was self-centered and certainly not vindictive. And these lovely people who only knew me for a couple of months last year wrote, completely unsolicited as they do not know all that has happened here...just that I decided to leave Avik over a question of trust. They said such encouraging and lovely things...and we do all need to hear these things once in awhile. When we are feeling "right" we KNOW these things and tell them to ourselves...but we are quite fragile creatures and for some reason we still find it easy to believe bad things about ourselves when they are thrown at us at weak times...The good things need to be reinforced at our weaker moments of self-doubt...and today...this lovely letter arrived to do just that!
And a very special "lecture" from sweet Anat! She really gave me the words I needed to hear before coming home. I'm sure both of these letters were not just "by chance" As I had asked for calm and strength last night before going to sleep before coming home and it was sent in the form of these 2 letters.

November 2 2004

And now, just something I read yesterday in this book I am now reading, and gives more backup to all that is happening to me now and reading it was definitely not "by chance"..

"The fact that many a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing...He MUST obey his own law" (which I understand to mean soul/heart whatever) From the book Snow Leopard (fabulous!!!!) pp. 45 quoted from C.G. Jung-Collected works.

November 5 2004–
This book I've been reading has so many things in it which bring life into focus for me...it is in no way a travel book as advertised. It is quite fascinating and a good read for all...The Snow Leopard...
"The absurdity of a life that may well end before one understands it, does not relieve one of the duty to live it through as honestly and generously as possible"

November 6 2004–05–15

Not a place,
a feeling,
You find it once and then have it with you always
It is mobile and goes with you everywhere
No one can take it from you
As it is nothing you can touch or hold physically
What is inside is yours alone
And you make it what it is
When you have truly found the feeling - Cherish it!
It is a precious gift you have worked hard for.

Release anger,
Release fear,
Release Worry
Embrace love
Embrace faith
Embrace calm acceptance.
The river will take you swiftly along at certain points
And allow you periods of motionless calm
But the current will always be there to move your boat along
You may see places you would like to stop at
But the choice is not always yours
Release into the flow of the river
And calmly and joyfully accept whatever direction it takes you.

The most creative moments have often arisen at times when circumstances appeared most helpless.

If we fear someone we give them power over us.
So be gentle but don't allow yourself to be trod upon

there are no fresh stars in life.
But there are new directions - learn to zigzag.

Try loving your enemies - if nothing else, you'll confuse them

Life will always give us what we know we are worth
It never fails to take us at our own valuation

They always come so quickly those turning points in life.
And always down a lane we are not watching.

When a difficulty presents itself - remove it at once if you can
For the longer you look at it, the less you will like it.

Bad times are good times to prepare for better times.

There is no dependence that can be certain but a dependence on yourself.

Before you discuss anyone's faults...
Take time to count to ten...
Ten of your own!

November 8th, 2004
I think I am taking my final leave of this place. Perhaps I no longer have the NEED to be here. If I ever return it will be just because I feel like it...not because I must. Everything that has happened so far today has added to this feeling of a final farewell to my attachment to this place. It's as if the whole past year has been contrived in such a way as to detach me from ALL I felt the NEED for. Living my life in a certain way, in a certain area in Israel, doing things in a certain way and earning my money in a certain type of framework. and today's farewell is just a continuation of all which began happening last year as soon as I got back from India.
My moving in with and now leaving Avik;s house has put a final closing to all that part of my life. I find myself now with no home, no job, no income of any sort and yet not worried about the future or even taking any great pains to plan things. I will be living from day to day and see where life takes me. but until today I still felt this NEED for McLeod and the surrounding area as a sort of retreat from...
Perhaps in my new life I will no longer feel the need to retreat from...but all I need will be IN me instead of something or someplace outside of me. that doesn't mean in any way that I do not have to pursue a job and find a place to live. but I have a feeling that I will no longer need a place to "run away to" because I will not be running from anything.

…It's as if all past ties to this place -even my attachment to the mountain itself, are being severed. It is quite a feeling of release. Every old pattern of thought, need of, desire for seems to be melting away. Abdellah is till complaining that I am too quiet. But I like the feeling of NOT feeling the need to speak. Everything I think I might say just seems trivial and unimportant and not worth saying.
I have my "aloneness" back. Wondering how I will manage without my own place...but will find the PLACE inside and use it as often as I feel the need.
I I keep seeing flashes of myself with people all around and me just sitting in silence and enjoying observing.
I realize I am leaving here happy and coming back to Israel happy. Because I have found my true home-inside-and wherever my new physical place will be is basically unimportant when compared with this new feeling of a permanent "home" for the first time in my life.

