Thursday, August 20, 2009

2009 08 20. Thursday.

Many times last night some cat nearby was howling and crying in the most horrible way. Kept waking me up. All I could guess is that its a mother cat and it spent most of the night fighting off rats who wanted the kittens. A really disturbing sound. If it was the sound of some cats mating it sure sounds like a painful ordeal. I gotta get out of this building soon.

Feeling out of sorts this morning. Didn't sleep well at all with all the noise from the neighbors and the yowling cat. On the way to get some chai I ran into Uttalan. He's a really nice Italian guy and I'm helping him get some big sacks for his seva work. We spoke for a few moments and his friendliness, smile and good nature really helped me feel better. A little smile and friendliness can work wonders here at the ashram! This is a good lesson for me. Amma is often testing us, triggering various kinds of stress. Sharing a nice, friendly moment with someone really helps me navigate the stress tests.

I went to the Indian canteen this morning to get a hit of chai. I clearly say to the Indian man making the chai "No sugar." He nods, but just to be sure I say again "No sugar!" He nods and proceeds to fill my cup with regular chai with the usual sugar. I roll my eyes towards the heavens. Jeez. I get his attention and look him in the eyes "Please. No sugar!" He gives me a blank look for a few seconds and then smiles and says in a very heavy accent "Without sugar?" "Yes. Yes." I reply. He makes a no sugar chai in another cup and then tries to take my cup to throw out the sweet chai. I grab my cup and indicate for him to pour the no sugar chai on top of the sweet chai. Why throw away perfectly good chai? I say a quick food prayer over my chai and then proceed to get a nice sugar and caffeine buzz. When I get back to my room I put a few rupees in the jar where I save money for all the insulin I'll be buying in the future if I don't watch it. For the most part I've stopped drinking sweet chai. At the compost area I gave them a separate flask to bring me unsweetened chai.

I had a nice talk with Chirandu this morning. I met him in the laundry area and we shared a few jokes. Then he asked how I was doing and I said "Pretty good but having some challenges. Amma's testing me and, as usual, I'm flunking most of the tests." He then in a very kind way asked me if I wanted to share the details. I said "Sure." and we sat down and I told him about my troubles with the loud and unfriendly Indian neighbors. He listened well and asked a few questions. Felt really nice to have him listen. He's a real gem.

I went to dinner at about 8:30pm and saw Mukhunda talking with Peter Ash (the guy who started the composting here). Peter had arrived about an hour ago and had just finished dinner. Mukhunda was very happy to have Peter back. We had a nice quick talk and then Peter went off to check in at the Admin Ofiice.

After dinner I had a nice long chat with Antara. She said she was feeling some small residual depression and we spoke for a long time about spiritual practice, dealing with difficult emotions and our connection with Amma. She said that that morning she took a risk and opened up to one of her roommates (a young German girl about 22 yrs old). Antara said that the German girl was very kind and wise. She was surprised at the wisdom in such a young girl, and that their talk really helped to lift the depression.

No comments: