Life back in Philadelphia

Although I have returned to work and surgery, I still keep with me all the lessons I learned in India.  While I will continue to try to update my blog as my spiritual adventure continues, you can keep up with me and The Healing Consciousness Foundation by following us on Twitter (@HCF444, @drbethdupree) or liking us on Facebook.

Namaste, my friends.

Shifting Gears

My two weeks in India have given me far more than I could have anticipated.

I had the greatest gift of two weeks with my dear sister Saraswati. I have been blessed to meet or get to know better the members of my soul family from Down Under (and I miss my Aussisms!!).

I have the great fortune of learning from a modern western Guru,  Shakti Durga and our journey has just begun. Learning to Let go and Let Guru proves Life’s Good. LG3.

Mahavatar Babaji was a spiritual bonus that was not anticipated. We give thanks to Shakti Durga’s energy which attracted him to our group.

My blessings are many and I am ready to bring back some spiritual practices to my life that will enhance how I do what I do on a daily basis. My daily spiritual practices will keep me grounded and the blessings I have received will allow me to move to places not even imaginable prior to this trip. I love India, the people and the spiritual sense upon which they move through their daily lives. In a country that is poor by western standards, they are spiritually wealthy. As a woman living in the western world that is financially secure by comparison, I encounter so many who are spiritually bankrupt and they don’t even know it.

It is my prayer for humanity that we all begin to awaken to what really matters in life and that the consciousness of our planet can begin to heal.

If you are wondering, I received the name of my second book years ago “Shifting gears”. It wasn’t until my journey to India that I became clear what the book is about. It has been written in my head and will make it’s way to the computer when the time is right.

Namaste

Prem Lakshmi

Writing my Prayer

Writing “Shifting Gears”

"A rose by any other name is still as sweet"

“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”

There’s no place like Om

January 18th, 2013

There’s no place like Om

The trip to the airport was uneventful. The Paradoxes of this trip continued to the last minute.

Paradox heaven

Paradox heaven

I ate my banana Prasad and decided I would eat the apples on the flight home as I would need to peal off the skin. We passed no less than 20 wedding event venues. Surprisingly wedding parties are really huge in India. These facilities are all similarly decked out in lights celebrating the union of two individuals who very often don’t even know each other very well.

After rearranging my baggage to be underweight, I headed for the gate. On my way, I saw a T-SHIRT that had LOVE written on it and since we were told to go and be LOVE on legs, I had to have it.(I also had Rupees to spend before leaving the country).

When I got on the plane, I placed my carry-on bag in the overhead. Unfortunately, I forgot that my apples were in my bag and when I opened the bin, an apple fell out and popped a woman on the head. Yikes!! I was mortified, apologized profusely and tried not to laugh as I was thinking, “At least the apple was blessed by Babaji!!). The next time I got into the bin, she promptly placed a pillow on her head as a sign that she clearly didn’t trust me not to get it right!

I downloaded “Autobiography of a Yogi” on my Ipad before take off. I think I was the only one on this retreat who has not read it (I am in kindergarten in some respects and college in others when it comes to spiritual development). We are all on our own paths and mine has been enriched by this amazing journey. I read 1/3 of the book while I was awake on the trip and look forward to finishing it. I am beginning to see the perfection in all of this.

I landed at 4 AM, waited 45 minutes to go through customs.(I tried to get my GOES trusted traveler card before leaving but the process takes months so use this as a reason to become a trusted traveler!!). The ride home was grace and ease as I typed this post in the car.

There truly is no place like home or is it no place like Om? Both are special places in my heart and of equal significance to me.

The take home messages:

1. Be LOVE on Legs

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2. Remove arrogance and Ego from who you are

3. Give, Forgive  & Serve

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

I went to India to get to know and experience the divine, only to find in India that the divine resides within me!!

My unexpected day of BLISS

January 18th 2013

A day with Mahavatar Babaji

My inner child has to fess up that she was a bit disappointed that she did not get to meet Bubba G upon the chance meeting of our Guru Shakti Durga and Guru Babaji Deepak.  Our spa attendant is a disciple of Babaji and was the connector to Shakti Durga in Varanasi. We were having our idyllic day on the Ganga and missed the divine encounter. After consoling my inner child, I gave thanks for the opportunity that Shakti Durga had to meet another Guru in person, which was most auspicious. I then gave it up to Guru that if meeting Babaji was in my highest and best interest, I would meet him at that point.

