Projects, not Work

I’m a focused person, but I don’t do “work” anymore, I have “projects”. Some of projects have an end goal, like a choir performance, or posting a finished blog article, but I’m moving towards “Everything has its own time, and there is a specific time for every activity under heaven.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Our time isn’t God/dess’ time. The Universe operates on kairos, or natural time, not kronos, man made linear calendars. The concept of natural rhythms is not on the radar for most people, and those of us who are aware of it still find it hard to live this way in an ongoing way in our functional society.

It’s taken me quite a while to slow down and follow my internal wisdom, to lessen the degree to which I buy into our goal oriented, time dependent culture. Now that I’m internallizing the idea in a heartfelt way, I am beginning to thoroughly enjoy living this way. Feeling into my internal wisdom and my guidance means I do not question or self criticize in the ways of the past.

A theme of energy movement runs through my projects, in keeping with my spiritual motto, or mantra, if you will, of “follow the energy”. The Net of Light Women’s group where we meet to commune with the Grandmothers’ Council to help rebalance the planet, my new Inspirito,  singing from the heart choir, ongoing blog musings and a recommitment to providing a service offering energy balancing sessions to friends and acquaintances, all segue into a more clearly defined spiritual approach to my life.  I am blessed in the life I am living and my awareness of this grows daily.

Love & Light

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Advertisements

Our Spirits in Synchronicity

Path behind the Dalai Lama’s Temple, Photo Don G. Smith
                          “It is our true nature we are trying to realize.” 
                               Tenzin Palma

We live in both the material and spiritual worlds. The spirit world transcends time and space; it does not function on our time, rather in natural, or Kairos time. There is a Oneness between our two worlds and between all of us and nature. When we are connected with others, whether they are in spirit or presently embodied, we are with them always. I am in British Columbia, but part of me lives on in Dharamshala, my other spiritual home, on the pathway to the Dalai Lama’s temple, in the homes of my dear Tibetan and Indian friends.

Synchronicity plays a role in our lives. Everything and everyone intersects – we are One with each other. The Grandmothers are an excellent example of this. There are two sets of Grandmothers councils that I’m presently aware of, although I’m sure there are many more. One group is in spirit and the other in human body.

I have written about The Great Council of Grandmothers before and the Net of Light that protects our earth, and was privileged to attend the group’s annual California Gathering in April.  The Grandmothers are spirits from all walks of life, they appeared to Sharon McErlane over twenty years ago on a bluff in Southern California. This was the beginning of Sharon’s intense shamanic relationship with these spirits, aspects of the Divine, who appear as women at times, and powerful eagles at other times.

The Grandmothers are here to rectify the severe imbalance of yin and yang energy on our earth, and to help imbue the planet and all of us with the powerful, healing Net of Light. Through empowerments given to women (and a few men), and through casting the Net of Light, the planet and every single aspect of nature and humans will be healed.

Twice recently I’ve come across another council, the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, who come together from all over the world for the purpose of sharing their ancestral teachings of prayer, peacemaking and healing, to help us at this time of great need. Tsering Dolma Gyaltong, one of the Tibetan Grandmothers, recently deceased, sponsored a conference in 2006 in Dharamshala, one year before my partner and I first visited this home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in the Himalayan foothills. The ten minute video is heartwarming, and to my surprise, one of my dear Tibetan friends, formerly a Tibetan nomad, is in the video footage. The video is called For the Next 7 Generations, Scenes from Dharamsala.

This international council had been spoken of in prophecy and seen in visions since time immemorial, and it came together after the 9/11 attacks in the US. “From the get go this council originated from the Spirit World ” says Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim. “The Ancient Ones are speaking through our voices…We can help stop spiritual blindness around the world.”

There are many commonalities in various teachings and spiritual philosophies. For instance, Circles of Stones play a prominent role in spiritual healing. Stones have Spirit to most indigenous people, they are the oldest beings on the planet. “It is believed that the simple act of picking up a stone and holding it in silence changes a person in subtle and profound ways.”, says Carol Schaefer, author of Grandmothers Counsel the World, one of the thirteen Grandmothers’ books.

The Great Council of Grandmothers advised Sharon McErlane to form circles of stones to enhance healings. Judith Duerk, who I was privileged to work with in retreat twenty years ago, was guided to write Circle of Stones, Woman’s Journey to Herself, embracing ancient women’s ways in the time before the patriarchal period when the Goddess was worshipped. Judith describes ancient circles of stones with women sitting around fires.

