Monday, June 8, 2009

2009 06 08. Monday.

2009 06 08. Monday.

Strange. No curry at breakfast this morning. Instead we had the usual watery rice with a spoonful of hot chutney and a handful of pappadam pieces. Pappadams are kind of like big Indian potato chips except they're made with lentil flour. Really tasty. Normally they're about 6 inches or so in diameter but these were just the leftover broken pieces. I ate mine fast before they got soggy in the watery rice. Mmm! Definitely a special treat.

Hmmm... Looks like a lot of what I'm writing is about this or that special treat at the meals. Shows you were my priorities are.

There was a bit of a flare up at the compost pile seva today. For the past 3 days an American lady has been in charge (lets call her "Judy"). But apparently for the past month or so some Spanish lady had previously been in charge (lets call her "Sonia"). Well, Sonia showed up today after we had already started today's pile. Sonia immediately started to take charge and change things. Judy was totally surprised and said "Wait a minute! I was put in charge. I'm handling this." Sonia just kind of ignored her and started changing the pile and telling the Indians what to do. Needless to say, Judy got pissed and walked off in a huff. Sonia just ignored her and continued directing the operation. Surprisingly, after about 15 minutes, Judy came back and began helping again and taking directions from Sonia. I was impressed that Judy came back apparently in a good frame of mind. If it had been me in Judy's place, I would have carried a resentful grudge for longer than I care to admit. It seems that both Judy and Sonia are skilled composters so hopefully they'll find a way to work as a team.

One thing I'm trying to remember is that here at the ashram things are very fluid and situations change all the time. Lots of unexpected things can happen and I try to remember to stay loose and have no expectations.

This was our 27th compost pile and it was jumbo size. There was a lot of food waste today. 27 is one of the sacred numbers in Sanatana Dharma (a multiple of 3 and 9). I found a leftover artificial flower garland in the trash as we were making the pile. I set it aside. When the pile was done, I laid the garland on top before the Brahmachari recited the usual compost pile blessing. He smiled at the sight of a garland on a compost pile. I told him "I wish I could put my ego in that compost pile." Wearing a yellow t-shirt drenched in sweat and with relaxed hooded eyes he replied "No need. All our egos are composting inside Amma." Touche! And right on target. Judy and Sonia were both at the blessing. It seems they're going to work together OK. We'll see. I can learn a lesson from Judy's ability to quickly adapt and let go.

I washed my hands as best I could before I went to chai. I got my chai and when I got on to the elevator, I noticed I still smelled pretty stongly of cow dung and compost. The other two ladies in the elevator probably got a real nose full! Sorry! But Amma said once that the sweat of Her devotees is to Her like wonderful perfume. I was definitely reeking of "Amma's perfume" and then some.

Well, my chai is done so its time for my shower. Since its a hot sunny day I'll be treated to a nice hot shower after working in the hot sun. Oh, boy.

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