In Varanasi

I’m writing to you from Varanasi, A holy city where Hindus cremate their loved ones and throw the ashes in the Ganges river. This is by far the dirtiest, filthiest, smelliest and disgusting city I have ever been to. The city smells of human ash and it itches the eyes as well. I hate it!!! I will continue my journey tomorrow morning to Saranth and Bodhgaya – two Buddhist cities.

I was out of touch for over three weeks now. I have this strange feeling I cannot explain as if so much has happened but simultaneously I feel as if nothing really has happened. As I am not really keen of writing a very long letter, I will just share with you some of the highlights of my last three weeks in India.

  1.  A sick dog was biting me during the Vipassana retreat and I now need to take six rabies shots (already had four).
  2. I caught amoeba dysentery and was ill for some long days. I had 39.7 high fever, cramps and shivers and was hospitalized for half a night in a third world Tibetan Hospital in McLod Gung.
  3. Within a course of two weeks I visited two different hospitals and was examined by six different doctors. I am OK now. Still taking antibiotic pills but feeling much better so please do not worry.
  4. I had a great experience of the world as a very small village. There I was in McLod Gunj, a small village at the Himalaya, in a foreign country where I hardly know anyone and it seems like everyone on the street knew that I was sick and that I had been in the Hospital. Some even found out where I am staying and paid me a visit at my hostel. That was an amazing experience.
  5. I spent a whole day following one of India’s most famous Guru’s Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Me and my friends and some one hundred people. We were driving around the streets of New Delhi wherever he went: private homes, talks he held at international conferences, religious ceremonies and on and on. I even slept two hours in the car waiting for him to come out of a meeting as my friends wouldn’t let me go home to sleep…
  6. I met, in person, India’s former National Cricket team, Kapel Dev (I’m pretty sure I have his name spelled wrong). Some of you would probably understand this event. Others, I will just say it is equivalent to meeting someone from the Royal family.
  7. I was in a conference held by UNICEF where I was really moved by the words of the the Chairperson of the CRC (the Committee of the Rights of the Child – part of the UNHCR). she was so humble, spoke from the heart. I want to work for her…with her…
  8. I discovered, once more, that I would rather live outside of Israel. I still don’t know what to do with this realization.
  9. I realized that I can count of the goodness of strangers. I know that I am safe and that even when unpleasant things happen to me there is always someone there to take care of me with genuine sympathy and carefulness and make sure I am well and healthy.

I guess my biggest lesson in India so far is the clarity that the good and the bad comes together. When I lose my designer glasses, someone gives me their own and make sure I will have a new pair. When a dog bites me, someone takes care of me, rush me to see a Doctor, gets my medicine, rubs the medicine on my arm and make me feel I am not alone. When I am sick someone offers to take me to the hospital, stay with me, feed me, make sure I am being treated OK, that the needle is sterile and so on. Others, whom I have met briefly maybe a day or two before, pay a visit to see how I am, with real interest and care. I am a very fortunate to have experienced all these adventures – the pleasant and the less pleasant ones.

Thats it folks, at least for now. I will be home soon – ten days from now, will see you than.

May you all enjoy peace, happiness and harmony.

Loving you all, missing you,

Adva

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About advaharma

Been fascinated by the mystery of life ever since I can remember. Have been practicing meditation for more than 20 years. Dedicated two years to an ongoing silent meditation retreat whilst living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and Burma. A Yogi and a Front Line Humanitarian.
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