So I received an email today from a resident of Hampden who read my blog about how much Indians love their babies, which included a line comparing them to people I’ve seen in Hampden. This person let me know that parents in Hampden also love their babies. So I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended. I’m sure you do love your babies and I’m so happy to hear it. I was just so moved by what I saw in India. I will look for that on my own streets as well. Thank you for the reminder.
Archive for September, 2008
So, I’ve decided to become an ordained minister! It took about 2 minutes, but I put a lot of thought behind it before going to the website! I’ve so many amazing people through the bookstore and many of you have asked me if I know anyone who can perform wedding or commitment ceremonies. I just know one or two people…but I got to thinking – I love these people! I could do the ceremony for them! so – now I really can. If you are interested let me know and we can talk about it.
is an ordained member of the clergy of
The Church of Spiritual Humanism
Date of Ordination: September 29, 2008
Ordained by R. A. Zorger, President
CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME!
The Church of Spiritual Humanism is happy to inform you that your ordination request has been reviewed and approved, and you are now an officially ordained clergy member. You are now entitled to all privileges and courtesies normally offered to ordained members of the clergy. The record of your ordination has been entered into the official permanent records of the Church of Spiritual Humanism. Ordinations by the Church of Spiritual Humanism are for life, and are awarded completely free and without monetary charge.
As an ordained member of the clergy, you are hereby authorized by the CSH to officiate religious rites and ceremonies, including marriage, baby naming, funeral services, invocations, and holiday ceremonies, as permitted and subject to the laws and regulations of your country, state, and municipality. It is important that before you officiate any civil ceremony (such as marriages), you know and comply with all laws governing your locality.
The Church of Spiritual Humanism promotes religion based on reason. As a member of the CSH clergy it is your charge to strive to base your actions on, and influence others to be motivated by, deliberation and reason and not the irrational, emotional, or subjective. Furthermore your responsibilities are to peacefully follow the proper course of action, and to avoid infringing on the rights of others. You alone are responsible for your actions as a member of the clergy.
You may also be interested in visiting the independently run Spiritual Humanism Forum at http://www.spiritualhumanismforum.com
This thought just keeps swirling around my head. I never saw a stroller in India. I saw parents holding their babies everywhere. Passing them on to other relatives. Kissing them. Tickling them. Smiling into their eyes. Never letting them go. Indians love their babies. On the trains, in restaurants, at tourist sites, walking on the street – moms and dads holding their kids’ hands, reassuring them, cuddling them, nuzzling them. I was so struck by the love, the acceptance, the humor, the smiles, the eyes. Such beautiful, amazing people.
And then there is this lovely tradition of Indians wanting to have their photo taken with foreigners. I can just imagine their photo albums filled with faces of white strangers – “Look ! We met these lovely people at the Taj Mahal. They love our country.” Schoolboys on a field trip shyly approached us at the Agra Fort – “photo?” Soon most of the class was upon us, crouching down to form rows to fit them all in! Families on vacation from the south, “photo?”
Often we would take photos of the kids posing for us – they didn’t seem that interested in seeing the digital picture – they were just so happy to have their photo taken! It was so sweet.
But back to the Indians loving their babies. I mentioned this to a woman on the trip and she said everyone loves their babies. I wish that was true. What I witness everyday on 36th Street, in the neighborhood where my shop is, makes me doubt that sometimes. I know they love their babies – but they most certainly don’t know how to express it. The aggression and anger I see from these parents is heartbreaking. I know it’s the way they were raised so I fear their kids have no chance. I rarely see love and affection between mothers and their babies on 36th Street. I see anger and frustration. I see drinking and smoking. I hear yelling and cursing. I wonder why it’s this way.
So this is why I was so struck by the love and warmth I saw in India. The biggest smiles I’ve ever seen were on the faces of these children held so closely by their mom or dad, or auntie, or uncle, or cousin, or friend. Passing babies back and forth from one loved one to another – never letting them go. On the airplane from Newark to Delhi. On the train from Delhi to Amritsar. In the market place in Jaipur. On the colonial streets of Shimla. In the quiet pathways in Dharamsala. By the Ganges in Haridwar. I’ll never forget this. Indians so love their babies.
to see photos from the trip, go to facebook.com, search for susan weis, and proceed from there…
Hello! We are in Agra now, the land of the Taj Mahal. Ok – so we had just come off a 14-hour overnight train ride, it was really hot and there were a million people there, so I’m thinking my impressions are a bit muted. It was beautiful. It’s so symetrical! The carvings in the stone are so delicate – I think I prefer the details over the masiveness of the building itself. Oh my – that’s just like India! It’s in the details as I wrote on a previous blog. So- I see! The Taj Mahal could be seen as a symbol of the country- massive in size. Overwhelming to the senses. But the real beuaty lies in the tiny carved flowers in the marble, inlaid with lapiz and amber. More musings on that later!