Journal 2001

Below, journal entries from my first trip to India in 2001. Enjoy!

Aug 12 2001- Flight Via Amman,Arriving in Delhi, and First Day's Adventure

August 12th: 8:40 PM:
We are now waiting in Amman to board the flight to Delhi. We are closer to home than when I fly to Eilat (only 30 minutes to get here) but it seems far away and strange. The terminal is very European. Quiet, classy, very unlike the place we left behind just a little while ago. But sitting here in the terminal, all the Israelis sit near each other, even if not speaking to each other. It is so quiet, lots of people here but no noise. All kinds of people, European, Arabs, Indians, backpackers, South Americans, very interesting. I wonder how people who see me sitting here see me.

I'm too old to fit in with the young kids sitting around me. Well, some guy keeps eyeing me. Have to learn quickly to avert my eyes. I am not used to doing that. We have decided to speak only English from now on. On the plane turned out that we both had wonderful seats with plenty of leg room and nice seat partners... didn't sleep much on the flight but the time went by very fast. Much easier that the 5 hour bus ride to Eilat!).

9 PM: I am now seated on the plane. VERY comfortable. Plenty of leg room- without even reserving, I've got a window seat. I think I will take a travamin to play safe and hopefully it will even help me sleep. In 5 hours it's effects should wear off and I won't be uncomfortable during the flight. Now some Reiki and then the rest is in God's hands!

5 AM India Time (2:30 AM Israeli time)
Landing in a few minutes. Slept a little, very comfortable flight. Very tired. Looking forward to nice shower and nice bed (little did we know what awaited us!!)

3:30 PM: Well, this is a very long story now...I didn't have the strength to write earlier but I've rested for a couple of hours now and will try to put it all down on paper as it happened.
We arrived at the airport in Delhi and were quite pleasantly surprised. We quickly went through customs- we stood in line behind an Indian business man who had come home from New York who promptly proceeded to give us all kinds of hints and advice, the most urgent one being "DON'T TRUST ANYONE". Well, we listened and shook our heads and said thanks and continued on our way. We got our bags and were pleased at the cleanliness and quietness of the terminal. Nothing like the madhouse at Ben Gurion.

We exchanged money the bank very easily and then started out to find the taxi that was supposed to be waiting for us. We never found him!!

They claim they were there but we didn't find him! Anyway, tried calling the number of the taxi service and they answered but no one spoke English! In the end, we decided to take a pre-paid taxi. Problem was, I didn't think to write down the address and phone number of the hotel - I assumed someone would be waiting for us. But at the booth they said they knew where it is and the driver would take us! Well, he took us to the right area but didn't speak English and didn't know where the hotel was (or so he said) probably took us to a hotel where he hoped to abandon us and get his commission! In the end we called from the hotel he took us to - with him waiting outside - to MIlan"s (our guide to the Himalayas) grandmother (he gave us her number for emergencies and this was definitely an emergency) and she answered and said immediately - "come to my house - we will work it out".

She gave the driver her address and he finally found it not before arguing that we prepaid for one address and had to give him more money and I was adamant that he didn't take us where we wanted to go so he still owed us a trip. He finally found her address - in a "swanky" neighborhood we later learned was only VIP's and tried to get her to get us to pay more money. In the end, we all settled for 1/2 of what he wanted and that ended the first part of the morning.

  By now it was around 8 AM and we had expected to be after breakfast, shower and asleep, and we were in this lady's house (Mati) instead. I can't begin to describe her. She looked and acted not more than 60 and she is 86! She is, we found out, in addition to being India's first woman pilot which we already knew from Milan, a famous painter, jewelry designer, seamstress and very wise and religious woman who is also versed in politics, world affairs, religions, philosophy, she also "knows" 7 generations of women from her great-grandmother up to her great-grandchildren!. You should have heard HER talk about Muslims!!!

Well, she promptly called her grandson, Milan, our guide, and explained the situation to him and said she has a spare room we could stay in - no need to go to a hotel, but we had need of an air conditioner so insisted on a hotel. So her grandson said the same driver who we somehow missed at the airport would pick us up at her house but only around 11!!. So we had 3 hours to spend there.

Well, as tired as we were and hungry, the time just flew by. It was amazing. And while there, her granddaughter, and great-granddaughter came to visit after just arriving from Malaysia where they live, for a visit. Her great granddaughter is 23 and just completed her studies in law school. She looked like any typical young woman that age. Tight jeans and form fitting sleeveless top. Gave great grandma a hug and went off to see her friends. In the meantime, we got to know granddaughter named Shuchi (which means pure) who is an artist in her own right, even has a web site-and the hours just flew by. I could have sat and spoken with this beautiful, serene wise women for days and not gotten tired of them.