Spiritual synchronicity is everywhere. As we draw closer to the Divine, we may find our attention to it growing. We ourselves will be filled with Spirit and gradually our lives will shift into a gentle, peaceful, flowing stream.

Love & Light

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & is an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Net of Light Newsletter – Sharon McErlane – Live from THIS Place

From the Great Council of Grandmothers,

through Sharon McErlane

Live From THIS Place

I went to the Grandmothers, although I wasn’t really sure why. What did I want to ask them? But before I could form a question, they spoke. “Why do you think we come to you as the Grandmothers?” they asked. “Why do we show up as women? Older women? Why as a group?” they asked, peering intently into my eyes. “I don’t know, Grandmothers,” I said. “I mean, I have some ideas about these things but I don’t really know.”

“We are wise women,” they said, referring to themselves, ” … older, experienced in living. We’ve learned how to give away, how to love with no strings attached. We listen and because we do, we’ve accrued great understanding. You don’t gain that except through experience,” they laughed, “and we have experience! We also work together,” they smiled, “always together.

“In the world the older woman is overlooked, dismissed, and ignored,” they said, and I found that I agreed with them. “Most people are in a great hurry. Rushing, pushing, worrying, scrambling,” they said, “but not us. No,” they shook their heads. “We know better. We understand that nothing happens before its time. There’s no rushing life,” they said. “It unfolds on its own. You’ve learned that too, haven’t you?” they asked, looking me over. “Uh, yes, Grandmothers,” I agreed, “well, at least I’m continuing to learn.”

“We know, we know!” they crowed. “And we’re here to teach you!” “Oh!” I exclaimed. “Is that what this is about? Is it time for me to learn more patience?” but the Grandmothers only laughed.

“You are growing impatient,” they said, “impatient with the way things are in the world. Eager for goodness, for kindness and peace to reassert themselves on earth. You’re tired of all the darkness. Tired of the anger and meanness that continue to surface. In fact,” they said, “you can hardly bear any more of it.” “Yes, Grandmothers,” I shook my head, “you’re right.”

“Come here!” they suddenly said, and reached their arms to me. “Step into our circle. Come into alignment with us. Don’t hold yourself separate,” they said. “Don’t hold yourself ‘over there,'” they gestured, “but instead, come ‘over here’!” I did as they said. I stepped forward into their embrace and when I did, they aligned my spine with theirs. Now I was part of a long line of women … part of the formation that is the Grandmothers.

“Take a look at life on earth from THIS position,” they said, and I lifted my head and gazed out over the horizon. Everywhere I looked there was beauty. Above and below, near and far. Beauty. Only beauty. Flowing patterns of color and form. It was a visual symphony, magnificent in every way. “Where’s all the darkness? The ugliness?” I asked, squinting to see where it was hiding. But there was no darkness. There was no ugliness. Only beauty. Beauty and then … more beauty.

“Live from this place,” the Grandmothers said. “Look out at the world from here, from the place of alignment with us. We promise that things will look very different to you,” they said.

The Grandmothers had given me a new way of seeing the world. It wasn’t a new world; this world had always been there, but before they adjusted my vision, I hadn’t been able to see it. But now I could because I had the larger view. I turned to the Grandmothers then, so moved by their generosity, I couldn’t speak. All I could do was mutely nod my head in thanks to them for this great gift they’d given me. This gift of the larger vision is for you too.

from Sharon McErlane

Not all News is Bad News, there’s Good too

“Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will make us think that it is…The consequences of negative news are themselves negative. Far from being better informed, heavy newswatchers can become miscalibrated.”     The Guardian View

We hear bad news at every turn, each moment if we check social media feeds constantly. Everything that could go wrong is going wrong in western culture, it seems, and in the outside world. But is this true?

Ninety percent of news in newspapers and on television is bad news, according to Big Think. That’s no surprise. Our negativity bias, BT goes on to say, means we weight bad news heavier than good news, sadly. The well written Guardian article, linked above, helps us understand the ramifications of  so much negativity.

The trailer for a beautiful article in the June 2018 Oprah Magazine  cites good news that helps dispel many bad news myths. For example, America’s so-called crime ridden cesspool cities are 75% less violent now than in 1993.

