Travel with SUTRA in 2013

AFFORDABLE  &  EXOTIC  INDIA

The infinite beauty and variety of India is on our itinerary this coming winter…join Kim Hammer, seasoned world traveler and art enthusiast!

Immerse yourself in the culture & the natural world with an emphasis on developing an appreciation for the diverse spirituality of India and its expression in art and architecture.

The Best Exotic Marigolds...

January 25 – February 12   “Ancient India

Tour Old Delhi before going to Orissa in the east (visit Konark Temple, Puri on the ocean and heritage artisan villages near Bubeneshwar).  Visit the oldest living city of Varanasi with a dawn boat ride on the Ganges, and on to the Erotic Temples of Khajurahao.  18 days.  Guide Fee* due November 15:  $500   Group limited to 6 travelers.

The Erotic Temples of Khajuraho at dawn

February 8 – March 4   “Out and About in Rajasthan”

Visit South Delhi and a contemporary design studio before heading to Surajkund Craft Mela and the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary near Bharatpur.  An overnight camel safari and the 3-day Desert Festival in Jaislamir highlight the trip, but you will also visit Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar, experiencing the stunning and unique western Thar Desert region of India.   24 days.  Guide Fee*  due November 30:  $650  Group limited to 6.

Varanasi at Dawn: A Boat Tour on the Ganges

*SUTRA coordinates itinerary, makes hotel and in-country transportation reservations,, and provides a safe container to experience this amazing country (and her food….).  You pay a “guide fee” for Kim’s role as an “escort”.  Your international air fares, food and entrance/guide fees are paid individually, and your hotels and major “land” transport is paid in a single payment to our travel agent once you arrive.

Contacr me for more information ~ including the expected cost of this trip and necessary documents to enter India.

Kim Hammer       “SUTRA  loves INDIA !”   608.792.7641      * sutraglobalbydesign@gmail.com

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Come to your Senses

I have now come to expect ubiquitous tears as I depart from each country I visit, and not entirely due to the pain of separation. For me, cleansing tears are always linked with deep gratitude and the experience of receiving utter goodness, from the people, from the culture, from stepping into non-ordinary reality.

I was able to indulge my senses in Bali, perhaps more fully than is possible in the west, though I do give my full effort as a foodie and a practitioner of healing arts!

I savored exquisite Balinese rice and spiced fish roasted within a banana leaf, while gazing upon a emerald rice paddy alive with ducks. Following a luxurious spa massage, I soaked in a pool among floating frangipani and felt the steady, slow release of a former life.

Just the day before, I had gazed up at the Balinese penjors festooning the sky during the festival of Galugan. During our month of March, each family makes this bamboo & palm leaf flag to honor the gods.

Stitched together with tiny bamboo pins, a 3-dimensional palm-leaf “chandelier” hangs from the graceful arch of newly harvested bamboo. These line the roadways, one after another, as living archways, resplendent with the blessings of the gods that protect the Indonesian people from unhappy spirits. They join the community together: a physical task becomes a shared ritual imbued with collective consciousness and healing. On this day, I felt so completely full.

Now, 3 years later, I find solace in rewriting this tale, but also bringing to light another story of wholeness and healing vis a vis our senses. A friend recently purchased a singing bowl, for use at the clinic where she works. A singing bowl is a spiritual tool, with roots in Tibetan Buddhism, where they are used as auditory markers. At the toning of the bowl, attention is easily brought to the present moment. The toning can be a kind of *call to attention*: Leave behind your “monkey mind”, pause, and take a deeper breath. The staff is being introduced to the concept of “mindfulness” through the daily toning of this bowl, but also to the power of shared ritual.

Recently, a staff member at this clinic experienced a death in her family. Her immediate coworkers gathered and toned the singing bowl while holding hands for a moment of silence. They honored not only the mother who had passed, but also the grief process of their co-worker. Again, the power of shared ritual is felt. In Bali, the penjors, created mindfully and collectively; here, the toning of the singing bowl: “sound medicine”, simple and powerful.