Icehotel Jukkasjarvi

Jukkasjarvi is situated 15 km east of Kiruna, a town in the northern Swedish Province of Norrbotten.  The name ‘Jukkasjarvi’ is of Northern Sami origin. The village got its 1st Finnish-speaking resident settlers in the 17th Century, and they changed the name CONKKIRASJAVRI (lake of assembly, as the area, by the lake was a Sami market place) to JUKKASJARVI.  The place is a popular tourist destination during the winter months and is best known for its ICEHOTEL.


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Rub’ al Khali

RUB’ al KHALI (Arabic : EMPTY QUARTER) is the largest continuous sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula.  The desert covers some 650,, including parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and Yemen.  It is part of the larger Arabian Desert.



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Palmyra reflections

Palmyra, also called the “Venice of the sands” is the last place anyone would expect to find a forest of stone columns and arches.  Travellers in the 17th and 18th centuries were repeatedly astonished by what they saw : a vast field of ruins in the middle of the desert, roughly halfway between the Mediterranean coast and the Valley of the River Euphrates.


For anyone visiting, however, the key to the site’s prosperity is immediately apparent :  Ancient PALMYRA sits at the edge of an “oasis of date palms ad gardens.”  ——— It was like a “watering place” on a trade route from the east that PALMYRA’S story begins, and the very name PALMYRA refers to the date palms that still dominate the area (the origin of its Sematic name, TADMOR, is less certain ; a derivation from — TAMAR (date palm) — is favoured.


For such a remote city…

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Spiritual apprenticeship



In many contemplative traditions, learning from an enlightened teacher is considered an important means of advancement on the spiritual path.  Many illumined beings and mystics, especially those  from Hindu, Sufi and the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist lineages have maintained lifelong connections with their teachers and are in agreement that the student-teacher relationship is essential in the alchemy of transformation.  It is also customary in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions to learn from wise spiritual teachers and ecstatic mystics.  A perennial rite of passage, training under the guidance of a spiritual teacher can be a powerful initiatory experience.

krishna arjun gita

Spiritual Apprenticeship is the path of training under the guidance of spiritual teachers to achieve inner awakening, enlightenment or realisation of the Self ——– a state of pure consciousness or spacious awareness that is transpersonal, non-egoistic and beyond the boundaries of the individual self.
Spiritual apprenticeship denotes the relationship we have to…

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Mount Rainier


Mount Rainier

MOUNT RAINIER is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range.  It is a large STRATO VOLCANO and is located 87 km southeast of Seattle.

It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous Us and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit of 14,411ft.  Mount Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and is on the DECADE VOLCANO LIST.  Because of its large amount of glacial ice, it could potentially produce massive LAHARS (volcanic mud-flows)that could threaten the entire PUYALLUP River Valley.

Mount Rainier scenery

Mount Rainier was first known as TALOL or TACOMA or TAHOMA by the Native Americans.  One hypothesis of the word origin is that TACOMA means “larger than Mount Baker”.  TA (larger) + KOMA (Mount Baker).  In 1890, the US Board of Geographic Names declared that the mountain would be known as RAINIER.

On clear days it dominates the south-eastern horizon and can…

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Warli paintings

Presenting…the beautiful Warli paintings!



The WARLIS are an indigenous tribe living in mountainous as well as coastal areas of Maharashtra-Gujarat border and surrounding areas.  They speak an unwritten WARLI language, classified as KONKANI, with some degree of influence from GUJARATI.  They have their own animistic beliefs, life, customs and traditions as a result of acculturation they have adopted many Hindu beliefs.

In the Book : THE PAINTED WORLD OF THE WARLIS, Yashodhara Dalmia, claimed that the WARLIS carry on a tradition stretching back to 2,500 or 3,000 BCE.  Their mural paintings are similar to those done between 500 and 10,000 BCE in the Rock Shelters of BHIMBETKA, in Madhya Pradesh.


Everything about WARLI is earthy and soothing.  It takes you back to the paintings’ provenance, where you could almost smell the wet soil, feel the touch of the calloused hand that painted the background and admire the meticulous brush strokes of the rural artist…

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Lake Baikal

The beautiful Lake Baikal!



LAKE BAIKAL is in a “rift valley”, created by the Baikal Rift Zone, where the earth’s crust is slowly pulling apart.  At 636km long and 79km wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake and is the deepest lake in the world at 5,387ft.  The bottom of the lake is 3,893ft below sea level, but below this lies some &km of sediment, placing the “rift floor” some 8-11km below the surface ——– the deepest Continental rift on earth.

It is also among the clearest of all lakes, and thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25million years.  It contains more water than all the Great Lakes combined.  Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape.  In geological terms, the rift is young and active– it widens about 2cm per year.  The “fault zone” is also…

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