I was awake until midnight packing for my return trip to my Pennsylvania home. Saraswati and I were able to share in the festivities of a local wedding which made “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” look like a backyard family picnic.

Welcome to MY BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDING

Welcome to MY BIG FAT INDIAN WEDDING

Ganesha

Ganesha

The Pink and White Silk Tent

The Pink and White Silk Tent

My luggage was clearly overweight with the gifts for my office staff and family. It’s a good thing that I only have to pay for the extra weight for my purchases in India and not the tremendous gifts that I received spiritually from India, because I would be broke.

Tea with Saraswati

Tea with Saraswati

We had tea on the terrace serenaded by a sitar. Before I left, I spent the last hour with Saraswati just being and giving hugs to our spiritual family. These two weeks solidified prior relationships and created many more new connections (At least new for this lifetime). Having said my good byes to my dear sister Saraswati, I boarded a bus to the airport having surrendered to the delicious idea of staying in the overseas lounge at the New Delhi airport and finishing this BLOG and just relaxing trying to integrate all the tools that I have blessed with these two weeks.

Before the bus pulled out from our hotel, Hanumani came on board and said that Mahavatar Babaji was going to come to the hotel where everyone was staying overnight whilst I departed for the states at 11:35 PM. (“Mahavatar” means “great avatar”, and “Babaji” simply means “revered father”. A quick Wikipedia search tells us “Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian saint by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples[1] who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi (1946), including a first hand telling of Yogananda’s own meeting with Mahavatar Babaji.[2] Another first hand account was given by Sri Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science.[3] All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies[4][5][6] of those mentioned by Yogananda.”

Now I was in a quandary about just what to do, stay with the plan or take this opportunity to meet this man who is a Sage amongst men, smells sweet of roses and offers wisdom beyond this world. Okay, so I threw out my plan for my day alone and decided I would head to the hotel with the gang.

We were all on the same plane to Delhi and Shakti Durga and a small group was heading to Chennai on the same plane that would continue through to Hyderabad. Our luggage was overweight and it would have been fine if I had only had a copy of my itinerary for my flight. I had it saved on my iPhone but India has not gone green so they would only accept a paper copy of verification that I had a flight. They didn’t even have Internet access that I could use to print out the receipt. So we paid the 6500 Rupees and we were on our way. The flight had significant turbulence with some massive drops, so significant that the sick sacks were in use (I don’t get motion sick and just rode the waves).

Upon landing, Hanumani received a call that the plans had changed again and that Babaji would receive our group at his hotel at 6 PM. Hanumani was concerned that we would not get to see him with international flights that evening and asked if the 3 of us, Maya Eshwari, Ganga Ma and I, could join them in the afternoon so as to make our flight. Babaji disciple was there to greet us and we hopped in a taxi with all of our bags and we were off. She said it would be 500 Rupees for the cab and I still had money so I offered to pay and the meter ticked away. It seemed like 50 minutes at least that we were in the car when we arrived in a residential neighborhood and were promptly whisked into the house transferring our bags into another car (The fare was 500 Rupees on the nose. I discovered that that they didn’t understand the slang having no idea what on the nose means in India and looked at me like I had two heads when I made the comment. I just was astounded that it was exactly what she said it would be and not a penny more or less!).

We entered the first floor and there were rose petals and marigold petals everywhere. The energy in the air was palpable. As we entered the second floor and removed our shoes, we were greeted with Chai tea and warm hospitality.

The entrance to this beautiful home. We were the Spiritual crashers

The entrance to this beautiful home. We were the Spiritual crashers.

We were taken into a living room and there was this larger than life beautiful soul sitting in front of the window with light streaming in from behind him. He was just engaged in conversation,that none of us could understand. What I could understand was the tremendous sense of calm that washed over me simply from being in his presence. It was as if my heart was growing like the Grinch’s heart with every word that he spoke. We were on the floor on our knees having bowed as a sign of devotion for him.

He is a tall man with dark gray hair that flowed down to the middle of his back. His skin was dark without a sign of facial hair. His face was smiling even at rest. He wore a white pressed button down gown and silver cuff links. His feet were cradled in wooden sandals that appeared to be from a natural piece of wood with a silver knob between the great and second toe to keep them on his feet. He appeared perfectly groomed and neatly pressed with a beige pashmina that he wore around his shoulders or had  draped neatly upon his lap. His energy body was larger than life. When you would look at him, his gaze would attract your eyes and he could see right to your soul.

