Author Topic: Returning from India  (Read 239 times)

BeHereNow

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Returning from India
« on: October 19, 2017, 03:24:27 PM »
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to say hello after being away from a while, I was in India with my husband (left the kids at home with the grandparents!), and was blown away.

I've been wanting to go to India since I started meditating years ago, and I still find it such a miracle that things aligned so I could make this trip.  I was fully expecting to be disappointed given my high expectations (I had the feeling that I would feel like I was born there), but I was not.  I fully felt that I was born there.  The whole trip.  My heart opened, I connected with people in ways that I am often unable to do at home, and it almost felt that I could understand my suffering so fully because I saw that I am now living in a place that doesn't share the depth of spirit in the same way. 

Not to say that things are all flowery and wonderful there!  Every place has its challenges and undoubtedly the people that live in India also suffer; it just appeared to me that acceptance of suffering is more commonplace there, like it's out in the open and it's ok that we suffer and it's all part of the human condition.

Before leaving, I felt like I was leaving an old lover.  My heart was so open there, and it is hard to be back.

I am coming to terms with accepting my present moment, the pain of feeling that I'm not so seen and heard here, and I now that this is all part of the journey and it will all pass.

I hope to return to India one day... perhaps with my yoga therapy teacher who goes every year.  I think it will be like coming home again.

Have others had such experiences with travel?  Places that feel like home even though they are so far from the culture and life that you have now?  So interesting, I think...

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 07:30:34 PM »
Hi Paula,

I've wanted to travel to India but haven't had the opportunity yet. Sounds like you had an enjoyable trip, good for you.

I've spent quite a bit of time in SE Asia, part of the alure is the stark contrast from western society. It make me see how paranoid our culture is.

Fingers crossed you get back there soon.

BeHereNow

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 08:01:01 PM »
Thanks so much, DT!

It's so true about the paranoid nature of our culture... I guess it makes me paranoid as well, I am much more afraid here.

SE Asia is wonderful too, much calmer than India.  I remember in Thailand it seemed that even the dogs were meditating :-)  I've been to Thailand and Bali and loved them.  Would love to go to Vietnam and Cambodia.

For now I travel within, I guess, getting very familiar with my resistance to my life just as it is...

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

dharma bum

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 11:15:50 PM »
what do you mean by paranoid nature of the western culture?
Mostly ignorant

BeHereNow

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 09:38:19 PM »
I experience a higher level of anxiety here, like everyone has somewhere more important to go.  Everyone is very busy.  I think it has to do with the idea of progress / efficiency / speed above other things.  In SE Asia and India I sensed there was more value placed upon connections and the present moment.  I guess it's more anxious than paranoid from my perspective.

I am getting more used to being slower than the crowd though, and feeling more compassion for the underlying fear that I sense in many people around me.
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 07:10:45 PM »
I find in the west we're given endless things to be afraid of. Not only the news, but many things in day to day life. Don't do this, because you might get electrocuted. Don't do that, because a child might drink bleach out of the cupboard. Watch out investing here, you could lose all your money. Buy this insurance, because you might get sick and die. The list of things to be afraid of is endless and it permeates our thoughts and decision making, we are scared witless we might do something that has a negative consequence, regardless of the odds.

dharma bum

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 10:02:46 PM »
thanks for clarifying DT and BHN. i have made similar observations. everything seems to be high-stake. your water might have e.coli, your spouse might leave you, you might get permanently unemployed, your kids might be kidnapped by predators. if you are bitten by a mosquito, there is a chance that you will die of malaria or something. there is a feeling that you are only one misstep away from total disaster.

but indians have their anxieties too, of status, upward mobility and consumerism nowadays. there is a lot of keeping up with the joneses.
Mostly ignorant

Matthew

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Re: Returning from India
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 06:15:09 PM »
I experience a higher level of anxiety here, like everyone has somewhere more important to go.  Everyone is very busy.  I think it has to do with the idea of progress / efficiency / speed above other things.  In SE Asia and India I sensed there was more value placed upon connections and the present moment.  I guess it's more anxious than paranoid from my perspective.

This is absolutely true Paula - it relates fundamentally to our perspectives on time: there is a difference between Western and Oriental views of time. Fritjof Capra went into this in some depth in his book "The Tao of Physics".

Quote from: Wikipedia
Capra later discussed his ideas with Werner Heisenberg in 1972, as he mentioned in the following interview excerpt:
I had several discussions with Heisenberg. I lived in England then [circa 1972], and I visited him several times in Munich and showed him the whole manuscript chapter by chapter. He was very interested and very open, and he told me something that I think is not known publicly because he never published it. He said that he was well aware of these parallels. While he was working on quantum theory he went to India to lecture and was a guest of Tagore. He talked a lot with Tagore about Indian philosophy. Heisenberg told me that these talks had helped him a lot with his work in physics, because they showed him that all these new ideas in quantum physics were in fact not all that crazy. He realized there was, in fact, a whole culture that subscribed to very similar ideas. Heisenberg said that this was a great help for him. Niels Bohr had a similar experience when he went to China.

The central thrust of the difference in time comprehension is that Westerners live in a flow of time from past through present to future, whilst in Oriental thought time is an "ever unfolding moment". It's a long time since I read the book so I am probably paraphrasing heavily, however, Capra wrote that quantum physics is pretty much incomprehensible from the Western understanding of time and makes much more sense when taken in the Oriental view. It was a central thrust of the book and key to his understanding of the field, hence the title.

The "more important place" that everyone in the West has to go ... is the future ... which does not exist. The ever unfolding present moment is the place where people in Asia tend to live, as those are the mental constructs around time they grow up with. It doesn't mean they are all living in the present moment, however, it does mean more time is spent appreciating the present than chasing a non-existent future (and it is probably less true now than when Capra wrote this work in '72): dharma bum points to this change in temperament:

...
but indians have their anxieties too, of status, upward mobility and consumerism nowadays. there is a lot of keeping up with the joneses.


I find in the west we're given endless things to be afraid of.
....

Yes, yes and yes! We are very good at frightening ourselves. It keeps the people nicely subdued ...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 06:17:59 PM by Matthew »
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