From learning to meditate on the banks of the spiritual Gangas River (as part of the third 100 Things International Group Trip) to somehow finding my way into a Bollywood movie scene in Mumbai (Number 7 from my list), our 3-week experience in india has over-delivered in the spadefuls.
Not only were some big items ticked within our group of 15 people but in fact it was the unplanned that turned out to be just as powerful. I think there is no doubt that amongst orphanage visits, spiritual celebrations and meditating in ancient caves, the one event for me that stands out was when 2 members of our group were able to heroically save the lives of 4 local Indian boys drowning in a waterfall that we by chance we were visiting one morning. I’ll talk about this in a moment.
On one hand some things in life can seem so absurd but on the other they make perfect sense. It’s that fine balance of approaching life with a set intention and a responsive open mind that I’ve found activates the potential of ourselves and things around us and I feel so thankful to have shared this trip with others.
In truth I’m still digesting the whole experience but allow me a moment to try and explain.
The Trip that keeps on Giving…
This 3rd 100 Things Group Trip appealed to me on many levels for a long time. The opportunity to bring together like minded people from my website so that they could experience a shared goal together filled me with pride. Being able to provide a Health & Wellbeing Retreat utilising the amazing knowledge of good friend and meditation guru Tim Brown added excellence. Journeying through one of most spiritual lands in the world gave depth and to be able to look for myself in the art of meditation (among a host of other well being practices) was something that coincidentally sat on my list as well.
In fact of all the trips planned for 2015, this one differed in that it would allow us to look internally and grasp certain tools that we could utilise long after the trip would end. In many ways it’s the trip that would keep on giving.
From taking a dip in the hallowed waters of the Gangas River and talking with robe-clad Swami philosophers after morning meditation, to climbing high into the Himalayan mountains and watching the sunrise whilst listening to ancient sanskrit chanting, this trip had it all. Beauty, spirituality and culture.
Guided by Tim, a long time visitor to India and most revered meditation expert in Australia, we were all extremely fortunate to come into contact to someone who lives as he preaches. Living in the present, de cluttering the mind and approaching the world in an innocent and playful manor were just some ideas shared through his teachings. The concept of turning our minds and consciousness into areas of low pressure through meditation so that we can attract opportunities towards us is how I’ve found I live my life now and it was a joy to hear Tim share the same philosophies in such a unique way.
I’m not familiar with buddhist gods or certain spiritual influencers from years gone by but Tim shone out to me as a true guru, our guru.
Comprised of families and individuals alike, our group bonded on Day 1 and by Day 12 there were a teary eyes as we bid each other farewell at our awards dinner. There is something special about these group trips and it makes me smile from ear to ear to think of the positive outcomes that each person walked away with.
Life in an ashram learning and growing each and everyday was such a special opportunity and I’m thankful to have shared it with a great like-minded bunch of people.
I am about to edit a video on our trip in the next few weeks so I will be sure to share with you some of the most incredible sights and moments from this trip.
Just quietly, I think India will pop up as an official 100 Things Group trip in 2016 as well- let me know if you’re interested!
4 Drowning Lives Saved by 2 Brave Members of our Group
I was once told that if 10 people watched the same event unfold in front of their eyes, there would be 10 different versions of what happened and none would be quite the same. I always found this interesting and when after our group trekked to a pristine and remote waterfall one morning after a meditation lesson, I saw this unfold in front of my eyes. The only difference being that some action was required- and lives depended on it.
With everyone out of the water after an hour of swimming under and behind the falls, we were enjoying a warm chai masala tea as we dried off in the sun. Stood up on a bridge that umbrellaed over the rockpool that we’d just swam in, I noticed that a group of about 8 local Indian boys had got into the water and were enjoying the moment.
Having a conversation about something with one of the girls stood to my right I turned my head away from the water for a few seconds. By the time that I turned back I noticed that there was a different feel in the air, something less playful and more serious, but I couldn’t work out what it was. Looking straight at the boys who seemed to be wresting in the deeper water now and then saw Tim dive into the rock pools and swim frantically over to them. Unsure why he had so much urgency about him, Jamie, another member of our group then dived in after him and also swam to the boys who were now grabbing desperately onto Tim who seemed to be pulling them up from under the water.
Out of 15 of us who were watching the event unfold in front of our eyes, there were only 2 who saw what was actually happening and that was that these boys were not wrestling but instead drowning! Trying to stay afloat, they were simply dragging each other underwater as a last ditch effort to pull themselves up and grab a breath of air.
In what I think lasted possibly 10 seconds, Tim and Jamie had rescued all the boys.
I have never witnessed anything like this my life and I want to celebrate the actions of these two for making a huge difference to the world. Could there be anything more important than saving the life of another human? I don’t think there is. After 10 minutes of silence the boys eventually walked back over to us and thanked our two for saving their lives and even demanded a photo. I’m still a little emotional about it but in one word I could only sum it up as beautiful.
I think everyone who witnessed this brief but amazing interaction was touched in different ways but for me there was one thought that kept bouncing around my head. In situations like these when the vulnerability of life is highlighted and determined by a mere matter of chance, it reminds me how precious, valuable and blessed we are to have the opportunity to breathe in the first place.
The difference between life and death if often the same difference between looking up or looking down at any given second. Nothing complicated- it’s that simple.
To me this truth signals the importance of using every breath that we have here on earth to follow a path that makes us happy. Inevitably we all end up with our eyes closed and at that last moment that we have, a question I’m sure that we’d ask ourselves would be ‘Did I live as I wanted?’.
Now instead of waiting until that last breath to consider this notion, I think we all have an opportunity to ask ourselves that question right now. If today was your last would you be able to answer YES or NO? If you think it’s a YES; keep on going- well done. If however your answer is a NO, consider what you could do to make a change in your life today so that when that last moment does find you, you’ll be able to smile and say YES.
What’s on your list?
Tim and Jamie- you are amazing and I have no doubt that those Indian boys will go on to make the most of the opportunity of life that you’ve afforded them.