We sat in awe of his energetic body

We sat in awe of his energetic body

The Sandels

The Sandals

Here sitting in the same room with me was this gentle being of love and light showering us with the energy of the Christ consciousness. I knew this energy and it was so familiar. One by one he called us up and when his hands reached out and held the sides of my head, the sensation was indescribable. He then placed the gentlest kiss upon my forehead and passed blessings to me with just a touch.

His energy was intoxicating. There was a not a normal human energy pattern.  He didn’t seem to have the 7 energy centers that you and I possess, just one magnificent illuminated presence. We were offered Prasad, which we ate and then the owner of the home, who was an absolute riot, shuffled us into the dining room for lunch. She was quite happy to have us there although I initially felt like a party crasher. We were suddenly soul family.  Come, come she said over and over.

I surrendered and did as I was told and was waiting on the far side of the table as she brought out the food. Then right in front of me was Babaji larger than life. Don’t know how I ended up in the front of the queue, but I was right next to him and he insisted on serving our food as a blessing from him. Talk about an act of humility. This being of love and light was gently placing this food on my Styrofoam partitioned plate and I was standing next to him utterly intoxicated with his energy. I was amazed that I could stay standing. His gentleness and subtle humanness was again a paradox given his out of this world energy. He served all of us and we then sat down and devoured an absolutely delicious local Indian feast.

Serving with Humility

Serving with Humility

After the lunch, we were directed back in to the living room with the home owner (yes I am sorry, I didn’t write down her name but I was significantly under the influence if this incredible soul). Babaji speaks only minimal English and we were at the mercy of others to translate for us. They were all so gracious to invite the “westerners” into their world.

The lovely homeowner had given Babaji food to eat. We had been told by Shakti Durga that he barely drinks a bit of milk and does not sleep as he is at such a high vibration.  Babaji motioned for me to come to him. I gently worked my way to the front of the room and got back on my knees on the floor. He then proceeded to gently feed me the food that had been prepared for him. One by one he fed the room with such humility. (Life lesson 101 how to be larger than life yet humble and pure. No arrogance, no ego just pure love).

Humility as we were fed by Babaji

Humility as we were fed by Babaji

The lessons that we had been learning for the past two weeks were being divinely gifted to us. Every time I got near to Babaji I could smell the sweet smell of roses as that is the scent that naturally emanates form his skin. Who wouldn’t want some of that?

He was asking about each of us and when I told him my story, he passed his leather bound book to me and asked for my contact information along with information on each of us from the Shanti Mission Group. Stella was collecting warm clothing and garb as she had accepted his invitation to travel to his Ashram in the Himalayas.

The meeting in this beautiful home was drawing to a close. We were then escorted to the cars and transported to a lovely Courtyard Inn and Suites in Delhi. We were greeted by the manager, Sumit Jaswal who was planning the evening’s festivities.

Greetings in the lobby

Greetings in the lobby

Our fellow spiritual aspirants arrived from the other hotel. As we were telling them of the day’s events, Babaj came into the hotel and greeted the group. We were then directed to the basement where the room was set for dinner and a gathering. There was an elevated stage with 3 sofas. I sat on the left front of the room. Babaji sat on the center sofa with his interpreter on his right and he invited Hanumani, sans camera, to sit on his left. As I was getting situated in my chair, I gazed up at the stage and he motioned to me to come up to the stage and join him (He is impossible to say no to!!).

On the stage with Babaji

On the stage with Babaji

In order to properly greet is, he took a bag full of red rose petals and gently allowed them to rain over our heads. In the pictures that I snapped,  I could see the love and contentment that the act of love and humility created in our group. He placed several Malas made of flowers on various members of our group.

IMG_8567

He asked to hear briefly from each of us why we came to India and what we were taking away and he wasn’t asking about what we would declare on our customs forms!! One by one our group was introduced and stories were shared.

He asked us to chant as we did on retreat and as a group proceeded to chant Om Gum Ganapataya Namaha and Jaya Jaya Shivo Shamboo . He then shared his words of wisdom in chants and prose as we sat in silence with reverence feeling the grace of God.

