vol. 54. dispatch from India
Hello from India!
I’ve been traveling across India for the last 3 weeks. Along the journey, I’ve been sharing my various musings, rabbit holes, and itinerary/recommendations over at my newsletter Rabbit Holes.
Thought i’d pop over here to share a few snippets and be a sign from the universe that yes, you should book those tickets asap.
🇮🇳 India Itinerary
India has always been on the list as a place to have my models challenged and expanded. In the last 2 years especially, i’ve gone pretty deep in exploring non-dual philosophies like Taoism and Indian philosophy (advaita vedanta) - both intellectually and experientially.
I can’t begin to even describe how this has inverted my orientation towards self and reality (for another post). Meanwhile, living in SF had begun to feel a bit disheartening for me - a lot of the “philosophy & spirituality scene” & varying corners of Twitter, felt like a shallow “gleaming of the surface” vs. “going all the way in”.
I was beginning to intuit that many treated philosophy and spirituality as “entertainment” or an experience to have akin to how one chooses dessert at a buffet, as opposed to having their life fundamentally grounded and evolved from it.
Going to India for me felt a bit like a quest to find the “real” and “the root”. Careful not to be attached to a specific outcome for this trip or pine for “specific experiences”, my goal in building the itinerary was to immerse myself in places that could be potentially opening and deepening. “Fuck around and find out” so to speak. (google map)
Delhi (Governmental capital) - 2 days
Rishikesh (Yoga capital) - 1 week
Varanasi (Prilgrimage/Spiritual capital) - 1 week
Mumbai (India’s financial/cosmopolitan capital) - 5 days
Kochi (Home to Ayurveda and architecture) - 4 days
Poonthottam Ayurvedasram (located 2 hrs away from Kochi) a medical retreat spa for panchakarma (ayuveda method of detoxing the body) - 6 days
🇮🇹 Italy Itinerary
In putting together this itinerary, I was inspired by where German Philosopher, Friedrich Neitzsche, spent parts of the year in contemplation and meditation to write his greatest works.
Nietzsche was acutely sensitive to place: to the taste of sea air, to the sweep of wind across the coast, to the narrow confines of medieval walls or the tumbling breadth of an Alpine vista framed by the window near his writing desk.
He was convinced that the effects of environment, climate, and terrain on one's life and thought were both tangible and profound.
I’ll be visiting a few of the cities he frequented in Autumn (google map):
Milan - 1-2 days
Lake Como - 2 days
Lage Maggoire - 2 days
Turin - 2 days
Portofino - 3 days
Florence - 2 days
make a reservation at Indian Accent. Chef Manish Mehrotra basically pioneered inventive Indian cuisine. It exceeds most Michelin star restaurants i’ve been to at 1/5th of the price. Fixed 8 course menu for around $60~.
best massage and spa treatment at Three Graces. If you’re there, get the Snehan (oil massage) and Shirodhara (oil poured on forehead). They say prayers for you before your treatment and have 2 therapists doing synchronous movements on your body - I swear I might have seen God.
Another notable place to wander was Connaught place & arts district Hauz Khas. Lots of cute clothing Indian boutiques and stores with artisan crafted furniture and trinkets. (One of my favorite stores was Ogaan)
Best spots for coffee overlooking the ganges: Devraj Coffee Corner German Bakery & Restaurant, Om Shanti Shanti Cafe, Monkey House Cafe, Tat Cafe.
Ajatananda Ashram - Great vibes, lecture, and yoga here. Ajatananda Ashram is an inter-religious monastic ashram dedicated to the Oneness of Truth and the teachings of Non-duality (Advaita).
Yoga Niketan Ashram - one of the oldest yoga ashrams in Rishikesh, they had the most legitimate yoga I encountered taught in the style of Shivananda.
Iyengar Yoga Center - Usha Devi is a legend and was a direct pupil of the renown B. K. S. Iyengar Guruji. She had suffered multiple fractures and injuries which left her bed-ridden for a year. After learning Iyengar with B.K.S, she returned to full health and function, and now runs the center. Here’s the full story of her experiences as published in Times of India.
walk the 25 min~ trek from Assi Ghat to Dashashwamedh Ghat, where one will not just see all the ghats - but also, the various pujas, cremations, rishis, rituals and festivities that line the shore at all hours of the day. Rent a private boat and catch the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Spend an afternoon at the J. Krishnamurti Study Centre reading philosophy
Best food at Terracotta Cafe (Indian) & Bunny Cafe (Japanese) - both foreign traveler schelling points.
Next up are Mumbai, Kerala, & the coasts of Italy. Stay tuned and hope to share more with you over at Rabbit Holes 🕳️🐇
Thank you for being part of The Wellness Wisdom newsletter today.
I’m Patricia and I write this newsletter in my free time every time an insight needs to be grappled with and birthed.
Thanks for reading wellness wisdom by patricia mou! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.