Finally the taxi arrived, after several cups of tea and a forced on us breakfast of chapati and mango-time came to leave. But first, we wanted to take pictures, and like women all over the world, they had to first go and put on makeup!!

We parted with promises to come back and visit on our return to Delhi and Shuchi invited us to visit her in Malaysia--we may just do that!!

We got to our hotel finally, around 11:30-checked in, too exhausted to really unpack, put Chopin on the speakers, A. showered, I ordered lunch-delicious meal - I asked for "not spicy" well their not spicy gave me heartburn -something I last experienced 20 years ago when I was pregnant with Shai!. I brought an entire pharmacy to India and no one suggested "Tums". Will look for some when we finally venture out!

But I fell asleep pleased and comfortable. The room is adequate if simple, the AC works, the bathroom pleasant and we haven't tried the TV yet.

Aug 14 2001- Delhi

Just a few words about Delhi...It is absolutely no where near what we were led to believe. From the time we came out of the airport expecting to be overwhelmed by heat, humidity, smells and people pulling us in all directions to take us to hotels, we were completely and pleasantly surprised.
It was quite warm, 30 degrees centigrade and humid but certainly nothing compared to what we expected. Even later in the day it was not so bad. Only a couple of guys approached us - it was worse in Greece when we got off the ferry each time being bombarded!

And the city is far from beautiful but no where near the shock we were told to expect.

We finally fell asleep and I slept very well. This morning we got out late....(Oh, last evening we out to find a restaurant and it rained-but it was very pleasant. Like rain in the summer in New York. Very cooling and pleasant. We enjoyed it.

This morning we got out late and again it was raining so instead of checking out the market here in the area, we took and auto-rickshaw to an underground market, Palika Market I think, and I bought my clothes for the rest of the trip. One thing about India and bargaining...what a laugh..but you really have to be good at it to get a good price, and my friend A. is a champ!

In one store she bought jewelry at about 1/4 the originally quoted price...and in the clothing store, I bought clothes which originally cost 3000 rupees for 1600. She says if we would have stayed longer she would have gotten them down even lower...but I was very satisfied and got lots of nice stuff for the price. It is 160 shekel which is $40. I got a full shalwar kameez (three pieces, pants, long dress top and scarf, 3 pair of pants and 4 blouses!
She then saw something she wanted which had the original asking price of 5250 rupees.. She paid 1600 rupees for it!! And there is a big sign there saying "This is a fixed price store...do not waste your time bargaining"! We all had a good laugh at that one including the owners who were very sweet and it was a pleasure to shop there. I really had fun!

we then ate in a nice but expensive restaurant (two full meals including coffee and desert and drinks and entree and 2 main dishes for the whopping price of 400 rupee...40 shekel...$10, and we felt we had spent too much money as this is expensive here for food. But it was very nice eating there Nirula's, and we will probably go back at least once more.

Then we were exhausted and decided to come home and that is it for today. We are feeling wonderful, walking around in Delhi is alot more comfortable than Pardes Channa in Israel at this time of the year. The rain is beautiful. We are relaxed and happy and tired. Tomorrow we go for a full day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal so don't know when I will write again. l will try on Thursday before we leave for Leh

Aug 16, 2001 A Mouse in the House, Trip to Agra, The Taj Mahal and The Toilets!

Well, yesterday is over and it is now the next morning and A. is showering so I will begin to write. It will probably take all day to do this.

The whole day began yesterday after a nite that we basically did not sleep well at all. It started when we got back to the room after sending my last e-mail a couple of days ago. We were very tired and wanted to go to sleep early so we could rest enough before getting up at 4 AM. We came up to freshen up a bit (you walk around here sticky all the time) before eating (Chinese food!),

when all of a sudden a mouse ran across the room...A MUST read!! Typical India!

We called the desk and they said "no problem" - 3 guys came up to the room armed with plastic bags!!. Luckily, they saw the mouse so they knew we weren't imagining things. And then they just started to enjoy themselves, giggling, moving furniture, banging doors for over 1/2 hour.

Never saw the mouse again and they decided we he had slipped out under the door. OK....we went to eat and came back just ready to shower and plop into bed. Opened the door, and what do we see? Mr. Mouse standing there with a big grin on his face, waving at us and saying "Hi, guys...I'm still here!"

