She used to see sunrises when she was a teen; she would wait by the river, to see the sky break through grey, blue and magenta. The anticipation was palpable until the sun slowly rose, she would then give in to slumber until the warm glow upon her face would wake her anew.
My friend shares her days upon her visit at the ashram in Amritapuri in Kerala, India, where Amma and her devotees reside. Perhaps September will be a time for me to consider since it may rain but it is also cooler. If you want to read more on Karuna’s journey in India, click on the above tab on the Menu INDIA.
My Daily Challenges for Spiritual Growth: Today, I seek guidance.
in my mind’s eye
asking her guidance
I wait…it will come, I know
I spent a good part of my first days at the ashram setting up my room. That included unpacking the suitcase I brought from Seattle and the items in the small trunks I keep here year round. I washed the clothes from the trunks in buckets. That task was made considerably harder since I couldn’t wring out the clothes with only one hand, my non-dominant hand at that. I knew I could choose to use a laundry service, but clothes dry so fast here that I prefer to do it myself. Luckily, I was in India not Seattle. I could press the items on the washing stone in my bathroom and get out a lot of the excess water. And in India, the clothes and towels would drip dry in a reasonable amount of time even though they were not rung out properly.
I witnessed an act of kindness and an act of consciousness today. My heart fills with such joy and love it is bursting at the seams and the only way to establish some equilibrium to continue my shift at work, I am writing this narrative. This will be my offering to Karuna’s challenge on Love.
Today I was waiting for the bus and it was bitter cold with the winds felt like minus 20; I held my hood under my chin squinting now and then to see if the bus was turning the corner soon. A young man was walking towards me and stooped to pick a plastic bottle on the road in front of me. He went on his way with two items in his left hand. I looked at him in awe! If we all did this regularly, wouldn’t our world be cleaner? brighter? prettier? What an environmentally conscious person this was!!
Later I received a phone call from a young man who wanted advice on how to help a homeless teen he had met on the street. It certainly is NOT a day to be panhandling on the street for anyone today. He was concerned for this young person and wanted to know if there were shelters I could recommend. I suggested he try Covenant House since youths can stay up to three months and counsellors on staff might be able to help this youth settle into housing and get support. I also recommended our phone service since our phone lines were free and anonymous. Any information shared with us would never be reported since we do not have call display on our phones and we cannot trace calls either. All a youth has to do is dial from any public pay phone and it’s free and open 24/7.
I could not help but thank this caller for being so compassionate and generous he was for helping this youth and offering to bring him to get a hot meal. He said, it was just part of his training in advocating for youths. But I disagreed because this innate, it is not learned…compassion was part of who he was.
I am filled with so much love seeing people around me who are so giving and conscious on how we are all interconnected.
thrives like an epidemic
love has no borders
To scratch an itch is certainly a need although one may feel wanting, filled with the urge to scratch. If you’ve ever had chicken pox, measles or hives, you will get my drift here (smiles) But what changes a want to a need? I am sure the answer is quite subjective as I think of my past desire to meet the famous hugging saint, Amma, (Mata Amritanandamayi) but once I did experience her warm embrace at a retreat, it did change me more than I had ever imagined.
wanting heart, a saint’s embrace kissed my soul my needs fulfilled
We also hear that there is no greater love than love for self. I find I love myself more and more when I love others, when I can help others. There must be some meaning in this for look at anyone in the world who lives a life of serving. I am far from such a person, being still selfish in many ways and content with my North American comforts. But look around at anyone who you’ve seen helping others. The smile of compassion and satisfaction is ever present on their faces. The image of Amma comes to mind again when I see her smiling at her devotees, even after sixteen hours in a crowded room.
compassion’s longings serving yields such precious gems intrinsic needs met
Reading Karuna’s post on the use of plastic straws, at Living Learning and Letting Go made me think about how I behave in regards to recycling; if I am at home I will actually put a straw in the dishwasher even though I have tons in the pantry for company especially my grandson. And yet, old habit die hard I suppose since they are plastic and not paper, my grandmother never EVER wasted anything. So some habits from way back when have not died. Now that does not mean I am a model for recycling…oh no, I am not but I do try.
straws adding to clutter mindboggling
adding to clutter plastic cups, stereo foam plates fundraiser cocktail
mindboggling non-profits host a show Mother Nature weeps
We still have a long way to go. Last week we had a cocktail for a major corporate sponsor. The food was delicious but OMG, but the use of these fancy plastic miniature containers was mindboggling…at least we put them in the recycling bin…but still.