India Adventure

Sister Nithia

Sister Nithia

Dear Readers,

It has taken me a long time to heal, so I used the newsletter for Winter Solstice for this post 🙂
After the frazzled preparations for the holidays, the quiet of Christmas Eve and Yule soothe frantic nerves as the trees that shed their leaves spear the sky with bare branches and life within the soil settles down deep into the earth, waiting for spring to bring it forth again. It is this quiet that invites a look back before we look forward to the New Year.
My looking back to 2013 spanned two visits to India. First, in July and August, I was at the Oneness Deepening Process with three friends from the Bay Area. It was fabulous. We danced to a live kirtan band for hours and hours. Then we did spiritual practices at the Oneness Temple, climbing endlessly up and down the Oneness Temple stairs under the stars. The Oneness Temple is like a fairy castle but also feels like it is alive. When we walked up its steps, we could almost feel it breathe.
I went back to India November 5 and was really looking forward to dancing and communing with the Temple again, this time with ten friends from the Bay Area. I was signed up to attend two courses, an Advanced Trainer course and a Transformation course, but twelve days after I arrived, I had to be rushed to the hospital in Chennai. I experienced severe abdominal pain that was so intense I could barely speak. My friend Jasmine from the Bay Area went with me to the hospital and took care of all the administrative work, making copies of my passport and getting me admitted. She was a very special angel, staying with me while the doctors determined that I needed emergency surgery.
So there I was in a hospital in India, far from home, terrified, and six hours after I was admitted, they performed abdominal surgery. They found an old adhesion from abdominal surgery I had in 1987 that had somehow looped around the intestine and completely blocked it. If they had not operated, I would have died.
The Oneness Ashram sent three people to stay with me, one at a time. One stayed two nights and the others one night each. What a blessing that was! I was completely helpless. The staff at the hospital were fantastic – loving, kind and so responsive. But I was alone and scared. The three days of total support Oneness gave me was so important to me and so very in line with Oneness principles. I am in debt to Jasmine David, my angel, Claire Joy from Vermont and her co-trainer, Anne Dent. These lades gave their time and effort from the special Deepening course to come to Chennai and tend to me. Their love carried me through, as did the experiences I had at Oneness. It sounds weird, but though I had some pain, I did not suffer. I was okay with whatever happened.
I was alone for the next six days. The residents and interns at the hospital all looked like Bollywood stars, with sparkling eyes, fine features and very white teeth. The nurses called themselves “sisters” and were very attentive. Each morning I woke to the liquid trilling of their language out in the hall. But when I heard a voice that sounded even a little like an American, my whole being tuned in. I so longed to just go home. Back to the USA! The administrator in the hospital changed my flight so I could go home the 25th of November.
Though I was really weak, the doctor released me for the twenty hour flight. They told me I would need to say that I was just a tourist who needed extra help because the airline might deny my passage if they knew how ill I was. It was hilarious in a way, because I could barely walk but I was pretending everything was fine. Once we landed in Hong Kong, I stumbled across the airport to my flight and prayed that they would not abruptly change gates, as they often do in Hong Kong. On the recommendation of the doctors in India, I waited until the second flight from Hong Kong had taken off before I let the stewardess know that I would need wheelchair assistance at SFO. I had a letter from the surgeon to show them.
Thank all the gods for wheelchair assistance. There was no way that I could have walked through customs and certainly no way that I could have managed my luggage. It was well worth the cost.
Oh – I have a chapter in SFA-RWA’s book, Writing Romance. Its E-Book format has been released. Just google Writing Romance for the links. SFA-RWA is selling it. The proceeds go to the SFA-RWA chapter.
It is at
Carolina Montague


  • RMAU says:

    India was a trip of a lifetime! From the stunning Taj to the colourful rituals on the Ganges – our Local Leader went above and beyond to create incredible experiences for all of us!

  • Hi Rmau!

    India felt like home to me, even the first time I traveled there. It is such a colorful, rich tapestry where ancient spirituality ripples under your feet the moment you step off the plane.



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