We went down to reception and they simply offered us another room-that was the solution they could think of. We were so exhausted and it meant packing up all our stuff again (it was already 10 PM) and moving but we had no choice. They helped us and exactly half hour later we were settled in our new (nicer with bathtub.. but no plug) room.

We were all wound up by then though and both of us had a very difficult time sleeping. At 4 AM, really exhausted, we got up to begin our day. A cab took us to the train station and we sat in our reserved AC seats and from the time we got on the train all kinds of food kept coming...Including a bottle of mineral water for each passenger...the train has a special holder on the back of each chair to hold the water. I tried to sleep but with no luck. Too interesting watching the countryside roll by. Very nice quick train ride and we arrived in Agra and went to look for our driver.

It was obvious to us that this time we would definitely find him waiting since the same person who arranged the first one whom we never found, was very concerned this time and sent us e-mail with extra precautions listing the number of the car, number of the company owner, and exact location where the driver would be waiting. Guess what? He wasn't there!!!

We looked around for a little longer and then decided to simply call. We were very relaxed and calm. Then all these other guys started jumping on us but we've gotten so good at ignoring them that they are basically invisible to us. We kind of just walk through them.

Just as we were going back in to call, a man approached us and asked "Are you Miss Jane!". He had a letter from the guy who made the arrangements so we knew he was the company owner,,,, and just then a little guy with a sign saying "Miss Jane" comes running over...he was the driver and he had arrived a few minutes late...he got a real tongue-lashing from the owner but then we were off with driver and guide for the entire day. It is the only way we could have gotten out of this day alive!

Agra is even more yucky then Delhi. Hot, humid, polluted, noisy, overcrowded and guys jumping all over you everywhere, even through the open car windows, to sell you junk! We decided to see other things first and leave the Taj Mahal for after 4 at the suggestion of the guide when it would be a little cooler. He was very nice and competent but it was difficult to talk to him which means we missed out on alot of information but it was fascinating talking to him. He is not the first Indian we have had philosophical discussions with re: religion...there is so much in common with Judaism and belief in a direct link with God without middle men and that we are all created in the God's image and there is a piece of God in each of us, reward and punishment...he told us many interesting stories in his broken hard to understand English with heavy Indian accent.

One thing he said was in his religion, it is known that if a man takes more than he deserves for a service he performs or a job he does (this after we started talking about cheating and rip-offs in India) then the extra money he gets will be taken away from him in the form of medicines he must by for his sick children! Very interesting concept.

And you would not believe how much the Indians, everyone we have spoken to, hate the Muslims. They do not understand why we don't give them back what they give us, eye for an eye and be done with it!! They are great supporters of Israel, understand our reasoning and agree with it, are trying to form alignments here for active work on the part of Israel and know more about our history and heritage than I could have imagined. It is very warming to the heart to hear their beautiful words of encouragement and support!

Well, we had a very difficult day. We went first to see some beautiful mausoleum to the Guru of his religion which I wrote down but don't have with me right now...doesn't matter...It is a beautiful edifice with hand cut marble everywhere cuttings of all kinds of fruit trees and vegetables etc. and just like all fruits and vegetables live together and complement one another, so all religions must live together. This is one of the basic tenets of his religion.

Then we went to Agra fort  

which is amazing but enormous and we were both very weak by this point. No sleep, heat, no matter how much we drank it wasn't enough. But from this fort you see the Taj from the distance across the Yamuna River and it was amazingly beautiful.  

We spent an hour there which was more than enough and then met our guide and we had to decide how to spend the rest of the day. Train doesn't leave till 8 PM. He had a whole itinerary planned but we simply were not up to it. So he tried to figure out what we could do. It was only 11 AM.

So we said we needed to eat and be air-conditioned. He took us to a restaurant

Aside: toilets: I've tried several kinds already and have no problem with any of them. Even used the "India water pitcher and left hand clean up job" and found it very pleasant and practical. One toilet was a plain hole in the ground with sort of a bowl with foot pads to place your feet on when you squat and that's it; another was basically the same but it flushed!!; and then of course the "western" toilet in the train which was a real accomplishment - you have to hold on for dear life to the hand rail provided while the train sways in order to aim properly and steadily and keep the flow going in the right direction. basically I find no problem with the toilets - the public toilet, although it had a smell, was no worse than any public toilet in any public place anywhere in the world and maybe the smell was even less stinky than many places I've been in other countries.

back to my story.
Our India guide even tried to dissuade me from using the public toilet and wait until I get to the "real" toilet at the restaurant but he doesn't know my bladder. I think he was embarrassed but I reassured him that all was well and I am very adaptable!