Before we departed for the airport, we were gifted several DVDs that are not in English but quite special along with two apples and a banana as Prasad. We were also blessed and received a forehead marking with an orange claylike substance (I’ll be honest that I don’t exactly know the significance of the whole ceremony, but it all felt right).

Prior to leaving for the airport, we were fed again and one of his disciples came up to me and said that he would like to visit me in June when he is in Pennsylvania. Well alrighty then, I will make myself available.

Bliss is written all over our faces

Bliss is written all over our faces

It has only been upon my return home that all of this has begun to sink in.

Mahavatar Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji

Upon arrival to the hotel Lobby, I looked down to the floor and there was a magazine with a very telling message.

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

Om Guru. Om Guru, Om Guru.

All Guru are one: Guru to Guru

Deepak, the spa attendant, created an opportunity for Shakti Durga to meet his Guru Mahavatar Babaji. It was meant to be as I heard the story first hand from the other side (Babaji’s disciple).

The Lobby Meeting

The Lobby Meeting

Babaji and his disciple Deepak

Babaji and his disciple Deepak

I had no idea who this man was or what his significance in the world order may be. Suffice it to say that Shakti Durga was quite touched by meeting with him and all of the others who made is acquaintance were blessed as well.

Guru listening attentively

Guru listening attentively

Gayatri Blessing

Gayatri Blessing

All Guru are one

All Guru are one

Babaji as sweet as a ROSE

Babaji as sweet as a ROSE

The Sweet Smell of The Divine

The Sweet Smell of The Divine

The messages may come from different physical forms, but the themes are the same, be love on legs, be humble, be of service to others and suspend arrogance and ego.

Not just another day on the Ganga

January 16th, 2013

Spiritual assignment: get outside and “BE”.

Ganapati, Saraswati, Havan, Brihasspati, Anjani, Bhairavi, Brighu and I headed to the Ganges (and I do not know how to spell all of these amazing souls names so I looked them up for correctness sake). As we were leaving the hotel lobby Deepak, a gentle soul form the spa, was beginning to talk to Shakti Durga about his Guru who was coming to visit. Shakti Durga and Shiva were heading out of the hotel and, from what we were told, they were literally extricated from their car and given a great gift of an afternoon with another Guru (more to come next post).  Pictures are worth a thousand words so enjoy our heavenly day on the Ganga.

Brihaspati was the leader

Brihaspati was the leader

Saraswati, Prem Lakshmi and Havan

Saraswati, Prem Lakshmi and Havan

The other Tuk Tuk was packed with our fellow spiritual aspirants. The Ganga was calling us.

The scenery on the way to the Ghat was educational and prompted my search of “Why the Sacred Cow”.

Every organization that I have ever been a part of has a “Sacred Cow”.

The cow remains a protected animal in Hinduism today and Hindus do not eat beef. Most rural Indian families have at least one dairy cow, a gentle spirit who is often treated as a member of the family.

The five products (pancagavya) of the cow — milk, curds, ghee butter, urine, and dung — are all used in puja (worship) as well as in rites of extreme penance. The milk of the family cow nourishes children as they grow up, and cow dung (gobar) is a major source of energy for households throughout India. Cow dung is sometimes among the materials used for a tilak – a ritual mark on the forehead. Most Indians do not share the western revulsion at cow excrement, but instead consider it an earthy and useful natural product.

Despite their sacred status, cows don’t seem very appreciated in India. Visitors are often surprised to see them walking neglected around city streets, living on garbage from the gutters. But the cow is honored at least once a year, on Gopastami. On this “Cow Holiday,” cows are washed and decorated in the temple and given offerings in the hope that her gifts of life will continue.

The Sacred Cows on the road side

The Sacred Cows on the road side

The sacred milk and modern transport and refrigeration!!

The Milk Man

The Milk Man

The amazing use of the cow dung. It is dried on the walls then collected to use for cooking the meals!!

Wall of dried cow dung. Help yourselves!

Wall of dried cow dung. Help yourselves!

Our fearless Captain:

Not exactly Captain  Trym Selvag or the Oasis of the Sea RCCL but it will do!

Not exactly Captain Trym Selvag or the Oasis of the Sea RCCL but it will do for the Ganges!

The pictures and videos will tell the story of our day on the Ganga:

The Main Ghat

The Main Ghat

They photographed us as we photographed them. We were all Pilgrims to Kashi!

