Murtis in their Natural Habitat

One of the more unusual items I have collected and offered in my Dharma work over recent years has been a constellation of old marble murtis, the temple statuary seen ubiquitously in homes, temples and roadside shrines across India. When properly installed, these murtis are considered literal forms of the divine, and worshipped as a manifestation…

Swimming in Devotional Art

I’ve been digging through some of my old travel photography, being instantly drawn back into past adventures the way rummaging through old photographs allows us to do. When people visit my Dharma Boutique shop they often comment on the smell as they come into the rooms (“Oh, it reminds me of India!”), as so many…

Masters and Simplicity: The Veena Makers

We were in south India, and in search of a harmonium maker. After asking around, we were assured that the right place had been found, and a few of us hopped into some tuk-tuks and headed out, down bouncy dirt roads, far out of town, until we came to this small workshop, which was NOT…

India Travel – March 15, 2012

12:53 a.m. Ah, finally: I have left Delhi, and after a dusty 4 hour+ ride have made it back to Vrindavan area, near Shyamdas’ home in Jatipura overlooking the big temple on Govardhan Hill. 10 days after getting off the airplane, I am finally back in India! Chilled out at Shyam’s for a couple hours…

India Travel – March 12, 2012

5:30 a.m. Once again, not sleeping well—this time barking dogs waking me at midnight and mosquitos doing their damage in the 1am – 5am  window. The upside being that I get to once again enjoy the mystically redolent pre-dawn call to prayer from the local neighborhood mosque. My time in Afghanistan several years back really…

Leaving Vrindavan

Vrindavan, India 9:25 a.m. Now this is an unusual and wonderful farewell from Maha Vraja: a major thunder and lightning storm sweeping over Vrindavan right now as I write on our last morning. Not sure I’ve ever really seen anything like this here in the Jan-April months—a refreshing change of pace from the dust and swelter…