So, we went to a restaurant called the "Only Restaurant" and I really must recommend it. Wonderfully A/C, great toilets, beautiful decor, perfect service and absolutely delicious food. They even have a full explanation of what each dish is made of. I found something - don't remember the Indian name, with 9 kinds of fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts in a light cream sauce which I ordered "not spicy". When it arrived, I tasted it, and I guess for him it was "not spicy" but not for me. He asked how it was and I said "spicy" and without a second thought just pricked up my plate and took it away. A minute later he returned with a new portion which was truly not spicy. ! He probably couldn't understand how I could enjoy eating something so tasteless, but it was pure heaven. We also ate 2 kinds of Naan, bread-one prepared on a tandoori stove very similar to bedoui pita or Iraqi pita but more tasty, seems like whole flour, and softer and it was filled with cheese, dates and nuts! Fantastic.

We rested in the restaurant until our guide came to fetch us 1 1/2 hours later and forced us to reluctantly leave the AC. But first we discussed the rest of the day. He realized we didn't feel well and so took us back to his house!


Were we met his whole extended family consisting of 14 people including his grandmother who "rules the roost", he calls her the commander, his 2 children, his wife, his brother and his wife and their children. Amazing family, poor, and simple and serene and religious and happy. Two days earlier was a birthday festival for their Guru so we benefited by being offered all types of delicious sweets that had prepared for the celebration. Don't remember what they were all called but several types of balls called Ladoo, were offered, made from wheat (I think farina) and sugar and butter and seasoning...absolutely delicious melt in your mouth stuff, just sweet enough...but we were so full from the restaurant we could only take little tastes of each thing but the smile on the grandmother's face was worth the effort of tasting all of them.

Then they simply gave us their beds, which are in the "living room" and left to let us rest until we had to leave 2 hours later for the Taj Mahal.

Well, the Taj Mahal...the reason we suffered through this whole horrible day -is a s beautiful as you can imagine it to be - but not worth the price in money ($25!!!!) or in physical energy expended on such a day - it is disgusting outside of it...I can now understand all those who say "don't bother" - you well not feel cheated if you come to India and don't see the Taj Mahal  Posted by Picasa

Our driver picked us up and then took us for a bowl of soup at the same restaurant as we needed nourishment and AC again urgently and we still had time before the train left. In the end, we still wound up waiting and almost fainting away at the crowded and very hot train station for a long time. The train was late but we finally found ourselves seated and wanted to sleep but again they started with the food:

Tomato soup with breadsticks and butter, dal (lentils) very spicy, rice-delicious-tofu or chicken in delicious sauces, and a little crockery pot of delicious cool yogurt and naan (bread). All piping hot and fresh. And , as if this was not enough, ice cream for dessert. And of course a bottle of mineral water.

Well, we finally got to Delhi, had to get back to the hotel. We are already experts and a driver tried to scam us with the "I'll take you to a better hotel" after we already agreed on a price and promised to deliver us to our hotel...not realizing that we were already 3 days in our hotel and knew how to get there...and we both jumped down his throat and almost physically assaulted him we were sooo tired and angry...we gave him "what for" and that was the end of the story...Well...he was a maniac driver...our first since our arrival...all the others were fine..but we did get home safe and sound at 11:30 and were so full of adrenaline by then that it took us a few hours to fall asleep...but then we slept so well until my Mother woke us early with a phone call!

Tomorrow we are off to Manali and then up to Leh in the Himalayas until the 31st of August when we will be back in Delhi.

PS: One of the other people who will be traveling with us to the Himalaya with our guide is a travel writer for a big company in India much like lonely planet but for the local market.
His web-site for his company is as follows if anyone is interested in seeing it. The purpose of this trip is to check out Leh so he can write about it for the site.

Aug 17, 2001 To Manali

We’ve been a a very long, hot and dusty road from Chandigarh since 8 this morning. It is now 4 PM and after a lunch of chapati and dahl which we ate Indian style with our hands, we have started climbing into the foothills and it is starting to cool down. For now it is similar to going up into the Carmel Mountains in Israel, but the height of the foothills here is 2000 meters, as high as the HIGHEST peak in Israel, the Hermon on the Lebanese border where the only Israeli ski “resort” is located. Here, the mountains just BEGIN at that height!

Aug. 18….12:30 PM
I will continue with yesterday’s trip later, but right now I am sitting in the garden of our hotel right outside of Manali and it is even more beautiful than in the pictures. Filled with Zinnias, marigolds, flocks, asters, cosmos, roses, apple trees and grass. It is situated between rolling green mountains covered with green and pine trees-their peaks hidden by the mist.