They photographed us as we photographed them. We were all Pilgrims to Kashi!

Notice the swastika again. They are everywhere.

Notice the swastika again. They are everywhere.

Chillin with a good book!

“Chillin” with a good book!

Cremation Ghat

Sailing past the Cremation Ghat brings about a level of surrender to the divine circle of life. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

There are no photos allowed at the cremation Ghat for obvious reasons. The Hundus celebrate this transition, for when death of the physical body occurs in Kashi the soul is freed from it’s earthly rotation of life, death, next life, death etc. The soul is eternally free to be in spirit. There was no visible service or crying at the Cremation Ghats. The diseased are carried on a cot suspended on their loved ones’ shoulders with their bodies shroud in colorful silk blankets.

The wood for the cremation is purchased at the Ghat and the family stays with the individual until the body is pure ash. The Ghats work 24 -7.  There are some who cannot afford the cost of the cremation and there are occasional bodies that are found floating in the Ganga as their families are wanting eternal Bliss for their loved one.

The most striking thing about the Cremation Ghats are their juxtaposition to the cricket game, card games, daily bathing ritual, and laundry chores. They take place within feet of one another. This in and of itself is proof of the eternal nature of life and transition (not death). The end of physical existence is simple a transition of the soul to another plain.

Total and complete surrender to the day on the Ganga.

Total and complete surrender to the day on the Ganga.

Pure BLISS without form.

Pure BLISS without form.

More Bliss foot massage

More Bliss: foot massage

GANGA GEL as Massage oil

More Laundry

More Laundry

The children having fun

The children having fun

Sisters, sisters there were never such devoted sisters. Traveling through lifetimes together in Unity!

Sisters, sisters there were never such devoted sisters. Traveling through lifetimes together in Unity!

Nana's on the river again!

Nana’s on the river again!

Prayerful bathing

Prayerful bathing

Starting Wash Young

Starting wash young

Life on the Ghat

Life on the Ghat

1000 year old Temple, next to the uber modern looking Lego Temple

1000 year old Temple, next to the uber modern looking Lego Temple

The Shoreline

The Shoreline

The Bathing Cows

The Bathing Cows

The Fallen Temple sunk in into the Gnaga

The Fallen Temple sunk in into the Gnaga

Retail Therapy India Style

The words will follow but a picture is worth a thousand words (particularly when the writer is tired).

There really is no need to tell the etory of shopping. Retail therapy is the same all over the world. We want a bargain and the greater the value the better. In India, it is customary to barter for the beast price. If you ask Ganga, she will tell you that 30% of the asking price is about reasonable to pay.  When you are taken by the hand and walked through the looms where the workers are sitting in pits in the ground creating these master pieces, you wild find it hard to barter.

I came I bought  and I bought more and I left with my arms full of gifts and two brand new silk dresses with matching silk shaws to wear at the upcoming awards ceremonies in April. My dresses would be delivered the next evening.

My Virgin Voyage on a Tuk Tuk

The amazing Scenery

The amazing Scenery

Family of Four on a motorcycle

Family of Four on a motorcycle

Saraswati and Lalu our driver

Saraswati and Lalu our driver

The Design Setter

The Weaver and Loom

The Weaver, This one piece takes 7 days for a man to make working all daylight

The Weaver, This one piece takes 7 days for a man to make working all day

The Loom sits on the ground and the weaver sits in the whole in the ground

The detail on the scarf is divine

Divine Detail created in a dirty dusty open door building

Divine Detail created in a dirty dusty open door building

Raj the Owner who smelled Prem Lakshmi from miles away. I LOVE to shop!

Raj

I couldn't stop buying them!!!

I couldn’t stop buying them!!!

One of my personal favorites I bought for me

Bought to match the dress I am having made

Bought to match the dress I am having made

Emme and Amy Fry close your eyes, this is your silk Pashmina (yes, you soul sisters get the same one!!)

Silk Pashmina modeled by Saraswati

Silk Pashmina modeled by Saraswati

Anjani performed an Ayurvedic medicine evaluation. Big surprises, I am Vata deranged. My heat and energy are outside and I need to change my eating and grounding ways. nothing drastic, just need to pay attention to how and what I eat and how I ground myself during the day and  in the morning. I have a several page consultation that I need to really devour and integrate into my life.

