Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New blessings in my life

Several new things have been added to my life here since our return from the U.S.

The first is a screen on our bedroom window! That means I can get fresh air without mosquitos in these hot days and evenings. Makes sleeping much more comfortable. Very positive change.

The second is that I am settling into my volunteering at The Clinic for the Poor, which I enjoy.

The third is we have hired Sakundhala, the woman who works as a gardener downstairs for our landlord. She comes two hours a day, three days a week and mops the floors and dusts. When we were sick for so long upon our return, we were unable to keep up with the cleaning. I am glad to have the help and glad to give her a hand. (Sunday evening, Sakundhala did fire walking at her temple; she started with us the next morning. Gopal doesn't think much of it since that's what people do. I honestly think I could and would do it if I was part of that temple community. It's a mind-control thing. I have great respect for that.)

And, I am going to yoga again, this time in the afternoon 4-6 over at the Taj Hotel where Vinod, my yoga teacher teaches 6 days a week in the afternoons. I am planning to go 6 days a week. I have gone for two days so far and enjoy the walk over there and back. (Back is uphill and hard at the end of the day but good for me.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Sense of Hopelessness and The Big Silence

It is clear to me that we, all species on our planet, are headed for disaster. The climate is changing so rapidly, we can't do enough to stop it. The glaciers are melting, taking with them most of the major rivers of the world. The shorelines are coming inland, taking away habitat for an awful lot of us. Habitats for so many creatures are so badly degraded, all of us have to figure out new ways of surviving. Many of us will not survive these needs to adapt. I find that horrifying. And yet, what I hear is mostly silence. HELLO!!!

My need to break the silence and have the conversation about this lead me to at least be clear about the issues. All I could think about was how stupid humans are and felt that might not be the best way to start this conversation. I'm still sorting it out. This is how things are falling at the moment::

Everything dies; everything has an end. We are animals and now appears to be the time for our end (at least for a great many of us). Why does that have to include the end of so many other species?

People are wired in a way that makes it impossible for them as a species to evolve and makes them so unnecessarily destructive.

Is it so difficult to step back and take a look at the big picture? That all these environmental changes are going to deeply affect the lives of their children and grandchildren?

When conflict arises, why does it so often end in violence? Have wars of the past not been horrific and tragic enough?

Where are the honorable, loving leaders? Greed and a need for power cripples clear thinking, particularly in our leaders.

Positive changes:

¨ Democracy

¨ Women’s rights

¨ Peace groups

¨ Safe birth control

Well, that's my brainstorming so far. I'm going to keep tweaking it was my thinking progresses. Please feel free to jump in any time by writing something in the Comments. We're all in this together.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pondurenga Das' annual newsletter

This is a newsletter put out by my wonderful yoga teacher in Berkeley, California.  I think he put this out in January.  I got it off his new Facebook page.  I love him.

Quantum Touch Healing workshop

Carolyn, Sheila, Malathi (our hostess), Vanya, Yana (Earth Trust volunteer), Malathi

My landlady and friend, Sheila (second from left), invited me to a quantum-touch healing workshop at her cousin Malathi's house nearby. I turned her down twice, not being very keen on learning something that outside my realm of comfort. But eventually my secret interest in healing lead me to say Yes. We had a wonderful, yet very long day. To my delight, Vanya was to be our teacher, and another friend Malathi was also there. It was a two-day workshop crammed into one day. Our hostess Malathi is making a copy of a dvd for me so I can learn more. I liked that it was so physical, that it was so loving and could also be done distantly. It was a revelation to me that our innate energy could be channeled like that. Living and learning .....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Travelling and Healthcare

We have been home for 9 days and are still recovering.  Our trip was 36 hours door to door.  Gopal is still dragging, we had significant swelling in our hands and feet for a few days, and I contracted a laryngitis bug that tangled with my asthma since I have been back.  It's been about a week since the bug began.  Initially, I started looking for an inhaler when I could feel the asthma-like symptoms starting.  Needless to say, I looked for Albuterol since that's what Americans use.  (Here, you don't need a prescription; you can just ask for a certain drug, and you get it.)  The pharmacist I go to near the house didn't carry inhalers but would order one if I could give him the dosage.  Another pharmacist nearby had only Cipla inhalers ($2), from Mumbai.  So, I went to my doctor for help.

To make a long and discouraging story short, I haven't slept much for a week.  The nights are painfully long since I have a hard time lying down without coughing.  The doctor didn't talk about them, but I believe dust mites are the main issue, and that is such a life-altering problem.  I think my asthmatic/allergic reactions began with the bedding we slept in in the U.S.*, aggrivated by living in a dehydrating, upholstered, enclosed environment travelling, then returning to a house that had been closed up in pretty intense heat for 5 weeks.  Throw in the laryngitis bug, and for me it was "The Perfect Storm."  My sense that I had found a place where I could be healthier has been shattered.  How must I change my travel back and forth to the U.S.?  Extremely, extremely discouraging.  At least the healthcare, so far, has been easily affordable.

I know my health situation is at its worst right now and will get somewhat better.  But, we're looking at getting air-conditioning, western washer and dryer, a cleaning person.  Big, expensive things.

*  In both places we stayed, we were very comfortable and well cared for.  I just have an allergic reaction triggered by the presence of dust mites, which are abundant in mattresses, stuffed furniture, carpet, etc.

California - 24-25 March 2010

On a walk with Suzie, Dexter and Ramon at Leona Park near their house

I couldn't get a good shot of Dexter's stuffed kitten he is carrying in his jacket.

Ramon, Suzie, Dexter

Carolyn, Dexter

Gopal at Dinesh's

From the window at Sushi House, Alameda, trying to show the beach

At SFO with Erica as we leave