It is pristine beauty at it’s peak. The only sounds we hear are birds and the flow of rapids and waterfalls which are everywhere in this amazing lush valley. The sky is so clear and the air so fresh-Behind this garden I see a vegetable garden with corn and don’t know what else. But we’ve been told the food here is among the best in India. Actually, from the faces of the people here, it looks more like Tibet or China .

The sun is amazingly strong even thought the air is clean and cool. We are only at 2000 meters now, 6000 feet and will eventually get to 4000 meters in Leh after a pass of close to 6000 meters! It is like the kind of rare spring days that we have in Israel that we wish would continue forever.

Well, we were given our room which is actually a suite-even has a fireplace!...and a small sitting room with 2 terraces and access to the garden. Very high international standard and it is costing us about $30 a night which is very expensive for here but I wouldn’t give this up for anyplace, and, aside from the fact that it is tortuous to get here, would love to come back.

Now backtracking a little, I woke up 2 days ago after our horrible day in Agra, feeling the beginning of “sick” throat, like sinusitis and a general poor feeling. We slept that day until after 10- did only emergency things in Delhi and at 4 met Milan, our guide and one of the other guys who is going with us. After that, we were too exhausted to do anything. And we had to be up at 6 AM.

Slept well and woke up not feeling any worse but not any better-but sometime during the morning I already had a slight fever. I’ve been using Vit C, propolis, echinechea, tea tree oil to gargle, Reiki, reflexology and some drops in hot water that A. gave me. But still, I am actually worse now. It is 6”30 on Saturday and we did not leave the hotel all day. …Back to the trip up to Manali….

After getting into the cooler foot hills, the ride was easier but I became car sick…probably shouldn’t have eaten so much at lunch right before the roller coaster roads…but a couple of hours later it passed and the rest of the trip I felt OK. We traveled until 10 PM and then found out the road was washed out to our hotel by the rains the same day, and so we stayed in another hotel until the next day when we could navigate the washed out road to the placed I described at the beginning of this post.

Aug 18-21 Manali to Leh by Jeep

We are both a little under the weather, but so are the two young guys with us. We rested all day yesterday and tomorrow are leaving for Leh.

A. is staring to get on my nerves...don't know how much longer I will be with her, but on the other hand it is very nice not being completely alone...we'll see how things go.

I have no pelephone connection here, so no point leaving me messages...will let you know when I get someplace where it works again.

The place here is unbelievable beautiful...pictures will not do it justice.

OK..here goes the full mountain trip story...part might be repetitive but bear with me...

We arrived in manali late at night to find the road washed out to our hotel so we stayed the nite in another hotel. We ALL slept including the 2 young guys with us -23 and 30 who also suffered no less than we did during the trip to Manali.

We left Delhi very early in the morning to take the Shabtabdi Express to Chandigarh (the same lovely train we took to Agra with all the wonderful service, food, water etc) and we arrived in Chandigarh just to pick up our jeep to go the rest of the way to manali. Well, we were all quite surprised when Milan turned up with a regular taxi for the journey, but no one said anything at that point. We figured he must know what he is doing and explained something about Himachal being a different district and local cars not being able to go or some such thing and getting this car until who knows what. Don't remember. Some India gibberish story I guess. Anyway, we started out straight away after arriving in Chandigarh after having had breakfast on the train.

The taxi was not very comfortable for all of us and our bags and also very very bumpy and unsteady on the roads. Nothing like we imagined traveling in relative comfort in a jeep. Along the way the views became more and more amazing however, and so our mind was taken off the vehicle except for the sharp turns or terrible holes in the road which brought us quickly back to reality. At some point we stopped at a local Dhabba (workingman’s restaurant) and alone I would never eat in such a place but Milan assured us it was clean, delicious and would be served to us not spicy. And he was right. Perfect Indian meal of rice and dahl and chappati and chai…no bathrooms of course but I found a nice truck to go behind and take care of myself before heading off again...and now the TRUE Journey begins....enjoy!

As we started working our way up to Manali it began raining lightly and our final approach was made in the dark but what we DID manage to see was just beautiful.

We woke up at 10 or so, ate breakfast and started off to our hotel to find that the road was still in bad shape too bad I didn't have the camera to document what we did here]. so we had to get out of the car which it somehow made it across a bed of rocks (remember this is still a taxi, not a jeep or 4x4 of any kind! )and we had to walk along the side of a rapids stream with a deep sharp incline without falling in , over a slippery rocky path to meet the car on the other side. My first REAL adventure.

