Monday, June 22, 2009

2009 06 22. Monday.

2009 06 22. Monday.

As I went into the big hall around 5:40am this morning for the Mahay Shasura Mardini bhajan, I saw an interesting sight: about dozen or so couples (apparently) sleeping on the floor in the pre-dawn darkness. Actually, from what I could see, the ladies were sleeping and the men were sitting next to them listening to the last part of the 1,000 Names verses being recited from the stage way in front. I don't remember seeing people sleep in the big hall before.

Had a nice talk this morning with with Mukhunda, one of the yellow robed brahmacharis (YRBs). We have to get some chain link fence for the compost project and one of the other YRBs told me to talk to him. Mukhunda lives in a big open dormitory room with about 8 other brahmacharis. Apparently they all sleep on the bare top of a long wooden box that holds their possessions. I explained to him what we need and he listened with clear attention and he made sure he understood me. His energy and presence was very nice; I felt him to be fully present as we were talking.

OK, I said I wouldn't write so much about the special treats they sometimes make available, but I'll make a brief exception here. So at breakfast this morning they had uttapam. As I've mentioned before, its one of my fave faves. They also had this really good thick brown sambar that was just heavenly with the uttapam. OK, pretty darn good, but not quite good enough to slop onto the final blog pile. So I get up to wash my plate and one of the Indian servers is bringing out an urn and setting it on the little salt table. I'm thinking to myself "No, it can't be sweet chai. Maybe just some hot spiced rice water or something." Trying not to get my egoic cravings too stirred up (and failing), I casually take my time washing my plate. Then I pull my chai cup out of my bag. Is there a little tremble in the hands? A little palpitation of the heart? Perhaps. Not sure. The guy in front of me turns the spigot and out comes the unmistakable color and smell of sweet chai. My pupils suddenly dilate sufficiently to scare any doctor who would happen to see them. My whole word reduces to my hand reaching out and turning that spigot. The deed is done! I restrain myself to half a cup and slink away like a thief in the night, glancing right and left. I stroll back to my room in the breezy, sunny tropical morning, digesting uttapam, chanting my mantra and sipping blissfully.

So I get back to my building and I see the elevator door is just starting to close. Durasana stops the door and motions me to join them. Durasana is a very nice and energetic Italian guy. Very easy-going and calm. As I step into the elevator, the door is closing and my right foot bumps into it. I stumble into Durasana who quickly and deftly catches me and stops me from falling. As I'm tripping, some of my chai spills. At this point imagine Gollum from Lord of the Rings despairingly crying out "My Precious! My Precious!". Also in the elevator is a very pretty young dark haired German girl watching me stumble like a drunkard with Parkinson's.

OK, Advait. Where's your bliss now?

Back in my room I nurse my wounded ego with the remainder of my precious chai. Well, I guess I shouldn't worry so much about my wounded ego. My guru Amma is committed to killing it. But maybe She's playing with it first like a cat playing with a mouse. Just when I think I've escaped . . . Wham! Out of nowhere the claws slash deep. This guru thing is not for the faint of heart. But Amma is taking it easy on me because I am, after all, a wimp, addicted to my creature comforts. She's operating on me with lots of anesthesia. I may never wake up! The anesthesia is, of course, Amma's Divine infinite motherly love.

Gently slapping me, Amma says "OK, Advait! Get up. After a grueling, extremely difficult operation, I've successfully removed your ego. And let me tell you; it was a real stinker. You can now finally wake up to your Infinite True Self!"

Me (laying on the table; groggy and barely conscious) "No. Just more anesthesia please. That's all I want. And maybe just a little chai also?"

Rolling Her eyes, Amma mutters to Herself "Jeez. Some days it just doesn't pay to be the Divine Mother of the Universe."

An easy day at the compost pile. We had a lot of help so it gone done pretty quickly even though there was a lot of food waste. And it was a relatively cool day which was really nice. During the composting a welder was working nearby extending the roof to cover more of the compost piles. So while we were working there were constant very bright flashes of welding light happening and the deep loud buzz of the welding machine.

Normally after we finish the day's pile we turn one of the older piles which is pretty hard work. For some reason today the Indian men wanted to be in charge of turning the pile. No argument from me! Go for it, guys. I got the easy job of spraying the turned compost with EM. EM is some kind of fancy beneficial microbe bacteria compound that is supposed to be good for all kinds of things. They use LOTS of EM here at the ashram for all kinds of cleaning and other purposes. They make a type of highly purified EM that you can drink, and other kinds that can be used in gardens, etc. So today I just stood around with the EM sprayer strapped to my back pumping it up and spraying the turned compost while the Indians did all the hard work. They were laughing and joking in Malayalam and having a grand time. And then at 4pm; sweet chai and pastries, as usual. Yum! Although they ran out of chai before I could get my second cup. Grrr! Had another nice chat with Pete about his vision and his many ideas for the composting.

Today is my one month anniversary back at the ashram. Feels good. Feels like home so far. Doing what I most want to do; playing this endlessly interesting game of spiritual practice and connecting with Amma.

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