Indian reflections

In the plane now on my way to Italy, I have time to reflect on the two weeks in India.

It was quite extraordinary.

From the overwhelming ceremony of Ganpati on the beach of Bombay, to visiting the Dalai Lama's temple in Dharamsala, I feel as though so much happened in such an intensely short period of time.

During the two weeks I shot about 12 hrs of material. That's a lot. I've been able to capture some terrific stuff, and most importantly I've left India with footage that will provide a greater understanding of intuition from the perspective of the East.

The time at Parmarth ashram was a true highlight – as was the conversation with the young British born Swami by the banks of the Ganges. He was able to articulate the process of intuition in very clear unambiguous terms.

Spending time at the Yoga Institute in Bombay was also wonderful, and having my astrological charts read by Dr. Bhatt was truly fascinating. Meeting up with my billionaire friend Pradeep was also a wonderful highlight. Already he has aided the film enormously.

Stepping away from the film – although I don't know that I can really because my journey is the film's journey, and the film's journey is my journey – I leave India with a greater sense of purpose.

The Buddhist monk in Dharamsala said that my life was saved by my karmic imprint because I had more work to do. My time wasn't up. And that it would be work that would benefit many.

Dr. Bhatt, the astrologer, said the same. His predictions of the immense wealth coming my way were outrageous – but he said it would come as a consequence of my doing something beneficial for mankind.

Is making this film what they're both referring to?

I don't know.

All I know is that I have to do it. I'm literally just following my intuition – my Personal Guidance System. I can't think of outcomes – I can only think of what's immediately ahead, and leave myself open to the whims of the cosmos.

And trust. That's the thing. Trust that what's around the corner for me is something, someone, who will take me to the next stage of this journey.

I'm pleased the funding for this film is coming in progressively. If I'd started out with the full budget, I probably would have approached it differently. I would have imposed a form on it – a structure – and it possibly would not have been as intuitive as it's now turning out to be.

The film is becoming the film it should be.

Me? I'm changing. I can feel it. I'll come back from this trip slightly different. The Camino was the first step in my changing – it pressed the Hard Reset button. Not just the reset button, it was a “hard” reset, which in tech terms means a complete reset. Bringing everything back to a default position. Getting rid of accumulated junk.

In a way, even though I didn't realise it at the time, walking the Camino was a necessary precursor to making this film. In fact it was really the start of the film for me.

During these past two weeks I've been informed, deeply touched, and inspired by the people I've met. But perhaps what touched me most were the simple moments –

  • Sitting in the dark in the cafe in Dharamsala with the old lady selling bangles, laughing and chatting, even though we couldn't speak each other's language.
  • The dignified bow of the Sikh rickshaw driver in Chandigarh.
  • The grace and humility of those that came down to the banks of the Ganges at Rishikesh at sunrise, to perform their daily rituals.
  • The vibrational power of the Aarti ceremony at Parmarth, and the holy presence of Swamiji.
  • The image of the ascetic doing his yoga by the Ganges under the Laxman Jhulia bridge.
  • The way the old man at the chai stall in Rishikesh tied his turban before I took his photo. The pride of the man… and then later when he posed for me, ramrod straight, while bathing in the sacred waters.

These simple moments resonate with me, and will always.

I have no idea at this stage how this film will turn out – all I know is that already I've managed to capture some very special moments with some unique and wise people.

And I feel very fortunate, and grateful, to be given this opportunity.


21 thoughts on “Indian reflections

    • That’s lovely of you to say Julie – thank you.

      A lot of times these posts are rushed, because I run out of time at the end of the day – and I do like to keep up the schedule of posting each day.

      Always I feel that I have never truly captured in my hasty writing the true magnificence and deep profundity of the experiences I’m having – or the wonder of the people I’m meeting; from the holy men and women, to the rich folk, to the rickshaw drivers and the chai sellers and the people you meet on the street.

      I’m hoping the film will capture what I’m not able to in words here.

      Again my thanks


  1. Ditto Bill. What a fascinating, intriguing ride this is. And thankyou so much for bothering to keep this blog going as it must be somewhat a chore at times.

