From a Cafe in Mumbai

Just a personal quickie before heading off to the next course …

The Present

Sitting in the Basilico café in Mumbai’s tourist haven (and rather pleasantly tree-line colonial enclave), Colaba.  This moment epitomizes the pros of urban life.  I’m writing an email to a friend and catching up on my blog in a comfortable booth, eating a gorgeous salad, listening to some dubbed out Arabian tunes, and just out of the corner of my eye, as people stroll down the sidewalk outside, I can see taxi cab lights whizzing by to all kind of potentially-amazing destinations.  It’s pure comfort, health, sophistication –though some yogis may call it sensory-infused hell-on-earth ;o)

The "Make Your Own Salad" option allowed for 10 choices of ingredients. And the ashram feels a million miles away ...

As delicious as this (mushroom, endive, mescalun, sprout, broccoli, sundried tomato, asparagus, carrot, zucchini, hazelnut dressing) salad is, the best thing about this moment is feeling like I’m sitting in the eye of the storm.  In transition, moving from beach to meditation center.  No one is trying to charge me five times the price of a taxi ride down the street.  There’s no seemingly endless searching for the tourist office in the Victoria Station terminal.  I’m not checking bags, taking out a laptop, finding a gate, or filling out my passport number in a rather archaic-looking hotel recordbook.

Aaaah, I’m here, in a chilled-out, uber-modern Mumbai café.  Gushing with gratitude.

Synagogue and a designer Indian fashion boutique not far from my hotel ... making my way back from "buying train ticket hell" (with a smile on my face, of course!)

The Past

Which isn’t to say I’m not grateful for where I just came from!  I mean, sweet baby jesus, just take a look at some of these photos!

Tres romantique!

I’m from Hawaii and the big mama ocean at Varakala (where I just spend a week of New Year welcoming) was surprisingly impressive – then again, it wasn’t just the ocean giving off all that bliss.  2012 entered my vision in a tropical paradise (oh home sweet home, I miss you!), with amazing new yogi friends as well.

Burying Uncle Marvin!

Varkala’s stunning cliffside views are set to the backdrop of funky restaurants serving fresh seafood and home baked cakes at reasonable prices (compared to other holiday destinations, but not pretty pricey compared to Indian cities).   It’s just enough beachy vacation vibe, having just spent a month in an ashram … any more than a smidgin’ would have been too much stimulation.  Aaaah, contentment.

A good handful of us made it out to the beach together, where we all got our own rooms and danced in and out of lunches, beach bombing, yoga sessions.  We were like a mini-Sivananda village in the middle of the Varkala strip.  Meditation and pranayam in the mornings, rooftop asana – it wasn’t as hardcore as it would have been if we’d emerged from the ashram back to our lives in Europe and the States, but it was perfect integration for the holiday!

The Future

Well, it’s 2012, ya’ll … end of the world?  Beginning of something new?  These calendar markings are really no different from any other, but it’s a great opportunity to take stock and focus perspective for the next few chapters.  I’ve got my to-do list here in my journal, and you know it’s packed full of spiritual, academic, professional and personal intentions.  One of them also made it to top ten on my India intentions list as I took off from Dublin: fine tune discernment and increase focus.

Image I found online of the center ... here I coooome ...

Tomorrow I’m off to Igatpuri, home to the largest Vipassana center in the world.  I’ll be experimenting with a ten day silent meditation course I’ve heard amazing things about – “it totally healed me from a trauma I experienced five years ago,” “it really helped set up my meditation practice in a more disciplined way,” “I love it.”  I’ll be doing a before and after video so I can see the difference on screen as well – maybe I’ll put it on the site!

Here’s to a magic 2012, full of dreams realized, vibrant health and lotsa love . . . .

Alrighty, it’s getting late and I’m still a bit fuzzy from all the travel today (and I just realized, the last seven months of being on the road!).  I’ll be out of touch for at least 10 days now, silent, contemplative, and who knows what else.  Watch this space for a review!

In light . . .

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6 thoughts on “From a Cafe in Mumbai”

    1. Thank you, Mahesh! And what an amazing centre the Golden Pagoda is! I was fortunate enough to interview Guru-ji there … follow up to come!

    1. Oh we were thanking ourselves everyday! We missed family, but I think the distance and surreal surroundings meant we bonded like a yogi-fam ourselves. And about the tan: it quickly vanished when I went to my cold dry meditation course. And I don’t just mean it faded … it’s currently still flaking away. Eeew!

  1. Igatpuri is my favorite place, too.. For various treks thr.. I usually spend all my monsoon in the mountains thr.. 🙂 You rock!! I am feeling so good… Some1 coming from hawaii and is living in ruwais enjoying India so much… A feeling beyond expression.. I feel happy in Ruwais now..

    1. Hawaii, Ruwais, Igatpuri, it’s all love at the end of the day. No matter the unique challenge or environment, I found an open heart and a well-trained mind can always find peace. Best of luck in the dunes!

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