Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2009 06 09. Tuesday.

2009 06 09. Tuesday.

This morning at the 7am veggie chopping seva, Rudy (a young Austrian guy) and I were there first. I suggested that we try to chant the "Lokah Samastah" together. Rudy agreed and we chanted for about 10 minutes until Sinduran (an older Dutch guy) showed up. At first Sinduran just plugged his iPod into his ears and listened to his own music. After a few moments he got annoyed and said "Can you chant silently? I want to hear my music." Rudy was very cool and said "Sure, no problem." I was about to ask Sinduran to move to another table but decided not to. I was very annoyed with myself that I didn't ask him to move since we were there first and he could have easily moved to another table. Sinduran and I were roommates briefly the last time I was here and we didn't get along well. Something about him rubs me the wrong way. I spent the whole rest of the day annoyed at him and myself about the incident. I kept replaying in my mind what I should have said. As my ego was chewing over the incident, my calmer rational mind was counter-balancing with reasons why it was no big deal. It was a see-saw struggle the whole day.

Truth be told, my voice was getting pretty tired by the time Sinduran asked us to stop so in a way it was a good thing.

I skipped the afternoon composting to spend some time in the internet room posting my blog entries and catching up on email. I also wanted to finish some sewing repairs on some clothes I found in the recycling area.

At the bhajans (devotional singing) this evening I tried to more actively sing along silently with the songs. Amma has about 6 or 7 big books of all the bhajans that She and Her devotees have composed over the years. In the evenings they'll choose songs from any of the books, so you really have to all of them with you to make sure and have the words. I don't have any of the bhajan books and almost all of them are in some Indian language thats too complicated for me to follow anyway. So this evening I tried to listen more carefully and pick up the general melody. The melodies are usually pretty catchy and easy to pick up, even if the words are complicated. And all the bhajans are call and response style. So I made an effort to pay attention to the melody and the sounds of the words and try to sing along silently as best I could. That seemed to help my concentration and deepen my focus during the bhajans. A few bhajans I already know and can silently sing along easily.

I always sing silently cause for some reason my voice is very weak for singing. Whenever I try to sing out loud, my voice gets weak and tired after just a minute or two and I have to go back to silent singing. I get the feeling its good to try things to deepen my participation and concentration during the bhajans, even if I'm not singing out loud. Its like Amma's voice in my head says "Don't just listen passively, try to participate as much as you can. That will increase the benefits of the bhajans for you." That's one thing about being a devotee of a guru; their voice can get into your head. For me that's definitely a good thing. Much better than the usual voices in my head.

Especially here at the ashram, my "inner Amma" is pretty active and will gently guide and suggest things I can do better. However, when my ego flares up, my "inner Amma" voice is pretty much totally drowned out.

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