We are staying in Osho’s guesthouse at Papanasam beach, near the temple. The beach is a Hindu pilgrimage site and there are little stalls set up and holy men offering puja. Rectangular mounds of sand form the stall bases and remain there all the time; brightly coloured umbrellas are set up in the day. On Sunday morning the beach was busy even at 8am with local people on their day off. We have already seen two pujas for people who have died; people put things belonging to the person, as well as garlands of flowers, rice and other items, into the sea. This goes on alongside the rest of the life of the beach, no one stares or takes any notice. The area is very busy with Indian tourists. There’s only a handful of foreigners in this area, the rest stay on the tourist strip on the top of the cliff a ten minute walk away. Often the Indian tourists are interested in us, saying hello and asking to take photographs with us.
Our room is inside a stone indoor area and maintains a very comfortable temperature. Our last room was very hot, almost unbearable to be in during the afternoons. It was a bit of a shock after the ac in Panaji, which is why we have a no ac rule: once we go there we might not be able to go back, but here is cool.
It rained for the first time on Friday afternoon. I stood out in it and thoroughly enjoyed getting soaked to the skin in the thick, warm rain. The next morning the smell was delicious; fresh and peaty and the rain had made new and different flowers come out. It has rained most nights since with big storms in the evenings and we’ve watched the sky light up pink and white with huge forks of lightning.
Most mornings I go for a walk along the cliff top above the blue-green sea that gets greener as the day goes on, watching white headed eagles and making sure I don’t trip on the uneven path or worse, fall down the sheer cliff. At the end of my walk there’s a little bay. The sand at the water’s edge is sprinkled with a layer of shell, like rough crushed mother-of-pearl or multi-coloured pebble dash. It reminded me of the flooring in hotel bathrooms, beige with tiny coloured pearly bits, plain at first glance but beautiful if examined more closely. This is a louder, more beautiful version of course, but still…
Food: Idli and dosas at a local cafe for breakfast; coconuts and roasted chickpeas for snacks; beans on toast, tofu wraps and vegeburgers for lunch; eggplant masala and roti for dinner; plus delicious (soya)milky smoothies and fresh juices; no wonder it’s seemingly impossible to stay on budget or to lose weight…
The internet in theory makes things super easy, to look at maps and research information, but it can’t tell you what to do. India is really big, trains get booked up way in advance, the monsoon is coming, some places are very hot (okay everywhere’s hot, but some places are even hotter than others). We need to avoid the heat, enjoy the monsoon, safely travel and get to Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu (North and on the opposite side of the country from here) for our flight to Thailand on 12th August to meet my stepdaughter.
We had broadly decided to spend May, June and most of July in the state of Kerala (bearable temperatures, good place to be during monsoon) and then slowly travel to Chennai, stopping at places on the way, if that were feasible with trains and buses. We’d looked up everywhere along the route and looked up different routes but were suffering information overload. Plus we didn’t actually know what would be best travel-wise especially during the monsoon. We decided just to stick with the Kerala plan and maybe ask someone, a local with good English, what to do next once we got to Kerala. Until I wrote that sentence, I had forgotten that we had said that.
We check into Osho’s guesthouse, which we had discovered by accident and booked into spontaneously, and immediately meet Y. Y is super friendly, Indian, speaks perfect English, comes to Kerala all the time and lives in Chennai! Within a short period, Y had sorted out all our travel plans (Kerala plan still good, but then go straight to Chennai and use as a base to explore Tamil Nadu rather than trying to stop off along the way); advised us about trains and how to book easily the day before and told us about some good places to visit. Y wasn’t even meant to be in Kerala, he arrived here on a whim. He was going back to Chennai the next day, so my husband seized the moment and invited him out for dinner with us that evening. Evening came, Y said, I’ve invited X, is that okay? The more the merrier, we said and off the four of us went for dinner.
What’s going on?
In England sometimes, after a couple of glasses of wine, I would try to share my ideas. Sometimes it would seem promising but then I’d say something more and everyone would go a bit quiet.
‘I’ve gone too far again haven’t I,’ I’d say to my husband, and we would all laugh.
During my ‘spiritual journey’ I tried many different things. After six years of searching the unifying theory I had been searching for came to me in a dream. (If you are interested those are links to the relevant blog posts)
On Saturday night the four of us spent five hours in a restaurant, no drugs, no alcohol, discussing all this stuff. Sharing our experiences. Recognising each other. It didn’t feel as exciting as it was. It didn’t feel ‘Boom!’ or strange or weird, even though it was all of those things. It felt easy and peaceful.
The lessons and impact of that meeting are huge for me and I am realising new things each day as one day builds upon another. (Too fresh to write about here, and too much of it, but I will write it up for the book.)
Most of the things I believe in have been theory only, not tested in real life. I’ve noticed little things, small things appearing when I need them, low-level Law of Attraction type stuff. But I haven’t really tested it, this stuff I believe in.
What experiments can I conduct on myself to help me realise who I am, to realise my potential, to break free of conditioning and to help me break on through to the other side in terms of my understanding re what all this is?
Saturday, one session, typing up notes from the last couple of days; Sunday, two sessions, same; Monday, day off; Tuesday, working on this blog post; Wednesday, same. Thursday morning, session on blog, afternoon session on Delhi. Friday, big session on Delhi, little session finishing off this post. And all the time more stuff keeps happening, more scribbling waiting to be typed, another notebook almost filled up…
The need to get on with editing Chapter Two- Delhi, and Chapter One- How we got here, both for the book proposal, and the proposal itself, are beginning to loom.
But I’ve been doing what I’ve felt like; furious typing of notes and thoughts, covered in red, so that the first session on Sunday was spent laboriously correcting. Must type slower, but I probably won’t. And I had fun starting this week’s blog post early, putting in photos, the framework, the title, some bits and pieces and ideas. Feeling inspired and pleased with myself. Getting a bit ahead was nice. It’s got to be fun, at least sometimes! Or at least, it’s okay to have fun, to do the fun bits; it is all part of the work that needs doing: this week’s blog, typing current notes…
Editing Delhi… I have been less keen on this, not really having a good session on it until Friday, motivated by this update so I could say I had done it.
Chapter One (I don’t feel like that at the moment, but am working back up to it. Why? It’s long. Break it up, if I can, like I have with the others. Good idea, tackle next week)
Thank you very much for reading
Thank you for following this blog. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for ‘liking’ posts. I’d probably write even if no one was reading but it wouldn’t be as much fun. I really appreciate your support.
See you next week