Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2009 06 23. Tuesday.

2009 06 23. Tuesday.

After the morning garbage seva I went back to my room on the 10th floor. From the elevator landing I looked west and could see a rain storm coming in from the ocean. The wind was picking up, cool and fresh. As I watched, a wall of gray moved over the sea toward the ashram, blotting out anything behind it. In a few minutes the sound of the rain came and then the rain itself. Far below some people jogged for cover and umbrellas sprouted over the heads of others. The wind picked up more, pushing rain to wet my feet. Now distant thunder. I went to my room and showered, a little rain inside to join the rain outside. Just as cold.

At the compost pile work today I brought a notebook and tape measure and diagrammed all the piles and took notes on what was done. While everyone else was doing the hard work of slopping all the food waste and other things onto the pile, I was taking measurements. Pete says its pretty important that we start to take data on what's happening with the piles so he was happy I started the diagramming work. Swami Jnanamrita (the swami I have a crush on) was also there getting his hands dirty with the slop and talking a lot with Pete about the whole process. Brahmachari Tapasyamrita (yellow robes) spoke to me for a long time giving me lots of instructions on various aspects of getting the compost project up and running to the next level. Since it looks like I'll be taking the data, they may also expect me to do some of the compost project organizing as well. Be interesting to see what role I play beyond handling the data collection. I'm not very good at managing people and large projects but we'll see how it goes. I'll definitely need some Amma's grace if I do that kind of work.

After the compost prayer was done, they waved me over to get into a photo with Pete, Swami Jnanamrita and some of the others. I'll try to get a copy of that photo and post it on the blog. I was told that Swami Jnanamrita organizes about 10 big community development projects around India. I talked a briefly with Swami J about the data collection. It was cool to hang around him and feel his presence. In addition to the pile composting, they're now starting some worm composting bins to see how they work. From what I can gather, the Indians at the ashram are taking the whole composting project pretty seriously. Really cool to see that happening. The composting project takes the ashram to a whole higher level when it comes to being in harmony with the environment.

My involvement in the whole compost effort is definitely giving me a feeling of being engaged and connected with a valuable and important project. Its definitely a nice feeling, but I have to keep clear awareness on how much my ego is attached to that feeling. I have to practice not being attached to the project because at any time they could move me to other work that my ego would feel is mundane. The compost project is getting some pretty good attention and priority and if I'm not clearly aware, it can feed my ego to be near the center of the action. A good place to practice reducing expectations. Or maybe getting rid of them altogether.

The sunset was really beautiful. A slow moving bhajan for the eyes.

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