Cyprus – Impressions.

Cyprus is a huge surprise in many ways in a small parcel …. urban developed areas close to , diverse rural areas and various mineral resources ( copper, iron ore, huge deposits of sandstone and limestone …. you can see the layers of earth … tossed up and tortured.. warped by the movement of the planetary plates millennials before … so diverse in the sea, the land … farming … surprisingly close to developed areas are the original small villages.. as with all humanity the surface of Cyprus covers human souls in transition … .

View of Paphos from the Marina / Port
Cyprus is in Eurozone and hence the currency is the Euro …. food quality is good, and not unreasonable (when you buy the wide diversity of local produce) – large supermarkets – well stocked … I am living in the town of Paphos, of about 30,000 people normally, population nearly doubles in the summer with European, UK and Russian visitors.

Small villages surround it, some are tiny …. roads in these villages are single lane, the width of these village roads aren’t much wider than the width of your car, they were designed for donkey carts.

Paphos has its own Bronze statue, not quite the “Little Mermaid” as in Copenhagen .. judge for yourself from the photo.

Map of the Paphos World Heritage site …
Cyprus has been inhabited for thousands of years and there is a responsible an refreshing attitude to history and in particular to archaeology … to the past .. where so may of the lessons of humanity reside. There is a World Heritage Site in Paphos, the map is shown here.

I have with the generosity of my friend Mark, been to many places, recently going to Latchi and Polis situated in the western, north facing area of the island …. it is quite wonderful to see the diversity of the island and by and large the friendliness of its people.

Advertisements

India – a happenstance, an inspiration

I have had many challenges in my time in India, culturally, emotionally, physically and health wise, they have dramatically changed me, to in my view, prepare me for what is to come.

More than anything they have changed how I look at large groups of people, the herd of humanity so to speak, it enabled me to change, to assume nothing, to project nothing, when we can do this we can push through the surface and to see them for who they are as individuals. People in India are little different to us, except in that they are a product of their culture, their community, their environment and beliefs, and this can manifest in many ways, one maybe an emotional repression, but remember they all want what we want at the end of the day … their life like ours is a reflection of the personality, for most of humanity this is the ego mind which creates our life individually and on a wider view, collectively for all of us.

This experience came as I hobbled across the road yesterday in Dehradun. A young man, without legs … sitting on a kind of board with wheels came up to me … it truly breaks your heart, but a big smile on his face changes the impact, changes everything – it hit me as it always does, that it is truly in our attitudes where we create our lives.

In the West we may have some expectations of life, he had none, there is no safety net for him here, no social programs … but he was smiling .. a lesson and inspiration for all of us.

It reinforced in me a way to live .. from humble gratitude, staying present, accept, flow and help who you can, how you can, when you can.

When you go to India, you come face to face with yourself

I couldn’t agree more with this quote from E.M.Forster

My personal experience in India involved both my physical and spiritual bodies ….. you may remember that I was sick for over 5 weeks, now as I look back on this, I see it as a renewal, and an incredible experience, it affected not only my physical body but my spiritual self including my access to and conversations with my soul, I am not the same person I was …. what I am in transition to, I have no idea.

In hindsight, together with the feelings that came when I first arrived (total self confrontation, I was way outside my comfort zone), I feel the experience has shaped me and changed me for this moment onwards, a process that stripped away the person I was, the past, relationships, ambitions, perspectives, expectations – I felt I was like a block of moist clay that once I was over the sickness itself, I was shaped anew, as my soul said, “to prepare you for what is to come”.

Change is the only constant, and how we relate to it shapes our lives – I leave India in about a month, to travel to the Mediterranean – firstly, to Cyprus, actually to Paphos on the coast of the far west of the island country I am looking forward to this, to learn more about the history of the country, the archaeology. the culture, the values and beliefs, but most of all meeting and engaging with people.

Where I go from there, I have no idea, I will play it by ear and accept and flow with what life brings,

I chose to learn Spanish, truly I am not sure why, but I know I would like to explore Spain, to start with Barcelona, as well and I have an invitation from a friend to go to Madrid, time is limited because as it is part of the Eurozone, and hence as an Australian, I have only 3 months per visit to the whole of the Eurozone.

Part of this constant change is sometimes accelerated, one cannot expect anything here in India, and assumptions are dangerous, for a start, Cars seem to go where they wish, on the wrong side of the road, even once with me on the footpath, they park in the road, and then get out of their car … mayhem abounds, electricity is unreliable, every day there is at least one power failure, mind you I suppose that is something you can rely on, whether the reason is the lack of capacity, poor distribution, faults, or conscious load shedding is unknown. The balance is covered in previous blog posts.