Dispelling the “young people don’t care myth” are the statis about Millennials. This segment of the population is healthy: better educated, visits public libraries more, unplugs from tech when vacationing more, donates to charity more readily than any other generation, would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company – and, best of all – 85% believe that helping make the world a better place eclipses achieving professional success.

“Old white guys” really are losing ground. Women, people of colour and other minorities are running for office and holding office in record numbers. “You’ll never see policies that benefit all Americans until you change the policymakers.”, says Emerge America. Very obvious, this has been a long time coming, we weren’t ready for it.

Here are a few ‘Good News’ sights for you:

Note: With respect to women in leadership roles, in Canada we have Equal Voice, an organization that “promotes the election of women to all levels of government.”

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Net of Light Gathering, Joshua Tree, CA, April 2018

In mid April, my partner Don and I travelled to Joshua Tree, Southern California, for the Net of Light gathering. I needed time to process the experience before journalling; here is my attempt to put into words this powerful, ephemeral experience.

We arrived early and settled in at Joshua Tree Retreat Center. The Center is the oldest in North America at 77 years of age and was built by Frank Lloyd Wright and Son, after a unique man named Edwin Dingle, who had studied Eastern philosophy in Tibet, was guided to the land.

I felt honoured to be invited to attend the Beacons, or group leaders’ meeting prior to the gathering, as I planned to start a Net of Light group in my home town after this retreat. Beacons from all over the world attended, several from the Netherlands, some of them group leaders for many years.

The highlight of the meeting was meeting Sharon McErlane in a small group setting. Sharon’s Net of Light organization had grown to 250 groups worldwide over the twenty plus years since the Grandmothers appeared to her on a bluff in Southern California. Sharon told me I had definitely been called to this work.

In the early months of 2017 I had come across the Net of Light website while researching, returning to it repeatedly, not knowing why. I subscribed to Sharon’s newsletter, eventually meeting the Canadian Co-ordinator, Laura in Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, our shared ferry terminal.

That afternoon, under the big, old trees in the park by the water, I received my first empowerment, a gentle introduction to the energy of the Grandmothers, meant to connect us to them and to allow us to bring out our unique gifts in a greater way. Things began to change subtly for me after the empowerment, I received nudges and small messages from the Grandmothers that helped me to live more fully and mindfully with an increased level of trust in myself.  I realized the  Grandmothers  had been around me before I knew who they were.

One hundred people attended the Southern California Gathering, ninety women and close to ten men. I had felt the presence of the Grandmothers strongly for two weeks before the gathering, helping me release powerful old held material from deep within myself. At the retreat they filled the room, and indeed the whole property, with a strong, but light energy.

During our four days together we worked both in the larger group and in ten breakout groups. We drummed and sang, calling in the Grandmothers and the Great Mother, casting and strengthening the Net of Light, the great energetic fishnet that holds and heals the planet and us during these difficult times. Sharon and others took us through guided meditations. In the small groups we debriefed and sometimes did exercises.

For four days we lived in a cocoon of delight and heart felt love. Because we were in an altered state and the experiential nature of the Gathering, I could not explain precisely what we did to friends who questioned me later.

One exercise impacted me powerfully, and remains in my memory banks to this day. We took turns expressing to a partner the qualities of the goddess we saw within ourselves.

When the weekend was over we reluctantly left our spiritual cocoon, spreading out in all directions, Don and I in the direction of Sedona, Arizona.

Since that time I feel I have made slow, but steady progress, beginning our Net of Light women’s group in my home, and building trust withing myself by taking more risks, speaking out more, both in person and in my writing. In these ventures I am supported strongly by the Grandmothers, by my dear women friends and by claiming my Tibetan name more fully, Lhakpa, meaning courageous speech, the name that came to me in a dream several years ago.

Love & light to you.

Ellen / Lhakpa

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & an energy worker. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

 