we leave for Jaipur today and on Tuesdsay we head to the airport in Delhi and home by Wednesday morning! I haven’t been able to blog as much as I wanted to. Haven’t been able to do a lot of things I wanted to – like meditate regularly with the group, do more yoga, have a bit more time in certain places. But that’s Inida. Expect the unexpected. Like life. It’s been a busy trip. Ambitous. We saw so many things but I wish we had more time in each place. Bus rides, train rides, altitude changes, hot and cool weather – we’ve seen extremes on all fronts here. I’m looking forward to coming home and really thinking about what we’ve expereinced. It’s hard to do it while still in the middle of it.
One thing for sure – this is a cleaner and greener India then it was last time I was here. It seems the cities are less hazy, fewer people smoke, and less poly bags flying around. I’m really impressed. Even going up to the Taj the deisel powered bus stays in the lower parking lot and a battery-bus takes you up to the site – smart!!
So in our last days here I plan on absorbing as much of India as I can. I haven’t had a chance to write about some things – such as one of the travelers in our group being attacked by a monkey in Shimla, (she’s OK but has to have rabies shots) or the shopping (pretty good!) or many the amazing sites, sounds and people that we’ve met. more to come. time to go.
much love to all! please excuse spelling errors! no time to proof..
India. It can come on so strong. But I’m finding that if I look at the details I can better understand the country. A billion people live here. How can one comprehend that? If you talk to one person at a time, notice the kids playing on the road, the flash of a safron colored sari in the market place, it gets easier.
Today we are in Shimla in North India. When I opened my curtains at the amazing Oberoi Cecil Hotel there were monkeys scampering all over the roof top. There are signs everywhere not to feed them! today we’ll explore this North India town. the weather is blessedly cool.
For the past two days we were in Dharamsala – the Tibetan government in exile. I was surprised at how small the town was and how unassuming the Tibetan offices were. Sort of a hodgepodge of official offices nestled into a small square. The town is bustling with activity and we saw more tourists and travelers here then I’ve seen in other places. I really enjoyed the shops and walking the streets. I did find some goodies to bring back to the shop including singing bowls and dorje bells.
The Tibetan influence felt light here – I was only really on the streets for a day, but the only place we saw prayer flags was at the complex where Tibetan handcrafts are made. We met Tangka painters including a man named Tashi who explianed this fine, precise work to us. I’ll have picutres to post when I get back.
So I’m going to take a swim in the in-door pool here at this amazing hotel before we set out for a day of exploring. So far no site of any Bollywood stars here. We were touched by the excitement of Bollywood in Amristsar where superstar Sha Roukh Khan was staying at our hotel. It really was exciting and fun to be caught up in the chaos of Bollywood.
Namaste from Amritsar, the Sikh capitol of the world. I’m on a computer that doesn’t compute very well (I think all the techies are helping you all in the US!). So I’ll quickly write an update here…The flight was great – smooth and seemingly fast for a 14 hour plane ride. The group became fast friends and I could hardly get their attention to make announcements – that’s only gotten worse (or better depending on how you look at it!) as we’ve gone on!Our first day was a whirlwind tour of Delhi – many impressive temples and sites. The manager of the travel agency I’ve been workin, Unni, with took us out to dinner last night with our guides Sanjeve and Vinay – it was lovely. And this morning after a 5 a.m. wakeup we cheerfully made our way to the Delhi train station and boarded the Shabtabi Express to Amritsar. the air-conditioned car and constant food and tea service was very nice. We were the only tourists on the car as far as we could tell.so far the trip has been seemless. The expected chaos of Delhi was not as intense as I’d remembered. the people have been so gracious. But it is hot!! Even the monekys and cows are just labouring along in the heat.We are taking a little break right now to settle into the MK Hotel in Amritsar. We might go for a swim, then some shopping and a ceremony at the Golden Palace. Tomorrow we will spend the day exploring this glorious site.We were able to get in some meditation at the Newark airport of all places! but have been on the go since then. Hopefully we’ll be able to schedule in some time to continue our exploration of our crown chakra in the land of the crown chakra.Please excuse spelling errors, etc. as I want to ge this posted before the electricity goes out – which it has done a few times. The rooms even have candles in them for that porpose!We are having the best time. the mood is light. the people are fabulous and India is amazing. It seems a lot cleaner and less hazy then it was two and half years ago when I was last here. We are only on day three and awaiting new experiences and enjoy the moment immensely.more soon!namsate,susan et al