Ten minutes later we arrived at this paradise and all of us decided to sleep away the day and into town [back across the same road] at 5 to shop, use internet and maybe find a coffee house to sit in.

Well I just fell into a real sick feverish sleep but woke a few hours later, ate a light lunch of cream of veg [fresh from the garden] soup and stuffed Naan, delicious and then laid down on the grass to sun bathe and get my sinuses flowing...I then came in to rest and fell asleep again and we did not go out with the guys who also were still done in but had to report back to their offices.

I just got out of a steaming lavender bath and we will eat soon and then probably sleep until morning.

mood is actually wonderful..just being here in this amazingly beautiful valley is enough to make anyone content...we still have tomorrow to rest before our really hard trip to Leh...we must go into town...I need a warm coat and hope to find a shawl as

ASIDE: The 2 guys with us are just like any guys their age around the world. Well educated, apparently from well-to-do homes, who have started with other friends a travel company via the internet. They have been in business 15 months, work very hard like all the hi-tech people and just want to get ahead and have more "stuff"...they are very sweet though...

Well...but now, back to our unusual day the next day. We were told we would be going into town for the day so we both were up and dressed and fed by 10 which seemed late enough to us. While we were waiting, one of the guys came down still in
PJ's and when we asked what we are doing he said going into town...when? soon...around 1 o'clock!! that's time here! anyway, I went back and slept and we finally left for town.

Manali is a beautiful but very touristy place with tons of Israelis, Hebrew signs all over the place. We were going to eat chinese but the place was full so Milan
ordered a place and then the guys went to see some monastery and they dropped us off at the e-mail place. Then we ate and I told him what I needed from the shops for the trip to Leh...but he is so overprotective of us he
wouldn't let us out of his site for a minute so all these 3 guys had to follow me around to do my shopping...coat, shawl, toilet paper, notebook, cough drops, etc. Poor guys!

Milan is REALLY a "big" guy here in India...everyone knows him. .Like in the beautiful hotel suite we were in it actually costs $60 a nite and we were supposed to be in the plainer rooms but he got us what he called a "complimentary upgrade"...he
also knows the best places to eat and the best things on the menu and even orders for me "vegetarian not spicy". So when I told him I needed a shawl, and asked where to
go he said "You do not do that alone or you will definitely get ripped-off" I will get my
friend to come with us.. turns out his friend is like the governor...district head of the whole state of Himachal Pradesh and basically is like the godfather here...he has the power of judge and jury and executioner and he is feared and respected...so HE
took us to the best shop in town and then told me to pick the one I wanted and he would get me a good price. He assured me of the quality and then a
shawl which had the asking price of 6000 rupees, without a word I got for 1500 !!

After finishing all my shopping and some other boring stuff we went back to our hotel, again over the same washed out road, and it had already started raining,not a good sign for the next day [actually rained all nite steadily]Milan says this is highly unusual...he doesn't ever remember seeing this much rain and so steady in this area We went to sleep and got up at 6 to begin the trip toLeh. The jeep is very comfortable and we have a fantastic driver. A. takes up 1 1/2 seats in theback seat which is for three people but it actually turned out to be an advantage since me and the other guy sitting there were so tightly packed that we didn't get thrown around on the roads...

We set off at about 7:30 AM and started straight up into the Himalayas. The views are breathtaking...every minute something else to see...and the rain prevented us from really seeing clearly...we were first below the clouds and the mountain tops were all covered in clouds...waterfallsand rivers everywhere...you don't go for more than a few seconds without seeing another waterfall. And all is still lush green and trees and many varieties of flowers. My sense of time has disappeared so I don't know when it was, but we stopped for toilets and breakfast of lemon tea and butter toast.

Mostly we are not eating today or tomorrow while traveling except for water and raisins and dates...(except A.who bought tons of cake and cookies in Manali and that is what SHE is eating and offering but no one else will touch the stuff!- she is also the only one smoking during the trip!!-at this altitude it is really deadly!)