    One of the things I find particularly surprising is the fact that you have been immersed in such intense spirituality but at the same time much of that is because of people with enormous wealth. I’ve always felt that spirituality and great wealth were not compatible bedfellows. Like a Buddhist monk wearing a diamond encrusted Louis Vuitton robe.

    I’m learning.

    Safe travels to you both


    • Hi Debbie – thanks for the thanks re the blog. It’s never a chore – but sometimes at the end of the day I’m so tired I don’t do that final final preview check, because I’m literally nodding off as I write, then I publish it and wake up the next morning to see all the typos I let go through. I hate that!

      A couple of thoughts on the second part of your comment: the extremely wealthy people that I know in India – and I know a few more like the ones I’ve mentioned in this blog – all of them are intensely religious people. And by that I mean they worship their ancestors, and their deities on a daily basis, and they take an active role in all the major religious festivals and ceremonies.

      Not only that, but their knowledge and understanding of the ancient scriptures and Vedas are vast. And they also are incredibly charitable, which they don’t boast about, but you find out about it indirectly.

      It’s a dreadful thing for us in the west to believe that because someone is wealthy, they aren’t spiritual. One of the wealthiest people in recent times was Steve Jobs, and if you read his wonderful biography you’ll discover that not only was his world view forged by time spent in an Indian ashram and then later studying Zen, but he was also a devout follower/believer in Hinduism, and in particular with the Yogananda Self Realisation movement.

      In his biography it’s stated that he read Autobioogrqphy of a Yogi as a young man, and it had a profound influence on him, and then later in life he reread it every year – and in fact (posthumously) he gave away a free copy to everyone of the invited guests at his memorial service.

      Also though, perhaps I mention the wealthy people on this blog because they are totally outrageous and colourful – and quite wonderful fascinating people – and they’re so far removed from my personal experience. Plus they speak English well, which helps.

      But you’ll note also that the most profound experiences I’ve had have been with the holy men and women – like Swamiji and Sadhvuji at the Parmarth ashram, and the wonderful British born Swami that I interviewed on the banks of the Ganges. And the Buddhist scholar I met and interviewed at Dharamsala. These are the people who have moved me deeply.

      Back to your first point: yes, this daily blog takes a considerable chunk out of my day, but I love doing it because it helps me put the day into perspective, but not only that I see myself as a messenger, and in a very small way I’m communicating these social and spiritual observations to whomever might care to read.

      Thank you for your comment – and also for following as you have, I love seeing your comments when they come through because they are always insightful and thought provoking for me.


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      • Well you’ve really sent me off thinking about money and spirituality and religion now …….. And then that opens a minefield about values and cultures and goodness knows what else. But fascinating stuff.

        Thanks Bill.


  2. I am not good at vicarious living. I need to travel the edge and fall off every now and then. Sorry I missed the call. Just moving and moving. Back to Texas on Thursday. About 3 day drive. Great keeping up with you and Jen. 🙂


  3. Bill…reading that you have 12 hrs of video, I wondered if you have a backup of it all (being the filmmaker I am as well). I have a server you could use but it is a lot of GB to upload. See you in Italy.


    • Hi Brian, many thanks, but yes I have multiple backups. I am obsessive about that. I backup every day onto three different hard drives, and I keep them all in separate safe places. And now my Indian assistant also has a complete set of the footage and audio files, so there are four backups! Thank you though..


  4. I love what you shared here, about how you were touched by the simple moments, that is special awareness, one of being in the moment and that makes it powerful. The bigger events, it is not surprising that we pay attention, it is more natural to be tuned. When the simple moments catch our attention they feel like real miracles! Seems like you have had such a vast array of experiences during this trip. Would also love Jen to share a few moments that really touched her as well. Excited to see how things go in Italy! I will say a few prayers for your connections in Rome.Kathryn

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Kathryn – and sorry for delayed response. I’m catching up now. This trip has been pretty full on, without a great deal of spare time.

    Yes I should see if Jen wants to post something. Perhaps at the end. She is very reluctant to put her thoughts down though. She always feels that she can’t adequately express what’s in her heart.

    Thank you though for your kind words.



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