Saturday, June 6, 2009

2009 06 06. Saturday.

2009 06 06. Saturday.

A very stormy night. Got woken up twice by some windstorms and driving rain moving through. Up here on the 10th floor the wind really whips fast around the building! Makes quite a racket.

A cool morning. Almost on the edge of being chilly, but not quite. Maybe about 76 F or thereabouts. The morning hot chai was really good in the cool air.

My second day at the compost seva and now its totally no big deal to be spreading fresh cow dung and cow dung mixed with cow urine. All in a day's work and another glorious compost pile now baking in the sun. Or it will be whenever the sun comes out again. Now its monsoon season. It was totally wonderful that it was relatively cool while we were working on the pile. Working with fresh food waste and cow dung in the baking sun is definitely NOT a "compost party".

(OK, this next section may seem a little silly, but if I don't have some fun with this blog I run the risk of getting bored with it.)

Swami Jnanamrita stopped by the compost pile area today apparently to get a rundown on what we're doing there. Trying not to be too obvious, I kept looking at him when I could. He has a really nice smile and radiant eyes! He also looked kind of tired around the eyes, but that didn't take away at all from his radiance. He probably stays up late and gets up early doing all his swami work; pujas, sadhana, managing projects, etc. I wanted to just stare at him. Just for fun I imagined the swami and I sharing a picnic on a bright green grassy hillside meadow sprinkled with yellow flowers under a clear blue sky. We'll laugh, share laddus, sip mango lassis and swap Amma stories while I stare dreamily into his eyes.

Uh-oh. If I keep this up people will start to tease me about having a crush on a swami. Jeez. I'll never hear the end of it. Gotta make sure no one finds out. I'm 47 years old for pete's sake. Aren't I beyond this sort of thing? Well, I've already got a crush on Amma so I guess its OK to add one of Her swamis to the list. My friend Sanatan would love to rib me about this. Good thing he's not here. (Just teasing, Sanatan. I'm really missing all the nice times we had poking fun at each other. You can tease Jagadish now.)

I wonder if anyone else feels a special attraction to one of Amma's swamis? I would guess yes. Be interesting to hear their stories.

My ego felt good that Swami J (as I now affectionately think of him) was seeing me help with the compost. No big deal. Thats simply the kind of thing my ego is programmed to feed on. I just try to shine a lot of awareness on it and see clearly its a little ego trip. There's a whole section of Google maps dedicated to my endless ego trips.

It was pretty cool in the big hall during the evening 1,000 Names stotram and bhajans. I would go so far as to say I got a little chilled. Definitely not expecting *that* when I was thinking of returning here. It was cloudy, windy and rainy pretty much the whole day. I tried to stay concentrated on the bhajans but my mind was wandering all over the place. Got a little bit of bliss during one of the bhajans and thats always a nice treat. While the bliss was happening I was telling myself that its no big deal. Its just another experience and all experiences come and go. In the past I was *really* addicted to those strong blissful feelings that used to arise on a regular basis in my meditations. Now it happens fairly infrequently. I used to think they were something special, but now I know they're just an occasional and natural side effect of a concentrated mind. Or maybe they're just the result of some kind of grace. Who knows? I would love to see some neuro-scientists do some brain scans of meditators while they're feeling bliss to see what parts of the brain are active and which are quiescent.

It feels like one of my main practices will be increasing my concentration at the stotram and bhajans so I can get their full beneficial effect. Amma says that listening to bhajans with concentration and mindfulness is especially helpful in this modern world. She says it helps relax the mind and increase devotion and love.

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