On a visit to India several years ago. I went to an Ayurvedic clinic in New Delhi. Here is a letter I wrote to my son about what I was doing and urging him to consider visiting India.
I wake at 5 am and do my yoga, shower, meditate and in the distance is a constant drone of chanting and cars and people moving. With all the billions of people who live here, the noise is always calling from another room.
I am at an Ayurvedic Clinic in Delhi. Here they are giving me baths in oil, which is the most warming experience I have ever had, the hot oil is poured all over your body while two technicians rub you in unison. You dream, you float, all the cold leaves your body, it even warms your bones and your mind lets go of thinking. It is heavenly. No it is heaven to be so warm and held by the universe the one song that is sung all the time.
The three women who are my “technicians” are black haired beauties two with a ready smile. The third is a widow, I can’t imagine that’s easy in India, but she never complains. All the other treatments are all amazing, the turmeric paste they rub all over your body that turns you yellow, the buttermilk drip on your head filled with herbs and medicines to calm the mind. I imagine the whole point of all the treatments is to calm your mind and put your body back into balance. Lower the blood pressure, cholesterol, get rid of fat, (speed up slow metabolisms and slow down fast), and on and on.
Now on the outside of the clinic is the world of Delhi. What is that like? Dirty, very dusty the sidewalks sit on top of the sewer system and the smell of India is like incense, vomit and the sound of horns. On the walk way you have to be eyes open to where you’re walking or you’ll step in cow dung or less likely dog shit.
The cows stand every where being very cow. Last night on our way back from the bakery, a group of them, maybe about fifteen or so was eating a pile of garbage and dogs ran around looking for their next meal and these black birds sat on the cows dining off their heads and back sides. And everywhere you walk there are people, brown faces staring at you, brown with the whites of their eyes pronounced. The stare unabashedly and unrelentingly. It is sort of darling and unnerving at the same time. Many young men walk holding hands. The cars and bikes and rickshaws pass you buy, every so often a very thin man with wire legs riding a bike with a cab attached, with yellow, green, and red vinyl seats and a little covering for your head will stop and offer you a ride, but we’re walking today.
Soon I will be going to Rishikesh which is the city of Sadus (Saints). I don’t think I’ll have as easy access to the internet there, so I thought I’d write a few snippets to give you the sense of where I am and what I’m doing. And hopefully make you want to venture out into the wilds of India.
Oh yeah, and every time I have ever been to India there is a white man who has seen amazing things and tells you stories and gives you ideas of places to go and things you can see. This trip the guy’s name is Martin. He’s a Kiwi (New Zealander). He’s been to places up where you have always wanted to go…Tibet, on the border of India. Sacred places that tore his mind out and put it back again. You can kind of tell cause he looks like a warrior who’s repairing his body to go out and fight again. But this guy is fighting for peace.