Sunday, November 8, 2009

2009 11 08. Sunday.

They were late bringing the Indian breakfast, so I sent to the western canteen to get some breakfast there. I grabbed some food and sat down with a group of people at a table. I was just enjoying my meal listening to their talk. The man next to me finished his meal and had an extra small banana that he offered to me. Now here at the ashram many westerners like to feed bananas to the elephants. So, as a joke, I put my nose near the banana and said "Let me see if I can grab it with my nose." The man totally didn't get the joke and just looked at me like I was nuts. The New Zealand lady across from me totally got the joke and started laughing loudly. She thought it was just hilarious. I explained the joke to the man and he smiled weakly, not very amused. The lady continued laughing for a few more minutes and we riffed some more on the theme of feeding the elephants, and then chatted about other topics. I finished my breakfast and went over to the Indian line to get a little more and sit quietly by myself. It was interesting to notice that although joking around with the New Zealand lady was fun, it also stirred up my mind. It took me a little while to dissipate the agitated energy created by the laughter and joking around. I kept replaying the scene in my mind. Usual old habits. Incidents like this show me how I feel more centered and at ease when I do less casual socializing and spend more time by myself.

I always enjoy dialogs where I really feel I'm connecting with another person in an honest and safe way. But I'm usually not comfortable with a lot of casual conversation. I think my sensitive nature is a little on edge when I don't know for sure where the other person is at emotionally.

There was a fight in the compost area today. Ouch. I was talking with someone at one end of the compost area after the work was done and we hear a commotion at the other end. I see two of the regular Indian compost helpers (both young men) wrestling and throwing punches. Mukhunda (one of the yellows and a pretty powerful guy), ran over and broke it up. Then there was a shouting match with Mukhunda speaking forcefully and trying to settle them down. Seeing the fight definitely threw me off center. I have a hard time watching any kind of violence, makes me queasy and anxious. I grew up watching violent movies and TV shows and never thought twice about it. Then when I was about 24 or 25 I was watching "The Terminator" movie with some friends and for some reason the violence in that movie really threw me off. From that day on I totally stayed away from violent media. Maybe at that time some part of my brain got to a certain stage of development. During my childhood, there was a lot of shouting and yelling in the house and I think this had the effect of making me emotionally sensitive in some ways. Maybe because of all the totally dysfunctional communication in my childhood home I'm now keenly interested in exploring healthy communication.

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