Saturday, July 11, 2009

2009 07 11. Saturday.

2009 07 11. Saturday.

I got all my compost prep work done yesterday so I had the whole morning from 6-9 to do sadhana. Very nice. In the dark dim pink light of early dawn, I was the last one in line for unsweetened chai (always much shorter than the sweet chai line). When I got to the chai pot there was still plenty left so I signaled for the server to give me a full cup (for the cup I use that means about 50% more than the usual serving). The signal is to just keep holding out the cup until its full. This particular server (an Indian man) seems happy to give extra chai so I felt comfortable getting more. The sweet chai line was still very long. I went back to my room, sipped chai, scrubbed and rinsed my seva clothes soaking from yesterday, sipped more chai. Then I did some mantra, the 108 Names, the Lalita Sahasranama Stotram and then the IAM technique. Felt very good. When I do my mantra mala I figured out a way to do the 108 repetitions that also matches and corresponds to the lotus petal and triangle pattern on the Sri Yantra. I wouldn't be surprised if this pattern is also described somewhere in one of the tantric scriptures. Let me know if you find the reference. I have a very nice color laminated version of the Sri Yantra. All the time I'm doing sadhana I have the "Om" track from Robert Gass's "Om Namaha Shivaya" CD playing from my laptop speakers. I actually keep it on repeat for the whole day. Its the best recorded version I've come across of the "Om" chant.

Special Treat Alert No. 34,719: (Yes, yes. I see you rolling your eyes. I totally sympathize; these are getting out of hand, even by my estimation.) Today at breakfast I sat where I could keep a sharp eye on the serving area because I discovered if I'm not paying attention I could miss some treat that appears. Well, it paid off! I glance over there and I see they've brought in a new pot and set it on top of the chapati box (which itself is a nice treat but not a favorite of mine). My pupils dilate as usual and I try to act casual as I grab my plate and sprint stroll over. Looking inside the pot I see its full of deep fried something-or-others. Lookin' good! All I care about, of course, is that its deep fried. That means greasy and tasty! I was raised my early years in far eastern Kentucky after all, where deep frying has been raised to a high art form.

I definitely miss those beautiful Kentucky mountains, especially in the evenings as the darkness comes into the hollows and valleys with the sky still showing some deep blues, purples and reds. The lights of small houses peek through the dark trees lining the small streams of clear mountain water that run nearby. A lone rusty old pickup truck runs up the side of a mountain on some unnamed dirt road, its lights almost lost through the forest. A single light illuminates the dirt and gravel parking lot of some small ancient diner; 2 or 3 old cars parked in front. The door opens and some sad country song from long ago is briefly heard. The heavy old man in faded overalls crunches through the gravel puts on his raggedy baseball cap with the name of some livestock feed company on the front. Crickets and frogs fill the dark evening with their own songs. He drives slowly home. Just in the next valley; not far. He wonders if she will be there.

Back at my seat I ask the Indian man next to me what it is. He speaks English but in such a thick accent all I hear is "(something something) onion (something something)" Hmmm. Instead of an onion ring it sounds like it may be something like an onion blob. Shape I not care. I finish my regular breakfast and bite into it. Yum! Rich, lots of onion flavor, doughy and just the right amount of spices. Greasy and Delicious! Double Yum!

After breakfast I went to the big Amma Ayurveda College across the backwaters. On the other side of the walking bridge I hired one of the auto-rickshaws waiting there to take me (20 rupees, about 45 cents). On the way, in typical Indian fashion, he also stopped and picked up a family of 4. Now the auto-rickshaws are built for 4 passengers max so one of the family members had to sit on a lap. I was crammed into one corner but it was OK cause its an open vehicle so there was lots of breeze and airflow. And I'm real skinny and don't take up much space.

I had to go to the College to check out their situation with the Ayurveda waste. They make a lot of ayurveda medicine at the College and generate about 300 lbs of waste a day. This waste is wonderful for compost so I wanted to meet the people in charge of handling it. I want to get a little shed built so the waste is kept out of the rain. Right now they just dump the waste in a grassy field behind the College.

After I had collected the info I needed I went to the reception desk to try and find out how to get a ride back to the ashram. The receptionist was telling me where to go to get an auto-rickshaw when a young Indian man appeared. I made an assumption and asked "You're the auto-rickshaw driver?" The man smiled gently and said "No. I'm one of the doctors here." I laughed and apologized. He also smiled.

After the compost work during the chai and snack break I had another nice talk with Mukhunda and Aduren. They've both been with Amma about 20 years and have lots of experience here. I asked them if they ask Amma about their health issues. They both said that, in general, they don't mention their health issues to Amma unless they're pretty serious. They said that in their experience, if they mention a health issue to Amma, She'll often take on the issue to heal it quickly. They said its better to absorb the karma themselves so they can be done with it. If Amma speeds up the healing, they may have to experience the karma themselves at some future time or in some future life. On the other hand, if there is a strong, clear inner pull to mention the issue to Amma, then that should be followed. There's no strict rule; each devotee has to do what they feel is best.

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