Stepping Back – Being, not Doing During Tough Times

Kluane Lake, Yukon – (Betty Owen)
The energies built for two weeks prior to the recent full moon lunar eclipse, peaking on July 28th, another phase in the increased vibrations affecting the planet and everything on it, with both positive and painful results.
“We are in a deep cleanse and preparation stage this summer…being prepared to receive more Light energy anchored through our physical bodies…”, says Judith Onley, a friend who channels a large group of spirits called US, or United Souls of Heaven and Earth, for many years.
Today change is happening on many levels, both internally and externally. Historically things worsened before they improved. People are pushed to their max as societies become imbalanced. Governments often shift radically, to a place of protectivism, the opposite of “We are all One”.
At times it feels like: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs”, (Kipling), only I would replace the word head with heart.
Many of us are experiencing exhaustion and other physical and emotional symptoms. Processing the vibratory energies descending on the planet and grounding ourselves during the chaos and confusion around us takes a lot of energy. Two analogies that may work for you are: recovering from an injury such as a broken leg, or transitioning through the grieving process after losing someone dear to us.
We are being constantly challenged to hold the course, and in order to not simply survive, but to flourish, we need to design individual and communal ways to live.
Giving ourselves permission to care for ourselves deeply will allow us to move into a new place, one of ease. Tracking ourselves – paying attention to our needs, including the needs of our heart will bring us peace.
Communication between the heart and brain is a dynamic, ongoing dialogue, with each organ continuously influencing the other’s function. The heart actually sends more information to the brain than the other way around, scientists have discovered.   The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: through the nervous system, hormones, pulse waves and electromagnetic fields.
Stepping back gives us the opportunity to not only rest and strengthen ourselves, but to expand, to make contact with our creativity in new ways…to become inspired again.
Humanity is beginning to move towards a heart centred way of living. We have a choice, to soldier on, supporting a cracking system, or to live in a way that expresses our connection to one another. That may look different for each one of us, but there will be overlaps. It’s a change in our approach to life, an attempt to live in the present moment.
“It is your heart that will lift you,” the Grandmothers tell us. “If you move into your heart and keep your focus there for only a few seconds, it will lift you.”
 “Your thoughts must travel through your heart.”
Medicine Woman Tarot cards
PS: We’re coming in to the third eclipse of this season… the New Moon Partial Solar Eclipse Saturday August 11th, powerful influences energetically.

Ellen

Co Housing Retrospective

Image

It’s odd the way things happen…We lived in a small co housing community in Vancouver from late 2001 until mid 2006, selling our unit about a year later. We  fell into our first apartment there, having been gently urged by a friend who often stayed in the building to visit a woman who rented her unit each winter when she volunteered in Africa. Our home is on the Sunshine Coast, a small rural community a 40 minute ferry ride from Vancouver, and weren’t looking for a place in the city, although we had both begun to work in Vancouver.

The funky looking building, consisting of town houses and apartments, had been built three years previously on a lot that at one time held three houses and a corner store. The community was a village unto itself, an oasis in the midst of city busyness, a place where you could visit with other residents in the laundry room, while reading the paper in the foyer sitting room, at common meals or in each others’ apartments. After the initial six months, still needing a place in the city, and wanting to stay in the co housing, we purchased a small, lovely apartment with a water view.

Living semi communally in a building with about twenty other families was a new experience, not at all like my small communal house in Guelph while I was a university student. For the most part it was very pleasant this enhanced neighbourhood of well educated, similarly minded folks.

The building was self managed, and until I stopped going and my partner continued on, to represent our unit, meetings were a frustrating experience for me…as a strong minded group of folks micro managed each aspect of running the building. My joke was that it took us three months to decide what toilet paper to buy for the common house washroom!

Recently we returned to “our” co housing for their 20th anniversary celebration, after being back in our small town for 12 years,  It felt very familiar, it was basically the same community, but in my recollection it was a friendlier place during our four and a half year stint there. Several of our friends were missing that day, both current and past residents of the building, but the ones who were there, folks who had established the co housing twenty years earlier, were happy to see us. Oddly, even though we were guests in their “home”, not one newer resident, arrivals after our time, said hello, or asked if I was a former resident, or a friend of someone in the building, to my disappointment.

It was a nostalgic feeling returning after so many years at such a special time. We felt at home, yet not at home. I’ll never forget my time living in co housing, and I’m sure my partner, Don, won’t either. We are very happy to be back in our own small house near the ocean, in our quiet but active community here on the Sunshine Coast of BC. Had we remained in Vancouver, we would have stayed in co housing.

Tibetan Resettlement Project Finale

It was a humbling experience, standing in front of a a hundred plus Tibetan immigrants in a hall in Burnaby on a Saturday evening not long ago. The Vancouver Cultural Society was officially marking the end of Canada’s Tibetan Resettlement Project, an undertaking that resettled 1000 Tibetan Buddists from Arunachal Pradesh in  remote northeast India.