The landscape in India is beautiful, here in Dehradun, we are in the foothills of the Himalayas, however there are large quantities of discarded packaging from our consumerism in many places, basically rubbish. I have also observed that in the Dehradun there are no rubbish bins on the streets, perhaps that may be part of the reason for this large amount of mainly plastic (packaging) and household refuse.

I am thinking of returning to India, as there is so much more to see, to learn and experience.

Where and what I eat … Dehradun India

Where and what I eat … Dehradun India

I am staying at Osho Hotel, during my learning experience whilst in Dehradun – it is probably a 3 star Hotel, but like everything its not the surface that is important, its the people, the experiences and the relationships that we build.

What to eat … here at least are the do’s and don’ts for me ….

Much of your diet will be a personal preference … although I do like spicy and mild curries normally, due to my recent tummy upset here I have scaled that back dramatically – the staff at Capisco have been very helpful in looking after me, during this time.

I normally eat at two local restaurants, the one at the Osho Hotel where I am staying, which is called the Capisco – the Capisco offers a varied menu, Indian with some Chinese meals … meats are Chicken and Mutton (Goat) and the service is friendly – the Kalsang is across the road – the Kalsang , consists of two floors, a coffee shop downstairs, (Yes, cappuccinos) with great milk shakes and simple eats on the ground floor and the restaurant upstairs, which offers Tibetan, Indian, Chinese and Asia food .. at both places the food is great and the prices are reasonable … no wine or alcohol is available at either restaurant … both normally have Wi-fi.

Remember there is no beef available in India … going into a McDonalds here is somewhat confusing.

Here is the Photo of the exterior of the Capisco, the Osho Hotel Restaurant and the Kalsang … directly across the road.

Capsico – Dehradun
Kalsang Restaurant and Cafe (Downstairs)

and the internal layouts

Capsico Internal Layout
Kalsang Cafe

Of course there are other places to eat, from the street food, to what one might call dives (quite good food – where the locals eat) to The President Hotel, but for me, I have come here to be way out of my comfort zone, to experience all aspects of India and life at ground level and not be in a cocoon of western “civilisation” … remember, Gandhi was asked when he arrived in London once “What do you think of civilisation” he responded .. “I think it would be a good idea!”

India – Water, Hygiene and other things

Its not until you get here that it hits you …. everything at once.

Continuous awareness is absolutely necessary, the other day I was walking on a footpath, a car joined me, scrapping my thigh with his mirror, all to get ahead in the traffic … without a backward look they sped off, another occasion, the car I was traveling in was hit because the car behind was travelling too close … the driver again sped off … It is the same with absolutely every action out in the world in India …. be aware of where you are and most of all don’t assume … don’t assume that people will drive on the legal left side of the road, they will in fact drive on any side of the road to get where they want to be …. one wonders if they have a license, perhaps they do, have they even done driver education (defensive driving … no … careless driving Yes) have they sat for the license probably not …

Health … clean your hands at every opportunity …. never drink unfiltered water … but drink a lot of it and often) be careful about fruit in stalls … at least wash it thoroughly, rub the skin with salt then wash again. We are taking a bit of pot luck with the farmer … many of the bad agri-chemicals are legal here and I have been told that many small farmers follow the policy if that much is enough then more must be better.

I am just recovering ( hopefully) after 2 weeks feeling very poorly, it got so bad I went to a local Private hospital (Max Health in Dehradun) it was a good experience, new, clean building and almost everyone spoke English … I was seen by a specialist (US Trained) in Gastro, had blood and other tests performed by their in house pathology (available on line that same day for me to view) .. and I had my prescription filled – the total cost for all of this was 1,500 Rupees … about A$28 (USD$23 approx) and the prescription and treatments seems to be working. Don’t take a chance.

I am still and will always be on the outside looking in, although I have meet a few wonderful people.

As usual we look at the past to determine the future – the West is by and large already in the abyss, following a path set by Globalism and the flawed and failed Regan Financial Policies in the 80’s … in the West there is little true thought except by Pikety, Joseph Stiglitz and others as to the direction and destination the world is taking, it seems to wander along putting our bush fires here and there, the trouble with this policy things don’t change … India’s headlong rush into their version of Capitalism will fail and in my view that’s a good thing, for the India Government severe controls, over burdening unaccountable, micromanaging bureaucracy which defines the word patience and incompetence along with Sovereign instability which for now are an issue. I cannot comment on Politicians.

Many laws exist to protect the consumer – are they enforced, maybe, are they circumvented .. often … for not only is corruption here, it is rampant and an accepted normal part of the culture.

There are spiritually aware and just good people everywhere, as of yet I am not aware as yet of any revelations concerning Indian culture other than its primary focus of the external world and a seeming hurry to get out of it, their external focus is on achievement and all the illusions in the world, in many ways no different to the West perhaps 50-70 years ago or even today, except here there is no pretence in caring for your fellow man, all are seen as irrelevant to their life, unless they can be of use – mind you are we any different?

