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Lanka - "I am one with everything around me."

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"I am one with everything around me."

Today after lunch I retired to my room to do this and that. There was a scratch at the door, and it slowly opened. Through the opening dark, deep, brown Indian eyes peeked in for permission to enter. Tejpal, the 24-year-old law student, Babaji devotee who picked me up at the airport in designer jeans, wanted to talk. He sat on the floor at my feet so I got down with him on the mat and we chatted like old pals about this and that. He had prepared some poems and wanted to share them with me:

"The best kind of friend
Is one with whom you
Sit on a bench saying
Nothing and when you
Get up and go you feel
You have had the best
Conversation ever."

He asked me if I know what real prayer is. After my lengthy explanation, he politely said "I think real prayer is when you stop for a moment, close your eyes and bring the whole idea of God into your mind. It only takes one second."

I asked him if he prays for anything. "Like what for example?" he asked. "Well for example to be a good person." He looked confused and said that he already was a good person and why would he pray for that. "Oh, but..." he remembered... "I do pray every day for a happy life for all beings and second I pray for a happy life for my mother and father."

It was a perfect ending to an exciting day of being invaded by aggressive monkeys who took my room - hostile take over - while a young 'un held me captive in the women's bathroom. I had to be rescued by the young Indian workers who put down their paint brushes and shovels amidst belly rolling laughter and charged at the monkey troop with hooting and hollering. These were no friendly fur balls. These monkeys had done this before, worked together and knew exactly what they were doing.

"I am one with everything around me."

To calm down, I scrubbed the kitchen floor. My self-appointed seva was met with a mixture of delight and surprise and the question "has Babaji seen you?". When he did see me the next day digging a trench with the workers he came over to supervise a bit and then told me to sit down "that's enough seva for one day" called for a chair and delicious syrupy deep fried Indian bon bons to put an end to my second self-appointed seva. He has a different plan for me. But that's for next message. I am getting ahead of the story. Back to the day before and the outing after the monkeys. Lanka!

So off to Lanka to go shopping for provisions. Imaging Wednesday night market, but do NOT close the streets to traffic. Keep it going and add thousands of bikes, rickshaws, trucks, autos and suspend all rules of driving. Give everyone a horn, bell or whistle and have them honk, ring and shout at the same time...for no apparent reason. Line the sidewalks with extra stalls, shops, makeshift temporary homes, abandoned cars, bikes and impromptu garbage dumps. Throw in twelve cows, several monkeys, turbans, bald heads, saris, wedding processions, street side food preparers and a dozen dogs. Now make the streets about half as narrow and turn up the volume some more and you have got lanka when it is NOT busy. - I have videos to prove it.

Oh by the way, that wedding ceremony, the reception is tonight in the compound next door. The guru advised me not to imagine that sleep will be possible before 3am.

While in lanka I wish I had Tejpal's recipe: I think real prayer is when you stop for a moment, close your eyes and bring the whole idea of god into your mind. It only takes one second.

Next: security at the temple, mcDonalds and Sadanha: discovering a meaningful life -- the true meaning of Seva.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, what a great way to start the week. I love reading these.


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