Imagine – They May Say I’m a Dreamer…


rishikeshmonkeys cool-pic

Today we woke up early to grab our flight up north to Rishikesh which is near the entry point to the Himalayan Mountains.  It is absolutely stunning here and quite possibly my favorite place so far.  Our hotel offers free meditation, yoga, spiritual walks in nature, and dips in the Ganges river to wash away your life’s sins (sign me up…need all the help I can get!).

Our hotel is right on the holy river and as Debbie and I walked out onto the hotel’s veranda we could not believe the color of the water.  It is a light shade of turquoise that is surrounded by these beautiful mountains with lush greenery.  Being a city girl myself, I was surprised how I found it so peaceful being closer to nature after all of the hustle and bustle of India.

Our guide came to pick us up and we drove about 20 minutes on beautiful winding roads through the National Park to arrive at the Ashram that the Beatles stayed at years ago in the 60’s.  They had traveled to India and met a Yogi who introduced them to this ashram that had never been inhabitedashram-beatles by anyone except himself.  It was in the middle of the forest and a pretty steep walk up a hill that had little huts that were built of stone, where people would come to meditate.

lennon-paintingWe walked further and the guidconcert-hall-mee showed us the Beatles cave which was also a meditation hut that John Lennon and George Harrison had painted.  I took a picture of the ceiling that Lennon had painted that looked like he had taken a bit too many shrooms and was his own Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  It was surreal to think I was standing in the same spot as Lennon, one of my absolute idols.  The song Imagine is one of my favorites and has always rung so true to me.  The Beatles paid for their stay at this ashram with performing 40 songs in a very small concert venue.

While I know Imagine came much later on when Lennon went off on his own…I could not help to think about my experience in India and how relateable these lyrics were to me at this moment.  I have learned so much about religion and spirituality on this trip and while there is so much beauty and morality to people’s beliefs, in the end a lot of times it causes only prejudice and hate.  Furthermore, Indians love America and aspire to be part of it’s culture by wearing western clothes, listening to pop songs, and even trying to take pictures with us wherever we go.  However, we protect our boundaries so steadily and I do not believe we would welcome them with the same open arms that they have given to us. What if there were no countries? Why should we have to separate the world and humanity so much? I believe this is so much of the problem we are facing today both in our daily lives, the political arena, and in our day to day professions….where is the openess? Where is the acceptance and love?

Lastly, I did not have to imagine having no possessions here for I witnessed it first hand. People living in mud hut houses with not a ruppee to their name.  These were some of the poorest people I had ever met in my life, but yet, the children were all smiling and there was so much love and affection between families and villages.  It reminded me of my favorite memory on a trip to Thailand, where I was standing outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, gawking at how intricate and elaborate it was.  Suddenly my eyes met a little girl about the age of five, who was covered in dirt and rummaging through the trash.  She was then throwing the trash up in the air laughing and chasing old cups and food around like it was the best day of her life.  Her brothers and sisters joined in and the whole family began playing.  What a contrast to the rich bejeweled palace behind them. I did not see a poor family at that moment, but I saw a filthy rich one. You may say that I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as oneImagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
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  • Wendy Mishne October 29, 2016 Reply

    This is my favorite place to date. From you photos and remarks it resonates with me as being the most beautiful. Being a 60’s girl myself, I’d love being where the Beatles were. Imagine…

    • Makenzie Darling October 30, 2016 Reply

      It was one of my most favorite places too! It was also one of my favorite blog posts…so glad it resonated xoxo

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