Officially called stateless or displaced persons, the parents and grandparents of these Tibetan folks became isolated in the northeastern Tribal States of India, a place rife with poverty, when they followed the Dalai Lama out of Tibet many years earlier. So remote were the settlements, that even the Dalai Lama’s Government in Exile did not know they existed for the first while. Canada’s five year private sponsorship program officially ended in December of 2017, with the last people arriving in March of 2018.

All sponsors and volunteers in the province of British Columbia were invited to this appreciation dinner, along with the new Tibetan families and other Tibetans  already living in Vancouver. Sadly, the many sponsors and Tibetans from Victoria,  Vancouver Island were not able to attend, and we met only a handful of folks from Vancouver. Don and I were the sole representatives of our sponsorship group on the Sunshine Coast. Our Coordinator, who sponsored three families, was there with her partner.

Our group sponsored a family of four, the Mom, who arrived with almost no English, with her two teenage children in December of 2013, and the Dad, who followed four months later, unable to get his discharge from the Indian Army until then. Another son remained in India, at age 22 too old to be included in the family application.

The Prime Minister at the time, Stephen Harper, to his credit, had agreed to the Dalai Lama’s request to resettle the displaced Tibetans in Canada. Becoming involved in Canada’s somewhat “under the radar” project, (the Canadian government did not want to offend its Chinese trading partner), was a spiritual calling on our part.

There are no accidents. Our many friendships with Tibetans living in exile in Dharamshala, India, developed during five visits spanning ten years, had led us to join the Canada Tibet Committee, and we were notified of the first sponsorship organizational meeting in early 2012. Our application went in during the summer of 2012.

We hit the ground running when our family arrived, the demands were great in the early days. Gradually the family members became more self sufficient and we were needed less.

Despite the small size of our community and scarcity of good jobs, our family and indeed all the families on the Sunshine Coast have done very well, working hard at whatever jobs were available, then gradually moving into more skilled areas.

The appreciation dinner and entertainment evening went quickly. At 10 pm we were readying ourselves for the dash to the last ferry, when we were called up on the stage. We were introduced to the audience and honoured with a khata scarf by the wise Rinpoche from the Vancouver monastery.

Every action we took on behalf of our Tibetan family, and for our Tibetan friends in India, brought us appreciations tenfold over. Each small gesture has been acknowledged many times more than we ever expected or wanted. Their gratefulness was very humbling. Yes, we have helped our family start a new life in Canada, and helped other Tibetans in small ways in India, but I do not think they realize how they have enriched our lives, and the heart opening we have experienced as a result. In the future, I plan to tell  our Tibetan family that they have changed our lives also, and we are blessed to call them our friends.

Ellen

Udaipur Part 2

We began to explore the area around our neighbourhood, and ventured across the footpath to visit our friend Lal Singh at his travel agency the next day, but did not connect with him until a few days later. Our other friend Deepti, formerly a travel agency business partner, met us on the second day at a mini clothing department store, then took us to a four story flashy mall for browsing and lunch, after we picked up her young son from playschool. One of the fast food kiosks on offer was Subway!

Deepti had initially offered to pick me up on her motor scooter and drive me to the clothing store. For a split second, a younger me thought “Yes!“, but then reality took over and the idea of sitting behind her on a bike in the busy Udaipur streets with the bizarre traffic patterns, (choreography, Don calls it), scared the shit out of me. “Don wants to come with us“, I told her, and we met her there in an auto rickshaw, quite dangerous enough in heavy traffic for my current tastes.

Deepti later switched vehicles with her husband, whose office was across the street from the store, in order to drive us around. Don and I crossed the busy street on foot – very carefully – and farther along street I spied Deepti, scooter at right angles to the traffic, crossing a couple of lanes of cars, then riding slowly in front of a city bus! I could hardly believe my eyes. Afterwards I said, “You must have nerves of steel.“. “You have to“, she replied. Sadly, I did not capture a picture of her – but the image is impaled on my eyes!

Over the ten days we were in Udaipur we visited a few of the sites we`d seen before. My favourite, the enormous Indian market, really of about twenty markets, is divided into areas according to their wares: vegetables, cook wear, clothing, and so on. As usual, we saw only a couple of white faces during our time there; the rest of the tourists just have no idea what they are missing.

Our goal on this visit, along with window shopping, was buying a rope to secure Don`s old suitcase. I noticed the rope kiosks by accident on our way out of the market, and Don purchased a blue rope with sparkles on it, luckily just the right length for what he needed.

