The Mirage on Meraj's WION Traveller show (Season 3, Episode 5) !

After featuring on FOX Life’s TV show Great Escape with Kunal Kapoor and Cyrus Sahukar (story here https://www.mid-day.com/articles/travel-news-kunal-kapoor-cyrus-sahukar-himalayas-great-escape-with-kunal-and-cyrus-sunday-mid-day-smd/18367187 & full episode on Hotstar), The Mirage was recently featured on WION Traveller. It was an absolute pleasure hosting Meraj and Johan…It was wonderful to see The Mirage from their eyes..Here is the link to the full episode..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LOPeg81sfk (WION Traveller S3 Episode 5 - Garli, Andretta and HP's never ending reservoir)

Enjoy :)

"What kind of a goofball gets offended by the Dalai Lama?"--Brent Forrest

By Navjot Randhawa

It was disappointing to read so many remarks directed against the Dalai Lama in the past few days. The comment in the title is from one of Dalai Lama’s friends/students on facebook. His Holiness in an interview joked when asked about a female successor, that if female Dalai Lama comes, then should be more attractive !… clearly suggesting that he doesn’t consider himself attractive and clearly just making a joke that it would be more attractive to have a female Dalai Lama than he himself. His remark however led to a big debate & I read many unpleasant things about him over the internet in the past week …His Holiness has been an integral part of our journey here at The Mirage and in some way perhaps of every one who has made the Himalayas their home. His mere presence is healing, the purity of his being shining through his words, gestures, actions.

His team put up on facebook a clarification of his comments. If you are interested, here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/dalai-lama/clarification-and-context-of-remarks-made-by-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-in-a-re/10156372190172322/

His Holiness has always been a big supporter of giving women their rightful place with due respect in all kinds of fields/spaces. He always says women have more important role in promoting compassion as an important tool to deal with the world & its problems. Even in the spiritual world, he has spoken about equal rights for men & women. I read about this in Tenzin Palmo’s writings where she talks about H.H Dalai Lama’s support in her journey. Here is an excerpt from one of the panel discussions he attended as a speaker, where he talks about the importance of women. I transcripted this from a youtube video. He has a beautiful sense of humor & I wish people who are protesting could see that he is not promoting superficial beauty but perhaps just saying that a pleasant female leader could be great for the spiritual world. Many inspiring spiritual women like Pema Chodron come to my mind..I am sure you met quite a few in your life too?

”I have one belief..some people may call me feminist..I don’t know. In human history, I think millions of years ago, in human society, no idea of leadership. I feel, I think..I think I should ask you..learned people, I don’t know. I feel there was no idea of leadership..everybody was equal, working together, whatever they got, shared together. Then eventually population increased. Some mischievous people then started the concept of leadership. Then there was no education, therefore, the main sort of quality of leadership was physical strength. So I believe male dominance started from that. Then eventually education took an important role. So then that made more equal. Male female. But now we are 21st century. It’s quite clear, see even if you see some billionaire, plenty of money. and also because of the money, they also quite influential, but as an individual person, very unhappy person. I also met some of them. So money also failed to bring inner peace and those very powerful leaders, in deep insight, I think much anxiety, much fear, much distress. So their inner peace destroyed. So therefore now since modern education alone failed to bring inner peace, and money or wealth also failed to bring inner peace and systems, technology also I think failed to bring inner peace, so now here we need some effort, more effort, to promote basic human values. There is human compassion, human affection. In that respect, biological factor, females have more sensitivity about others’ pain or suffering. Scientists are also saying that. So firstly therefore I think I want to tell governor and then all those people here. Now 21st century, time we really need more effort for promotion of human compassion. In that respect, females have more important role to play. So therefore please take more active work..”

To me the whole debate points to the ignorance of those who are making offensive statements against Dalai Lama. I am writing this post based on following the teachings of His Holiness since a couple of decades now. He has positively influenced not only my life but of many friends. He is perhaps the most centred being walking our planet today. However, it will be unwise to not listen to others’ point of views. So I read all the negative comments with an open mind. Tried to see where those people were coming from. And my heart feels their heart is closed, that is why they are being so angry with Dalai Lama for a comment he made in a language which is not even his native language. HIs Holiness has a remarkably authentic personality. He is simple yet so wise. I am a woman and an actress. I am totally against objectifying women. And I feel sad when Bollywood does it time and again. But it almost feels a not thought out thought, a not thought out action, a not thought out karma to blame the Dalai Lama of objectifying women. I thought the whole issue was being blown out of proportion because the media was only highlighting a couple of minutes of the interview. I feel one should listen to the whole interview before using such harsh words for a man who has done more for promoting peace in this world than any of those using those words.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csz536

Here is the link if you have time. If you would like to join the debate, please do leave a comment here. You can also e-mail us at mirageandretta@gmail.com to join the debate.

Mountain Paths

by Tessa Dummett, United Kingdom

Sharing with you a poem that one of our potential guests (a poetess) wrote anticipating this morning her visit to our part of the Himalayas

Chunnu ran through the hills

pockmarked with the tingling of Tibetan bells

Her feet brushing the sounds of the crickets lying dormant

in the morning mist before their wake up morning calls.

My alarm shrills inside my head

and the mountains invite me to unknown territory.

Chunnu assures me I will be happy there

and I clutch on to the fading morning mist

as London sultry morning breaks

whilst I frame it with visions of Tankas,

Tibetan monks chanting,

temples echoing mantras side by side,

Tibetan jade jewellery glinting in the morning light

wards off the evil eyes, surrounds the crumbling

Mughal window frames,

pillared houses of white and bronze coloured stone

lattice work windows, wooden shutters.

mountain flowers, winding roads

some mish mash of images rise up

and comfort me as hot tears flow incessantly

of broken dreams once forged in love and passion

of lovers gone by, now I will merge into Chunnu's

vision, as life has slipped through my fingers like fast falling sand

and after all, the mountains seem to be calling me once again.

