Pilgrims

 
Pilgrims

A journey to India always evokes strong emotions. India inspires the poet in you, it brings out emotions you thought you didn’t have, it brings out your playful child, it forces you confront the feelings you would rather not look at, it makes you smile, it reminds you to be grateful, it nudges you to be more open, more generous, more your Self. India is a great teacher. Here are some thoughts of many of our participants from different tours.

Hello to All

If I may I would like to share some thoughts on my journey home from India, they may resonate with others and the writing process may be therapeutic for me.

The journey home for me began last Monday morning with our 4:30 am wake up call for the drive to Amritsar, it was 54 1/2 hrs later when I walked in the door of my home after taking the last ferry home and being picked up by my friend who had had far too much to drink, yes it was an exciting journey.

But that was only the beginning, I feel as though I have stepped from one reality into another (the way they show it in films when one steps through an invisible screen) and after spending some time there I stepped back and bang it hits me.

It will be a week tonight since I have returned home and most of this week has been spent on the couch sleeping, there is the faint remnant of something wandering my intestines but more than that there seems to have been some kind of depression which I do not fully understand. I have returned from the second most populous country on the planet to a place where the density is less than 1 person per 5 acres and I drive into Sechelt to get groceries (10km) and no one is honking his horn to pass or coming at me head on a swerving at the last minute.

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I think of the little boy who would not take my 10 rs after I took his picture, I think of the girl in Dharamsala who I photographed on the last day, missing her left hand, a bandage over the stump, sitting on the side of the road begging, I gave her 10 rs and put my hand to the side of her face and caressed her, 10 rs it was peanuts I should have given a 1000, and I wonder about her future?

I sit in my little cabin in the woods with dog and cats, happy to see me, I am warm, I am fed, I have little to ask for, except companionship, people here don’t look in each others eyes like they do in India, it was like looking into their souls and connecting, how many time did I connect, countless.

I am having lunch today with a good friend, I have a need to talk, to understand all of what I experienced. This guy who spends 95% of his time alone and who spent 3 weeks in a group of wonderful people all with differing points of view, I am sure we each had our moments, and I know I learned a lot from everyone.

What did I learn? I was in a society that seemed to lack ego, ego-less. I became aware of my own ego, when I wanted to be right, when I was judgmental etc. there it was right there in front of me saying aren’t I special, look at me. So it was ground to work on, to create a new awareness, one more step on the journey.

Best wishes to all, I look forward to your thoughts
-Rick Negus
March 2007
(Rick has published a book after this travels to India. Visit his website:
http://www.negus.ca/Images.html )

Rinka the Flower Girl

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It was a birth…that night…lit by the moon…

I had been called here to the banks of the Ganges to be born…some 30 years ago…to a place I had only dreamed of….

Pulsating…energy…excitement….every cell alive…anticipation…joy….alive…and waiting to see…to breathe…on my own…out of the darkness and into the light…..down the narrow canal…that felt like I would never arrive….pushing forward…faster…faster…faster….like the beating of the drums all around me….the thrusting of the hips came faster…quicker…the sound reverberating off the walls that were wrapped around me…pushing, pushing, pushing further and further with only faith and trust to guide me….Rapture…

Smells…people…lights…prayer…joy…sadness…eyes wide open…loud….alive…holy…I had finally arrived…

Overwhelmed…I wept…crying as I was released…from the safety of the womb…into the energy that was electric and alive…and all I could do was cry…as I breathed for the first time…took in all that was there…before my eyes…the color…the air of excitement…the River….

Get on the boat…get on the boat….Confused…I was swept onto the boat…that would take me to a place of perspective…birth and death and rebirth…side by side…naturally…no pretense…raw….

“You must have a flower” she said….”You must”…..as she followed me on to the boat…seemingly, carefully, choosing just the right flower for me…

I got on the boat…and I wept…inconsolably wept…

As I wept…the little girl with the soulful eyes patted the seat next to her on the boat…lit by the full moon…against a backdrop of color, sound, birth, death, spirits rising….as if to say “Come here…rest…sit a spell”….and so I moved to her side…feeling comforted just in her presence….

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Why you crying?” said the little girl with the big basket of flowers.

“I am crying because I have dreamt of being here…right here for 30 years” I replied….

The flower girl looked as if she didn’t understand….

I went on….”A dream….I’ve had this dream…for 30 years…and now I’m here…and I can’t believe it…it’s like a really, really big wish. Have you ever had a dream?” I asked.

“I dream of being a flower girl…here…selling you flowers”
said she with beauty and depth and certainty…
as if she had sat there…
waiting for me…
knowing that I would come…
for 30 years….

-Nancy McGuire
February 2008