Maybe my perspective will change over time.

Any thoughts are welcome, if there is something I haven’t covered yet, let me know and I will add it to the list.

One last thing …. always and I mean always take toilet paper with you every where you go … it’s often not provided. Enjoy the journey.

Enlightenment and the journey beyond.

You may, or there may others with a yearning to seek what is not in the physical world – to understand the path to consciousness, enlightenment and beyond – perhaps this is old news for you or others, but this is an attempt to empower and bring awareness to some of the transcendental path that awaits us all, once we enter the portal of enlightenment, our birth if you will.

In case there is any who have this desire to evolve, who’s destiny is in this life to attain enlightenment or to make progress., I would suggest a book you may not yet have seen …the book was given to me by my teacher on my first visit to India – it was written by Robert S. de Ropp, and is called The Master Game, Pathways to Higher consciousness (1968), it is available on Amazon.

Background for the author – from Wikipedia

Another book which I found very helpful recently is “The Wisdom Of The Overself” by Paul Brunton … WIkipedia Article for the author is here

 

There are infinite paths to enlightenment, of which no two are the same, it matters not if you are religious, or not … life alone and the severe life challenges that it can bring to some can take you there, for it is open to all … all paths can lead us to this point, for there is no right way, there is no wrong way … but once we agree to and go through this portal, we are still on a journey, for it is not an ending, but a new beginning – now the path for all becomes one – from enlightenment also is a process to the levels within it, there is a path to higher consciousness which has plateaus, dead ends, challenges to be overcome, incredible transcendental experiences personal to you (one has to be careful here lest we become lost in this ambrosia, this personal illusory Shangri-La) and then we are unable to return to the physical world, this will also stop further spiritual evolution in this life) … from enlightenment onwards we truly need a guide a teacher.

Part of enlightenment (in my case anyway) is consciousness, for different levels of consciousness (energy and vibrations) make up the Universe, from those of us who are asleep and exist solely in the material world, to those who do the best they can by living with intent within the material world, will at their time, transition to consciousness … when conscious we feel every life form, from the smallest ant to the largest.

Like dropping a pebble in a pond, our consciousness moves as a wave, every outwards through the Universe itself … like these ripples on a pond we can at will feel life, all life, we are no longer separate from it … at this point, comparison, competition, judgement of others and projecting of these became impossible, because one cannot judge … because that involves separation from the other, which it not possible for we are all one … all we can try to do is empathise to understand, then let go and move on.

I write for one reason that if you or another of your family has a yearning or is ready, or may at some point be ready, just imagine once taught, how he or she can guide and lift the consciousness level of your children and perhaps your entire family … it is my belief that all children are born enlightened … the dogma of whatever environment they are within builds walls between who they are (their essence) and the environmental acceptable version of themselves, this the the norm, we are all destined to evolve in our own time, perhaps one amongst you is at that point, or maybe, they or you will know, for me this seeking came via a yearning in my chest.

As I mentioned, once you have gone through the enlightened portal … a new journey begins .. A journey where we need a Teacher … because the path is narrow and can be fraught with mis-direction and dead ends and more mind created illusions … all courtesy of our personality if you will, the ego mind .. Part of this journey is freeing your self from the control of the ego mind, freeing yourself from fear and from the past – Remember the old adage, when the student is ready a teacher will appear, it is true, for that is why I am in India.

Remember, the past is only to learn from … rarely if ever to be re-visited … if you find you are … as your own witness at this point, don’t engage with the mind when it brings it back in whatever form… the more you don’t engage with the fears, demons and illusions, the more you will begin to control your own mind and be free of the ego (some ego is necessary to operate in the material world, but under the control of your essence, our true self, not a law unto itself) – your essence (the book may help the person in question here) will become dominate … it will mean, your authentic self will become the master of your life … to be free by forgiving and letting go the past, for you are no longer the person you were at some time in the past, we all change and evolve, yet the ego mind seeks to control us, to separate us .. through fear, its weapons also include addictions (in its many forms), dependancies, depression, shame, guilt etc … it is the greatest creator of illusions.

God or if you prefer the Divine Creator and your own soul knows the challenges you have all witnessed and been part of … you are loved relentlessly and forever … judgement free … the physical world is about learning, for it is only through pain and the learning that comes from it, does our soul evolve …. We evolve by living in earth school, as humanity as a whole evolves slowly to a higher consciousness.

To begin …. someone asked this question of Ramana Maharshi ..

“What is the way to God-realisation?” and Maharshi said: “Vichara, asking yourself the ‘Who am I?’ enquiry into the nature of your Self.

Don’t be concerned if there is no empathy with these worlds, or any yearning by you or others to spiritually evolve, as a member of the human race it is my understanding that we will all awaken, in this life or in another.

David Sanders
Dehradun, India