We had seven days of warm weather, with cool evenings, then some rain came in, very unusual in early December in Udaipur. But a cyclone was brewing farther south, in Northern Maharashtra State and Southern Gujarat State. The cyclone never materialized, but it brought the poor weather. While it was interesting the experience three days of poor weather for the first time ever here, we were sad to lose precious days, as it is doubtful we will return to Udaipur.

One Saturday afternoon, towards the end of our visit, we had an Indian adventure, when we set out in an auto rickshaw, with a driver chosen by Lal Singh, to find a pharmacy. The pharmacy we were referred to was closed, so our driver raced around the circuitous laneways of the Old City, looking for another store, with no luck. Branching out farther, we had to detour several times, as hundreds of folks lined up along bridges and roadways, part of Hindu and Muslim weddings.

We finally located an excellent pharmacy in another part of the city, a long ride in heavy traffic when in an auto rickshaw. Later we were trapped in the middle of what initially looked like a protest, (not good; our government travel advisory tells us to stay away from large crowds), but it turned out to be a Muslim holiday parade.

The highlight of our visit to the City of Lakes was dinner at each of our friend`s homes, where we were served delicious meals. At Deepti’s home we were privileged to be included in their evening pujas, prayer chants to Sai Baba.

A funny cultural misunderstanding occurred in Lal Singh`s home, where we were served appetizers and drinks, and enjoyed pleasant conversation for several hours. When the hour of nine o’clock drew close and we still had not eaten, we weren’t sure what to do. When I quietly told the host we would need to leave soon, my partner Don suggested we should eat. It was then that we discovered that in traditional Rajasthani homes, the guests are meant to say “let’s eat”, not the hosts!! We all had a good laugh over our faux pas, then enjoyed an excellent meal of butter chicken.

On our last morning, we climbed the steep stairs to the deck to find the skies had cleared, and all the tables replaced on the open part of the deck. We passed a happy hour eating breakfast and soaking in the view of the lake and the city before our driver arrived to take us to the airport.

What I will forever remember about our three visits to Udaipur is the strong friendships we developed there, the hours of enjoyment on the deck of Dream Heaven Guesthouse, high above Lake Piccola, and the Indian Market.

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & a Reiki Practitioner. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.

Udaipur, City of Lakes

Our third, and possibly last sojourn to Udaipur, in South Rajasthan, was lovely. As is our pattern, we first reacquainted ourselves with the beautiful Dream Heaven Guesthouse, then began to revisit the Old City. The owners of Dream Heaven, Deep and Dilip, brothers-in-law, were happy to see us, on this, our third visit, (the first was in 2009, the second in 2012).

We arrived at Dream Heaven in the late afternoon, just before dusk, after a morning flight from Kangra, near Dharamshala, into Indira Gandhi Airport, Delhi, followed by an afternoon flight to Udaipur, and a busy one hour drive into the city. We noticed that the traffic is heavier now than on other visits.

The first thing one does at Dream Heaven after depositing their baggage in the room, is visit the marble deck at the top of the building. We had forgotten just how breathtaking the view of the lake and the five century old city is at dusk.

We were given a lovely corner room with two view points, a step up from our usual room over the kitchen, a great room with a view, but also with kitchen fumes from time to time!

Dream Heaven, built high above the lakefront, was Deep’s father`s dream, and is built on the family land where Deep was born. Opened in 2006, with just two rooms and four dining tables, it now has eighteen rooms. The additions, all designed by Deep, have turned the guesthouse into a fascinating above ground rabbit warren, with its narrow passages on many levels, joined by stairways of varying heights and steepness.

The simple Dream Heaven rooms are all decorated in traditional Rajasthani style, with wall murals and wall hangings in beautiful colours. It is truly what Deep and his family dreamt of, a  relaxing guesthouse for visitors to come and feel safe and comfortable in. The family members all live in the building, each group in their own quarters, and that adds to the homey feeling.

The Dream Heaven owners and their staff really do live up to their motto of honesty and hospitality and their belief that “Guests are like god”. The delicious food served in the deck restaurant and the incredible views made it hard for us to eat anywhere else, but we did patronize other restaurants at lunchtime.

Ellen

Copyright 2018 Ellen Besso

Ellen Besso is a former Life Coach & Counsellor & a Reiki Practitioner. She is the author of An Indian Sojourn: One woman’s spiritual experience of travel & volunteering, and Surviving Eldercare: Where their needs end & yours begin, both available through Amazon.