The final segments of the 'Oh India' journey..
Jaipur The Pink City and gem capitol of the world.
Being overwhelmed by sensory overload, my deepest directive was to
breathe deeply and once again surrender to trust in the power of intention.
Wow, did it paid off. Met with international designer Munnu Kasliwal from
the famousGem Palace who not only gave me time, and technical tips on
my design but donated two 66kt rough cut rubies and cut them to my
specifications for the bracelets I’ll make for the Keep A Child Alive’s
big fundraiser in October. How joyful. I can’t wait to begin this project.
Munnu has us sporting what he calls t-shirt jewellery. Between the
necklace and belt of pearl, emeralds, gold and diamonds one could
buy a house. Not quite the message of The Barber’s Daughters,
but it's impossible not to appreciate
the the art of fine craftsmanship.
We visited the ancient Monkey Temple ½ hour outside of
Jaipur for nature, history, spirituality.. and monkeys.
Although I didn’t get to visit KCA’s home care for AIDS orphans
in Jaipur and deliver in person the teddy bears that were gifted from
Toronto Hospice, I did get to visit Faith. A home started and run
by Smriti, a beautiful caring soul that Leigh is aiming to support.
Jaipur will definitely call me back.
~ ~ ~
The next leg of our journey was to the Holy city of Varanasi.
We traveled down to the Ganges River where the water is considered Holy.
As the sun was setting to the sound of continual bells we did a ceremony..
lighting candles in little cups of flowers and sending them
burning down the river with prayer for deceased love ones.
It was spectacular.
The following morning we returned for the 5 am sunrise to take
a boat down the Ganges and view the burning Ghats where
there are ceremonial cremations.
The team from Keep A Child Alive returned to New York on July 31 and
I continued my journey solo to Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama. What an
extraordinary experience to go from the desert to being high up in the clouds
of the Himalayas. Life was lush beyond my imagination. Altitude and mountain
roads were candy to the eyes and a rattle to the nervous system.
Being among this large Tibetan community warmed my being with
a peace that exists within their endurance.
I visited the Tibetan temple each morning to hear the deep and haunting
chanting of the monks. On my last day, I prepped extra early
to have that be my last memory before descending down the mountain.
This day I arrived to a packed house, 1000 burning candles flickering,
Tibetan women circling the temple with buckets of burning incense
and the Dalai Lama arrives and offers special service to
his people and the tempo of the chanting reaches the
highest mountain peaks and the core of the earth simultaneously.
Many times on this journey all I could find in words were “pinch me!”
In gratitude, always and all ways.