Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009 11 21. Saturday.

Had another meeting of the Communication Skills Group; just Rachel and I. Nicolas is still traveling. Someone told me he went from Sai Baba's ashram to Tiruvanamilai, the city in the state of Tamil Nadu where the holy mountain Arunanchula is. Arunanchula is believed by many to be the form of Lord Shiva on Earth. I went there back in 2006 and did circumambulations around the mountain, which is one of the traditional ways of worshiping Shiva and receiving His blessings. Ramana Maharshi, a very well known Hindu Advaita sage, lived there for many years until he left his body in 1950. Since then his ashram has been a popular spiritual destination for many westerners. Some westerners advertise their spiritual teachings there in the tradition of Ramana Maharshi. When I was there I saw about 3 different notices for advaita satsangs (spiritual teachings) being offered by different westerners. A wonderful mix of cultures!

Rachel and I shared what's been happening for each of us. Not much happening for me emotionally. Things continue to be kind of quiet and peaceful. The usual little things trigger me but nothing major. Afterwards we spoke about the importance of not making assumptions and examining assumptions in our friendships and close relationships. We both shared examples of how assumptions can create difficulties in relationships. Rachel has been practicing a lot with the Byron Katie inquiry process called "The Work". It's a very powerful and simple process for directly questioning any thoughts that are in argument with reality. Byron Katie emphasizes that when we argue with reality we lose. . . always. Her first book is called "Loving What Is" which is a good summary of her core message. Check out for details on the process. Good stuff. Byron Katie had a very sudden and fascinating spiritual awakening in a California home for the mentally ill. A great story.

Had a very nice talk with Yuri at lunch. We were just chatting about various things and he shared some difficult challenges he had during his recent visit to his family. Turns out he has some difficult family dynamics very similar to the ones in my family. Lots of striking congruences. As he shared about the difficulties I totally understood and I shared about the same things in my family. As either one shared the other would just nod their head in agreement and understanding. Yuri and I have lots in common and a similar outlook on life. And we're both crazy about the watery rice!

To my family: I'm happy to share the details of the "family dynamics" mentioned above. Just sign a standard "hold harmless and full legal indemnification" form, get it notarized and fax it to me. . . (smile!) After I get all the forms I'll reveal all the juicy details! Or at least my version of the story which will likely be short on accuracy but definitely highly entertaining. ( grin )

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