Jasmine Patel with a carving of the marriage of Shiva & Parvati in the Ellora caves. Avrangabad, India.
I have just returned from what you might call a “jungle adventure.” All I’ll say right now is…”Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!!” I also had the opportunity to hike through the ghats, where some of the views were just breathtaking.
Currently I am working at an integrative medicine clinic in Ahmednagar. They use TCM, ayurvedic medicine, allopathic medicine, homeopathy, massage and chiropractic. It’s really stimulating to watch everyone work together. This clinic treats mostly poor people from a nearby village. I think one of the reasons they are able to work successfully with all these different modalities and always choose what’s best for the patient is because they do this out of pure love and service. They remove their egos from it as much as possible, and the patient is the one who benefits. Other practitioners from the US and Europe come to volunteer at the clinic.
I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to treat patients with acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Tui Na. Patients in India and China are much more willing to take herbs no matter how terrible they taste. The Chinese herbal medicine dispensary here is a modest, little dispensary mostly full of patents, along with some loose, raw herbs. Everything is done through donations. I even had the chance to treat some children with acupuncture while I was here. That’s been a really great experience!! We basically do an “in and out” needling technique on children — get the qi in and take the needle out.
I visited the Ellora caves and the Valley of the Saints. These caves are 1,700 years old and have Hindu, Buddhist and Jain carvings in the base of a mountain. They’ve been preserved very well. I got there early so was able to wander through the caves practically by myself. That is a rare occasion in India — to be anywhere by yourself! It was really something to wander through the Valley of the Saints, around the tombs of Indian saints.
I’ve got about a month left here. Before I return I’ll be in Ahmednagar, Bombay, Pune and Goa, which should be a lot of fun. It’s a beach town. And I absolutely love the ocean and beach!