May 15, 2018
Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi
Teacher: Shirly Pnina
Venue: Lodi Garden, New Delhi (city), India
Upcoming Event: Science Meets the Heart - 10-day retreat in Turkey this September
Coffee Shop Meditation Talk
It was a chance meeting at Cafe CoffeeCo when Shirly talked about meditation with a Polish traveler - Anastazja. I got into the conversation, and before I knew it, I was already part of the meditation group for Lodi Garden the following day with like-minded seekers - Kailash, Prabu, Omer and Ruchika.
In her teachings, Shirly pursues a holistic approach of bringing science and the heart together - immutable laws of physics together with consciousness to reveal sought-for answers people struggle to find. This will be the focus of her upcoming 10-day event this September in Turkey - Science Meets the Heart.
We met 7am at the German Bakery in Paharganj and took the moto-rickshaw to Lodi Garden. Upon arriving and being at this expansive greenery, I felt so relieved. I just realized that my last 3 days in Paharganj was like being in a pressure cooker. I was also glad to see a different side to New Delhi. I didn't want to leave New Delhi thinking it was that congested, grimmy and unpleasant. With all the palatial structures, Lodi Garden felt like a kingdom unto itself. I wonder what it was like to be here during its heyday in the 1400s when India was ruled by rajahs.
Finding a shaded greenery, we formed into a tight circle and started with a few light stretches followed by subtle pranayama. During meditation, Shirly's verbal cueing took us on a visualized journey to a waterfall in our stark nakedness - where we were free to explore liberties through our imagery. During the entire time, the focus was about being at peace, feeling connected, opening ourselves up to be happy - not only at the intellectual level but also as an internalized experience. This was followed by Savasana. Music was played in the background.
At the end of it, we took a little time to share. They asked me to share my journey which I did. I was hoping everyone would take turns. I wanted to know their story as well. But we were cut short by the lawn-mower guy and the garden sprinkler. It was time to leave. Luckily, we exchanged contact info. It's good to nurture this umbilical cord. Who knows? At some point, our paths might cross again.
While traveling, it is the spontaneous connections that make the journey magical. What started out at a coffee shop ended up in meditation at a lush green park. It doesn't end there. I like to see it as a beginning.
Thank you Shirly for sharing your wisdom and your bliss.
Yoga & Fitness Website: YOGA by Gigit
Reader Comments:Katia Perez
(May 18, 2018) Great you''ve been to Lodi Garden. Yesterday I read your previous post about Paharganj and immediately I thought you should go and explore other areas, greener and open like this beautiful garden where I used to release the tension I got while living in New Delhi. Not a city for me. However India is big and you still have a long way, many beautiful places to discover, probably smaller, but full of magic. Also go to Humayun's Tomb and to Hauz Khas Fort. In the last one youll find some caffes too 🙂
(May 17, 2018) Even though I missed to be there, I could feel the vibration by reading your experiences Gigit. Wish you more discoveries in your India travel
(May 17, 2018) thank you dear Gigit for the lovely article!! and thank you for your kind words!! Like in my meditation session I wish you to keep on opening your Heart and sharing Love and Abundance
(May 17, 2018) Thanks Gigit for sharing this space .. it was a pleasure meeting u..🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂
Next stop: Exploring Rishikesh, India
New Delhi (city), India
Travel Tips for New Delhi
- the backpacker area in New Delhi is Paharganj. Paharganj is close to the Delhi rail station which gets handy for local and provincial travels. Anyone checking-in in Paharganj, I strongly recommend you arrive by day. It could be a system shock to arrive by night...seriously! Some hostels are tucked inside narrow dark alleys with bystanders and hard to find by day, let alone by night
- if taking the New Delhi Airport Express Metro upon landing, buy a Metro Card and load it up. It saves you time (instead of lining up to buy a ticket everytime you ride the Metro). Besides, riding the Metro is the most convenient way of getting across town - no traffic!
- Delhi is aggressively promoting the "water re-filling" station, usually located along the Metro stops. Use it! It stops more plastic bottles ending up in the bellies of whales!
- if Paharganj is too much for you (Danish rape of 2014, scams, filthy, congested, chaos, etc.) you can try other developing areas in the south which are increasingly becoming an alternative to the seedy Paharganj. These new alternatives offer quality food, more hygiene and safer, upscale neighborhoods - Jugaad, Greater Kailash I, Asaf Ali Road and IGNOU road
How to get to Paharganj (New Delhi) from the Indira Gandhi International Airport
- cab - cab takes you to Paharganj, $8-$11, 21 mins, 20 kms
- Metro - from the airport, take the Delhi Metro - Orange Line and it will take you all the way to the Paharganj rail area, 22 mins, $1, trip every 15 minutes. From the train station, you can pay a motorickshaw INR 50 for the 1.4km trip to Paharganj
Travel Tips for India
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html). Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
India Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi May 15, 2018
- A First-Timer in New Delhi, India May 12-17, 2018
- Satsang (spiritual discourse) by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati May 21, 2018
- Ganga Aarti (devotional fire ritual) at Parmarth Niketan Ashram May 21, 2018
- Bouncing Back into Yoga in Rishikesh May 21, 2018
- Exploring Rishikesh, India May 18, 2018
- India e-VISA snag May 9, 2018
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