Sunday, August 23, 2009

2009 08 23. Sunday.

I was going to get some morning chai and the ashram dog suddenly jumped up and snapped at me. It didn't touch me but came pretty close. I was really surprised, a little scared and said "Jeez!" Some western ladies who were sitting nearby said "Wow! That dog just snapped at you!" I don't know what went thru my mind but suddenly I just smiled at the whole situation. Maybe because the ladies expressed concern about me caused me to suddenly feel OK. Normally a dog snapping at me would get me totally angry and create all kinds of revenge thoughts that would run thru my mind for days. A few seconds later I thought that maybe it was a little test from Amma to see if my mind could stay calm. I pass about 1 Amma test out of 5. Not too bad!

I went to get breakfast and both elephants (Ram the male and Lakshmi) were standing side by side in the big hall with people all around them loudly singing a Ganesha bhajan. Ram is a pretty big elephant! Currently there's a big Ganesha holiday happening. The elephants were all decorated very nicely and there were loud drums and horns playing. Happily all the festivities didn't delay breakfast too much. Then people got into a long line to get some prasad. When that line finally got short I jumped in at the end, got my prasad (a sweet laddu and some other sweet stuff), then I jumped back into the breakfast just in time. Padmanu (the gentle and nice Korean guy who gave me a shoulder massage) was saving my place. I gulped down the sweets and got my plate filled with some watery rice and curry. Yum!

Swami Ramakrishna (a senior red-robed swami) was again serving the sambar at lunch today. When he served me I smiled andspontaneously asked him "When can I serve you?" It looked like it took him a split second to understand my question and then he tilted his head back and laughed. Gotta keep the swamis happy; helps the ashram run smoothly. However, he didn't answer my question. Cagey swami...

I spoke with Mukhunda about the noise from my Indian neighbors and what I should do. He was very understanding and listened well. He said the best thing is try and see it as a sadhana and to try and ignore the noise. I'm already trying to do both of those but I felt a lot of wisdom and clarity in his words, so I'll try to follow his advice. My feeling is that Amma would give me the same advice. Felt good talking with him.

An hour later I went back to my room to get cleaned up for dinner. The Indian lady who had told me to "Go back to America" was sitting outside the building. I didn't look at her and sat down to clean the sand off my feet and sandals. She asked my my name. I was feeling cautious so I just said "Advait" without looking at her. She then started asking me some other questions. I responded cautiously and when I glanced at her she had a very nice, welcoming smile. Hmmm. What's going on here? We spoke for a few more minutes and then she said she was sorry about the noise. Wow. Hearing that was a very nice and unexpected surprise. Her mother is living in the same room and is hard of hearing. She also said that its important for some of her chanting to be done in a clear voice so it has the right energy. She acknowledged that the Indians often talk more loudly than westerners and can sometimes make noise during the official quiet hours. We had a nice little chat and I told her that for many many years I lived in places that were always very quiet at night and its difficult when I hear talking while I'm trying to fall asleep. I also told her I spent 2 months in the E building which was very quiet and peaceful. She was understanding and heard my concerns. I also told her I'm taking all the noise in the building as a sadhana and trying to ignore it, although its difficult. I wonder what caused her to suddenly be friendly and understanding when she was so resistant earlier? She said she's lived at the ashram since 1985. Amma is constantly talking about being compassionate and understanding. Maybe it starts to really sink in after a while. I was very pleasantly surprised that she opened up and became friendly. Definitely was not expecting that. Amma's grace can be really wonderful.

I went to my room and wondered if somehow Mukhunda had spoke to the lady? Didn't seem possible cause I don't think Mukhunda knows where I live and I didn't mention the lady's name cause I didn't know it. Also Mukhunda was still at the compost area when I left and had been there the whole time after our talk. A very interesting coincidence. I'll mention more of my problems to Mukhunda. Maybe he has some kind of special Amma's grace in helping to resolve people's issues.

No comments: