Wednesday, June 3, 2009

2009 06 03. Wednesday.

2009 06 03. Wednesday.

Well, Dad, today at least you definitely do not have to worry about me losing any weight here. I was waiting along with everyone else at the usual area for lunch when suddenly everyone started to move to one of the other big buildings. I asked someone what was happening and they only said "Special feast." I liked the sound of that. So I joined the crowd. They seated us at tables with a big green flat banana leaf in front of each person. Then it started. A twelve course Indian feast! All kinds of curries and sauces and fruit and three different kinds of sweet puddings for desert. And some crunchy sweets and a laddu. Wow. It was really unbelievable. And really delicious. It was like a Thanksgiving meal Indian style. We were all totally and completely stuffed by the end. As I'm writing this I'm barely able to keep my eyes open. The feast reminded me of the meals they serve at the Ramana Maharshi ashram next to the holy mountain Arunanchula. Not as many courses as the feast today but also served on banana leaves. Some of the best food I've had in India was at the Ramana ashram.

One of Amma's relatives is getting married and sponsored the feast as part of the celebration. Actually it happens on a fairly regular basis that some Amma devotee will sponsor some uttapam, idlis, chai or payasam as a special treat for the ashram residents. But a feast like this is way beyond that. I'm going to go lay down and snore and belch for a while. I feel sorry for anyone who has do to seva right after a feast like that.

At the feast they forgot to serve chai. I was going to complain but decided not to. They would probably take it the wrong way.

I found out the name of the Mystery Amma Swami whom I have a compelling attraction to: Swami Jnanamrita (I think it roughly translates to "Nectar of Self Realization"). Not sure if I'm spelling it right but thats how it sounded. If I can get up my courage, I may ask him if he would like to do a short five minute silent meditation together. It would be an interesting experience to interact with one of the swamis and get a small feel for their world and their presence.

I got a little burn blister on my ring finger so I went to the clinic to get it lanced. I got very frustrated! I just walked in and sat down near the doctor's office. There was no obvious sign saying you had to register first. So everyone was getting called before me even though I was there early. I finally had to ask someone what was going on and the guy couldn't speak English. After some frustrated asking around, I finally figured out the system. Grrr! Put up some signs for Christ sakes! My emotional brain gets so easily triggered in situations like that. Took me a while to settle down. I get very frustrated with myself about how easily these kinds of things trigger me. Oh well, more grist for the mill of growth. The doctor said just to let the blister pop on its own and then put some antibiotic cream on it. Next!

I took a bottle of electrolyte water mix to the stotram and bhajans tonight and it seemed to help. They sell electrolyte powder at the ashram store. Its pretty warm and the extra electrolytes seemed to keep my energy up.

I'm realizing there's lots of room to deepen my concentration at bhajans. Usually my mind just wanders, but if I can keep it concentrated (even for a minute or two) that helps to deepen the feeling of the bhajan. More and more I realize that moment-by-moment mindfulness (the Sanskrit word is "shraddha) is something I'm just a beginner at with a lot to learn. If I can deepen it, it'll be a big boost to deepen the feeling of peace and presence.

Earlier today I got a jar of this natural citronella based mosquito repellent at the ashram eco-store (they sell all kinds of natural, sustainable and organic products mostly made by the western ashram residents). I put some on before the bhajans. Seems to work really well. That's a very nice discovery cause the mosquitoes can be real pests during bhajans. I can focus much better when I'm not getting constantly annoyed and slapping at the little bastards.

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