Auyrveda Consultation by Anjina

Auyrveda Consultation by Anjina

Dinner by the pool

Saraswati has turned into MUM

Saraswati has turned into MUM

Lovely outdoor dinner venue we just discovered as we have been in bed by 8 every night

Lovely outdoor dinner venue we just discovered as we have been in bed by 8 every night

Traditions of the Guru January 15th 2013

I encourage you to click this link and watch this one hour prerecorded session on Guru disciple relationship.

For those of you who are in my backyard, Shakti Durga will be visiting me in April on teh 23rd and 24th programs to be announced.

What is a Guru?

1. More than a coach

2. More than a teacher as you are in school on more then one level at a time

3. Continual activation of the soul

4. Divine life force

5. Can be of any religion, race or sex

6.Provides a spiritual path

7.Miraculously empowered relationship based upon LOVE

8. Teaching occurs during wake,http://www.learnitlive.com/class/3254/Living-Masters-Living-Wisdom-the-Guru-tradition-today sleep and dreaming

Why do individuals become disciples?

If you are asking the question, I encourage you to spend the hours and watch the learn it live!

A disciple is standing in a field and the Guru asks the disciple in one hand you have all the material wealth you can dream of and in the other you have your breath, which shall you choose.

“No one is perfect until they are dead”

Gandhi

Silence has broken and our spiritual feast continues

January 13-14th 2013

Silence has broken.

I awoke at 4 AM unable to go back to sleep. This morning I was like the butterball turkey with the auto pop up cooking timer. Despite trying to push it back in for a little more baking, i.e. sleeping, it would stay in so I guess I am done sleeping for tonight (having slept 11 hours each night for the last two nights could be the reason that I am done sleeping).

I left the room to allow Saraswati to continue her beauty rest. I was intending to go to the lobby but came down to the Temple instead and entered with reverence as I always do, giving thanks for the abundance and love in my life. I have always felt that the divine works through me, but have never surrendered to it as I have here in Kashi.

Our room that was cared for daily with LOVE

Our room that was cared for daily with LOVE

I opened my laptop to begin my notes and there was an email that brought me to tears. I had been nominated for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation REAL award by Diane Gesualdi in the fall. It is an award for health care workers recognizing the work that they do around the world and in the USA. The award was being determined by a Facebook vote and an interview but the winners are being announced today in the USA.  Here is the email that made me weep.

“Congratulations! You are the REAL Award honoree for Chronic Disease Care!

Since you’re still in India, I thought an email would reach you before a voice mail. Save the Children will be sending out a press release tonight with your name in it, and then your bio will be posted on the REAL Awards website starting first thing tomorrow. Congratulations!”

I am humbled and honored by this and to receive this after the massive spiritual blessings I have received here in Kashi is priceless. I was informed of another honor whilst in Kashi but was so overwhelmed by all of it that I didn’t share it on the Blog. The evening of my blessing, I received and email from Lesley Jane Seymour editor of More magazine.

Here’s the email:

“I am reaching out to ask if we can honor you as part of our “Women Run the World” program at the 10th-anniversary More/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon on Sunday, April 14, in New York City.

Each year More and our sister publication Fitness team up with the New York Road Runners to host a women’s-only half-marathon; with more than 10,000 runners, it is the largest women’s race in the country. To mark our 10-year milestone, we have decided to use the race to celebrate high-powered women making a difference in the world—the theme is “Women Run the World.” We are inviting 10 Fierce Females to join us in kicking off the event; they will be honored at the starting line with a special salute and at the end of the race with an award. Each Fierce Female will invite nine female colleagues, staffers or friends to join us on race day. You and your team members can participate in the run (for which we will waive the registration fee of $90) or simply join us in cheering on the runners from the sidelines.

Dr. DuPree, we would love to include you as one of our Fierce Females because your achievements deserve recognition and a public pat on the back from the 10,000 race attendees and the millions of readers who subscribe to More and Fitness. Last year the race created 900 million media impressions alone. We expect more media buzz this year.”

So I said yes, I would be there and hope that every fierce female reading this will join me!

I am humbled and honored to have received these blessings while here in Kashi. It makes them even more special.

BREAKING THE FAST

48 hours of fasting and talking only as absolutely necessary  has allowed each of us to go much deeper on our spiritual journeys. I can only speak for my own, and this time was truly a gift.

