We are having an interesting visit to Varanasi, our last major stop. We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and left for the river Ganges soon after. Varanasi is one of the holiest Hindu sites--it is said to die here is to be released from the wheel of rebirth, to obtain moksha. We boarded a large, low rowboat at sunset. Several of us purchased small leaves filled with gold marigolds and a tiny candle. I had brought along rose petals from the memorial service for Dr. Marv Meyer. Marv was a beloved professor of religion at Chapman and it was he who was to accompany me and the students to India. When he lost his battle with melanoma last August, we were so blest that Nancy Martin knew of Dr. Phyllis Herman to travel with us.
We floated the rose petals on the water as we remembered
--Marv's beloved family
--all of the students that were blessed to have him as their teacher and mentor
--all of his colleagues at Chapman and around the world that were blessed by his scholarship, his insight, and his incredible joy and warmth.
Then we lit a candle and let it float with the petals. We give Marv's spirit to the other side of the river and pray to one day follow him with similar grace and integrity. Namaste.