adventures of a fearless (mostly) globe trotting seeker...
wondering, wandering, barefoot, nomadess

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


varanasi, benaras, kashi, india
feb 9

it is raining in the oldest living city tonight. a city so old, it has three names. falling rain always makes me feel like curling up in bed. and so i am. my 2 roomates are out at dinner, they will have to walk back through the narrow, twisting alleys in the rain. but maybe it will have washed all the cow poop away...

walking through these alleys, you see so many seemingly broken people. literally. their limbs broken, handicapped and begging. so many that you have to stop seeing them. no matter how much yoga you do, how much meditation, it causes pain to see suffering.

today anka, the director of the documentary we are making about this trip, and i went to a village nearby varanasi to see about teaching yoga to some dalits. dalit is the untouchables of the class system. we were introduced to the director of the program by our friend appu, who is a brahmin, the highest of the caste system. he said that people are superstitious and say that if you touch an untouchable, your skin will burn.

these kids had very little, dirty clothes and snotty noses. but i did not feel sorry for them or depressed by spending time with them. it was as if we opened a can of joy. pure, unadulterated enthusiasm.

it was easy to look into their faces, to look at their eyes because we are sharing with each other. i am coming to teach yoga and they are open and excited to learn.

i think it comes down to is difficult to look at the people begging in the city because i feel overwhelmed, underequipped and guilty, and because i am ignoring them. and because we are separate from each other. it is easy to look at the dalit children in the village because i am parrticipating with them. so when we sustain the gaze, it is hope and friendliness passing between us.


  1. Beautiful and heart felt.I hear the rain,feel it's kisses upon a thirsty earth.The Ganges drinking in the gift from the heavens.In the children's eyes I see the reflection of a heart looking back at them.Greeting their souls with a joyful smile.As you give,blessed is your life with all that those children offer and you openly receive.

  2. Hello Psalm,

    I am reading your blog in my room in Delhi (actually, my boyfriend's room). I am very moved by your writing, by how honest and expressive you are.

    I admire your dedication to your path and your willingness to put yourself out there and share what you have learned.

    I am also traveling in India, and writing a blog, though it is of a very different nature.

    I am more interested in trying to understand India than change it; trying to find out what's beautiful about India than what isn't; and trying to fit into an Indian family (my boyfriend's) than stand out on my own.

    So, I rarely feel at risk, thank goodness. But each of us has to do what we have to do. We each have our own karma, destiny and life lessons to learn.

    I hope you are able to fulfill your destiny and learn your lessons without making yourself too vulnerable or putting yourself at too much risk. Take care of yourself always.