The Golden Simplicity of Friendship

By Navjot Randhawa

I was invited on 19th June by radio presenters Mary Flavelle and Geoff Motley of Marlow FM 97.5 (Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom) to talk about The Mirage. Geoff & Mary have never been to India but Geoff had once seen a program about Jaipur & was so touched by the love & respect of the Indian people that he wanted to pack his bags, sell everything & set sail to India with his wife right away. It is indeed the kindness and warmth of the village folk in Andretta that makes our village so special. Witnessing the beautiful chemistry between the urban artists and the rural folk is an experience that is undoubtedly special.

You can listen to the full interview here…

https://www.marlowfm.co.uk/listenagain

The radio show is called Mid-Morning Matters (9:30 am). I am introduced at the 38th minute..

Excerpts & photos below..

Mid-morning Matters, 19th June, 2019, 10 am, Marlow FM, 97.5, UK

Geoff: “We’ve got some guests...”

Mary: We have got guests..Are you going to try & do the introduction ?

Geoff: No, you are.

Geoff: I’ve had a go & I made a mess of it.

G: The young lady is now handing me a leaflet.

MF: She has given me a leaflet as well..

This is my name & this is how you pronounce it.

G: And she is going to tell us how we can retreat to the Himalayas.

MF: This is "Navjot"

N: Oooh, that was perfect. 

Geoff: Say it again, say it again.

MF: Navjot.

N: Perfect.

MF: You see..

N: I was at a party last night & 10 people tried to pronounce it. And I just gave up. I said "Just call me Nivvy".

G: Nivvy.

G: She is looking at me with these enormous eyes.

MF: I know, she has got beautiful eyes. 

G: And I am totally embarrassed now. And a little Intimidated.

N: Uh oh.

G: However..

(Laughter)

G: Go on, ask her a question.

MF: Oh you are finished..I thought you were gonna ask her..

MF: Navjot, you're gonna tell us why you are here. Because you've got an amazing story to tell us. First of all, what you've got, why have you got it? And you've got a retreat...

Navjot: Yes

MF: We've all got retreats. Have you got a retreat?

Jeff: Well, they are chocolate covered, aren't they? Oh treat, treat, no retreat, ah I got you. 

N: I am already very conscious of my English. You are getting me even more conscious. 

MF: Listen, don't..Who is banging the desk?

G: Not me..Why are you looking at me?

MF: Navjot, tell us about this retreat you've got..We're dying to hear about this.

N: Well actually it's not very different from where I am in Cookham right now. It kind of feels the same but it's the Himalayas. 

MF: You know I get that

G: There is a similarity.

MF: I can understand 

G: But this is Cookham & they are the Himalayas. 

MF: we are not going to take you very seriously from now on, you know that? 

Navjot: Well they are covered with snow. they are very beautiful &...I live there. So

MF: You live there?!!

Jeff: You live there now?

N: Yes

MF: She is just passing through at the moment. 

G: Oh wow, I can only say wow. Do you have a beautiful view?

N. Yes I actually have exactly the same view as on the cover of the leaflet you are holding.

G: Is this the view?

What Marlow FM peeps don't know is that we are looking at a leaflet with a beautiful beautiful picture of the mountains.

MF: Oh my God. 

Geoff: Snow-covered mountains.

MF: Is that the view from your place?

N: From the verandah, yeah.

Geoff: This is the view from the verandah...It's a better view than from my back window..that of a broken fence..

MF: It's like a view from a plane.

Geoff: It is gorgeous..And is the weather...

N: perfect.

Geoff: is it always perfect?

N: Except maybe 1 month when there is just too much rain.

But if you enjoy the rain & if you can just sit back..

MF: Oh no, we don’t do damp.

N: well you can be assured that its not like the London rain. it’s beautiful monsoon rain with the smell of the earth. 

Geoff: Well, we’ve had that for the last week here. 

Mary, phone the travel agent.

Geoff: Have you always lived there?

N: No, i first went there to conduct a theatre workshop & I fell in love with the place. Just like you fell in love just now..




We have a swimming pool now !

By Navjot Randhawa

Water is one of the five elements we are made of . And water is very scarce nowadays. They say the next world war, if it happens, will be for water. Don’t know about that but we surely must take a lot of care of keeping ourselves hydrated, especially in this searing summer.

According to Ayurveda (both Tibetan & Indian), if your dominant element is water, your energy comes from the hips and your walk has a flowing/swaying motion. Then when your element is active, you are full of love, generosity, you avoid conflict, you are creative, you are empathetic. In other words, you ARE the Creator. That’s your archetype. When energies are balanced in you, you are friendly, adaptable, responsive. You are what a friend or lover is imagined to be. When you are receptive, you are sensitive, graceful, gentle and embody everything that a disciple should/does. When there is a distortion, you have emotional swings, you are overly responsive and are easily misled.

So if you are water dominant and are looking to balance your energies, being in water can definitely help. But even otherwise, if you are in need of balancing your sensitive & practical side, a dip in a water body is suggested. And of course it is a great physical exercise as well !

We at The Mirage are proud to announce the inauguration of our swimming pool this month. The spring water in our 9 metres by 4 metres pool is the same that you drink out of the taps. You also have a lovely view of the yoga shala to keep your eyes relaxed when you are just sitting by the pool chilling. We have already had our first pool party which was a super-hit ! We also had a weeklong yoga retreat here recently where the yogis and yoginis experienced the benefits of diving in the pool after intense yoga sessions…

The next retreat is in July (all details in Our Retreats section). So come join us or else just come whenever your city gets too much to bear..We will be so happy to help you re-charge yourself..