Then we headed off to our first high pass - Rohtangpass at 3980 meters 

It was very cold there and still raining...the scenery had already changed also. We went from below the clouds to INTO the clouds where we saw nothing but white out of the windows and the road directly in front...and then came out ABOVE the clouds...still green but no more trees. Many people at that height are sick but so far I seem to be OK. The rest of the trip was down through lush valleys with terraced fields dotted with colored houses and beautiful serene people all around..happy smiling faces even though they have a very rigorous, difficult life here in this desolate area...and then along the valley...Spitti I think and then up again

Jispa has the only hotel in the area and is our chosen nite stop even though it is only 1/3 of the way. It is "only" around 3000 meters so better for sleeping and acclimatization. It is hard to climb steps here but otherwise I feel OK. We ate a lite lunch and went to sleep and now we are resting until we meet for dinner. Tomorrow we leave at 5 AM and then it is:"each man to himself" as Milan says... we will get to 6000+ meters over 18,000 feet and that could be very difficult...Hopefully I will continue to feel well. Tomorrow nite we will arrive in Leh and hopefully the next day I will get to write this all up(was I naive then...it is what? two weeks later that I am finally writing this up!!!)

Monday, August 20th-4 PM Jispa

I actually could not remember what day of the week It was...time has no meaning whatsoever here...not the hour or the day...things just flow and you learn to flow with them.

We are after the 1st third of our trip up to Leh.

Passed the highest pass for today at 3900 meters. I'm feeling OK. Just tired....but some of the others are really feeling poorly...today it rained most
of the way until we got ABOVE the clouds. Milan says this type of rain here is VERY unusual! But now we are well above the clouds and tomorrow we will start up into the Great Himalayas (as if 3900 is not "great") and the real rough part of the trip. We are meant to be on the road for a full 17 hours

5:30...I'm back...it is hard work being this high...we are now at about 3,500 meters.

Jispa..end of first day on trip from Manali to Leh overland
I'm still not sure what I am feeling here. As an adventure it is great.. but I think I am not enough with myself. I have to start being with me more. We are actually only here a week but it seems like ages ago I sat in my room in Pardes Chana and imagined being here. the quiet and serenity is something you can feel. Delhi was not as horrible as anyone made it out to be and I really didn't feel that I was suffering there. The heat is difficult and the first days in general were confusing and disorienting but not physically. I was quite pleased with the hotel although she complained all the time. but being away from there is certainly much healthier. I can see myself not returning to there for a long time. I don't know how much of all of India I will eventually see..travelling here is very difficult...just because the distances are very long and basically what we've done so far is travel and rest after traveling. Hopefully when we get to Leh we will have time just to BE in India without getting from one place to another.
I have this general mood of almost giddy joy. Also pride at simply having gotten myself here. I am certainly not at the epitome of health and physical conditions of being on the road are difficult. But my mood is so high that it seems to compensate.
I could imagine myself living in such a country but don't know if it is a practical something for me to do
The people we are meeting here are amazing and very familiar in many ways.
I still don't know what the thing is here that is waiting for me...but I guess I will when it happens.
Sometimes a fear wells up and I think how I put myself in this place that is so far from home and me all alone...and how can I get out if I want to. But it passes quickly and I guess it is only natural. It is good we are with Milan this whole first part of the trip. He really knows the ropes and it makes our life much easier.

Same day Jispa...before we went to sleep we opened oursuitcases to get some stuff out and found that rain hadleaked into everything...what a mess...so we hung ourclothes up all over the room and went to sleep for afew hours...woke up to eat a lite dinner and went tosleep early. We were woken up at 3:30 Am and wentdown with all our stuff.. had some tea and set our forthe beginning of 17 hour trip...It was very cold andI was dressed in all the layers I had, plus my newcoat (which I bought for 35 shekel in Manali) and myshawl with the fleece blanket I bought in Israelspread across all our laps...about 3 hours later itactually got nice and warm. Except for when we wentover the passes... We drove (the day is basically ablur...I just keep thinking of the song Daddy used tosing "the man went over the mountain"....but at somepoint we stopped at "Everest Cafe"" for breakfast. Itis basically a "town" of 10 tents made of oldparachutes in the middle of no where and nothing. There are several of these dotted over this desolateplace...Most people spend their first nite in one ofthese "towns" called Sarchu which is VERY high,freezing cold, only tents, no real food etc. and weare lucky that Milan did not let us do that and madeus stay over in Jispa.... Everyone ordered eggs but I didn’t think I couldmanage that on the curving roads [roads is a nice wordfor what we drove on most of the time] and then I sawa can of oatmeal on the shelf and asked him to make meporridge...and so in the middle of no where on the wayup to the top of the world, I had oatmeal forbreakfast! It's among the very incongruous things that happenhere. Like we are sitting in this cyber cafe sendinge-mail where we had just finished eating Tibetan momossoup (delicious...just like kreplach but much tastierfillings) and playing in the background are thebeatles and there are signs all around in Hebrew!