I was thinking hard about what to write for this blog. I didn’t have any creative ideas or inspiration for writing and all the last events that were here in Israel place things in a different proportion.
When I was traveling in India two years ago, I got stuck in Leh, a city in Ladak, a province in the state of Jammu Kashmir in northern India. The day of the big flood, I met two cute Italians and we had dinner at our guest house. We had some wine, laughed, there was a good vibe. Suddenly it started to rain. Pouring rain!! Huge drops and thunder bolts, meaning there was no way to go anywhere. I was a bit tipsy to do anything so I went to sleep. Thanks to the wine, I slept very well and didn’t hear a thing, but the storm kept up during the night. In the morning, I walked to the main street to have my breakfast and noticed how quiet everything was. I thought that it’s just another weird thing of the Indian people because in India you never know what will happen (sub kuch milega=everything is possible). Sometimes they don’t feel like opening their shops and working and that’s considered normal. Upon getting closer to the tourist area, I saw the road next to the river had divided (not entirely though). It was clear that something was wrong. I asked the locals and they told me there had been a natural disaster, floods which they hadn’t seen the likes of in 70 years!! (An aside: Leh is a very dry, desert area. The last heavy rain was many years ago and there are no preparations for this kind of event. The houses were built very simply and are not very well protected.) All the shops and the restaurants were closed. There were only pastry stands from the day before. The atmosphere was heavy. Lines at the internet café were endless. After hearing about groups that organized to volunteer, I decided to join one of them. Our mission was to clean a muddy hospital (the mud was about a half meter high). We were mearly 50 people sitting at the top of a big trunk. I was amazed to see the city in ruins. Homes were destroyed, cars inside houses, lots of white and black smoke and people in panic. From where we sat, we could see everything, but it was hard to breathe. It looked like a war zone. 103 people died and 370 were injured during this flood. The airport sustained damage and the ways to and from were closed. We could only wait.
The Ladaki people advised us to go hide and pray at Shanti Stupa, the local temple. They packed their belongings and climbed up about 500 stairs to the top. I had to leave the guest house where I stayed because the way was not safe. I moved to a safer space with five other people. We played cards that night and felt so useless. It was one of those situations where you have nothing to do, only wait and hope things will be better.
Something I wrote back then: The Ladakis built a wall yesterday so the water would not penetrate. The look on their faces, crazy! Like it was the end of the world. A disaster. I am stuck here in this strange situation which makes me think, Things you usually just hear about on the news becoming your reality. It makes me think about the reasons I am here. ALIVE. Is it for a special reason or just because? And why did so many people die and I am alive? And what the hell am I supposed to do now? There are no flights till next week.”
Eventually I stayed another week in Leh and learned how to bribe an Indian to get on a plane and arrived back to Delhi.
And why do I tell this story anyways?!
The last week here in Israel was hard and horrible. I’m not touching on the politic aspect of things because I don’t know enough, but also I see things from a more simple perspective. You can call me naïve, but I truly believe that if more people were to practice yoga and meditation, the world would be a better place. People would be better to themselves and to others. Yeah, it sounds like some spiritual cliché, but you know what? That’s how you build faith. It is about how much you believe in the way or in the system and not the actual thing. (For more on this, I recommend the book, The Power of your subconscious mind. In it is a good explanation about how religion and faith works.) Eventually, it all comes from our consciousness and subconsciousness. Thoughts create reality. The situation here made me think about our vulnerability. In one moment, life can change in 180 degrees. Fear appears, then hate, war and alot of restlessness. It reminds me that you cannot control everything in your life. Even though we are so sure sometimes that it’s not going to happen to me… The prominent difference between these two events is in how much we were involved. In how much did we create a certain outcome.
When do we have control over that which and when do we not? And if we have said control, why do we choose to walk a certain route? Is there no other option? Could have taken the less violent path?
Once again, I’m not writing from a politic point of view, just sharing thoughts and ideas as they pass through my mind and relating them to yoga and how they all (different thoughts) ultimately meet in my mind.. I will finish this post with hope that with or without yoga, whether we belong to one religion or another, in a different society, we will learn to use our abilities and channel them for better purposes.