We each chose how the fast would look for us. I chose to have no food and only tea, water and a glass of juice 3 times a day. The hotel provided us with freshly squeezed juice (for an additional price that is) and it was delicious. Several individuals chose water and tea only and others chose to eat very lightly.

The fasting  allows our bodies to be less dense and helps to lift our vibration and move closer to the divine (that is at least my humble interpretation). For some reason the fast was quite effortless and the time past without even a thought of “I am starving”. How often do we say that when it has been less than 3 hours since our last huge meal.  Maybe it’s the energy of Kashi or the poverty of India and the level of relative starvation that surrounds us, but this so called Tapas of no food and no conversation seemed completely effortless.

I just looked down at my phone to check the time and something completely bizarre has happened. It had been set on India time. Now says that it is 5:38 AM in Philadelphia when it’s actually 6 PM the night before and it says it’s 4:10 PM in India when it’s 5 AM.

I spend my 48 hours letting go of the chatter in my head. That means journaling for hours at the beginning to allow the thoughts to get out of the way.  I then went to the Temple to meditate and for evening session. It ended with Kirtan–an uplifting and enlightening song festival. So here’s the go (another fav Ausism). The days of silence still had chanting and  singing included so the silence is about learning to be one within you and not needing to share your thoughts with others.

The music and chanting simply raises the vibration of the entire planet! When my OR team has a feel of the 12 minute Om Namah Shivaya (which will be my closing music in the OR) they will feel the energy generated on this journey.

On the 14th we met in the AM as usual, did some sweeping of our energy fields and then had a beautiful meditation lead by Savatur. Shakti Durga and Shiva then joined the group for a short session and we were off to ourselves for the morning.

Yoga practice by the pool

Suryanamaskar Yoga practice by the pool

Saraswati and I went to the pool to do our yoga and workout practices (Vaughn would have of course criticized my workout, but it was perfect as it was).

I had music form Shanti Mission playing and the birds were circling above us as they were drawn to the energy.

No Shanti Mission Chanting

No Shanti Mission Chanting

Shanti Mission Chanting playing

Shanti Mission Chanting playing

We all met in the Temple at 11 AM and headed out to the lawn to participate in Shanti Mission version of bathing in the Ganges. We had each purchased a large jug in the city and filled it with Mother Ganga. In the Hindu faith, the river is holy. (The paradox of the dirtiest most polluted river  in the world’s being the holiest of holy in the Hindu faith)

Due to the masses of people flooding the banks of the Ganges, we did our own bathing here on the hotel property. Not out of fear of being on the Ganges, but to maintain the sacred space for our group and to keep the energy among us.

We were charged with creating a prayer to Mother Ganga with our intentions for the ceremony. This ceremony was really a conscious washing away of the parts of your being that no longer serve you. It is is a huge letting go and letting God event (Whatever God is to you, without judgement). Our group is completely diverse when it comes to the religions practices (There are Catholics, Christians of various flavors, Hundus, Buddhists, and Jews that I know of).

We met in the garden and created a circle. One by one we recited our pray of intention. I,of course, could not finish mine without the tears (remember, the tears are a direct connection to my heart Chakra so it just means that it was heartfelt).

Om Ganga

Om Ganga

“ Dear Mother Ganga, I surrender, I surrender, I surrender all arrogance, ego, impatience, and the need to control, to allow the divine Christ consciousness, Parameshwari, Shakti Durga, Danvantre to work through my hands. To empower hospitals to become true centers of HEALING and to “BE”  a humble servant”

Writing my Prayer

Writing my Prayer

(So now you know why these awards mean so much to me as they came upon release of the need for any of this to be me)

After we each recited  our prayers, we took turns being bathed in the Ganga. I stood in a plastic bucket, blessed of course, and beautiful Indrani gently poured Mother Ganga over my head completely drenching every fiber of my being.

If there was such a device as a breathalyzer for spirituality everyone of us would have been well over the legal limit ( and since none of us would be driving these streets, it’s all good).

Cleansed by Mother GangaStelle, Prem Lakshmi and Saraswati

Cleansed by Mother Ganga
Stella, Prem Lakshmi and Saraswati

We had an amazing afternoon in the Temple and all left to break the fast already full from the spiritual feast of the past 48 hours.