18 July, 2010

A Hug ...Full of Stories

While preparing dinner, my friend played great jazz, and made a fresh margarita for me. I was I missing my partner, so I said yes to just one glass. We were joking and carrying on about his birthday party last week, he called two friends to join us. When through with the call, he said add that “mojo” spice I used last week on his midnight pizzas to the chard I was cooking. A little tipsy from the margarita, I did not notice that while I unscrewed the top, taking with it the other part , and dumped a hell of a lot in the pan...oops. I said what the hell, what’s a little spice in our life. We laughed. My friend grabbed spoon, and washed several spoonfuls of hot onions under water in the sink and put them back in the hot pan. We got at least half out, but knew it would be a spicy kick that no one would suspect in one of the galettes we were assembling for our dinner. It would lie over the beets and cheese. We were in stitches, and I gave him a quick hug. He said, “What is that for?”

How do you connect with friends not on a spiritual path? Just enjoy the time spent with them. So, I replied, “just a thank you.”
I could not begin to tell him adequately what happened last Sunday, when I went to the Nun’s vihara for pujas and meditation. After the Pali chant, a meditation, and a reading from a book. We all took a walk on the beach, and the nun, Anandabodhi grabbed a vase full of water from the shrine. She told me that they and others are praying on the water from the ocean and putting it back every few days. I said a great idea and I was amazed I had not heard of it. “Would I like to carry it?” I said, “Sure!” Telling me that when I get to the ocean, to not just dump it back in, but also walk in the water, collect your thoughts, praying for all the people involved and the suffering animals. Holding in your mind the fact that we are 70-75% water and our connection, while the ocean caresses your skin. Then mindfully put in back, wishing it health, and then say a prayer, later picking up some fresh vase full. Picking up some loose seaweed nearby to add, and the nun added a handful of sand to the water. A fellow temple member took the vase from my hands to carry back. We were walking back, me carrying up the rear because I wanted to stop at my car to grab a cloth to wipe the sand from my damp feet. Not wanting to track back it into the vihara.

All of a sudden a woman came out of nowhere towards me. “Can you give me a ride home?” I could smell the alcohol on her breath, so I was a bit perplexed but could tell she was little distressed. She needs me rings in my head. Hearing this Anandabodhi turned around and was watching this. I just said, “Sure,” while thinking this will be weird ending to the evening. With my brain injury and the confusion around, I dropped my key, and was looking for it….using the time to assess what I was getting myself into. I am pretty good with figuring out people’s intentions. The woman was relieved, and then Anandabodhi said to the woman from afar, “That man is upstanding,” giving me the good nuns seal of approval. I was tickled and smiled and said, “Well, Goodbye and thank you.”

I found my key, unlocked her door, and then went around to my side. She was saying thank you to me in the car, as I started it and turned on the heat and got out my ipod. Connecting it, I put on some nice soothing music, new Bakti from Jai Uttal. The woman told me where she lived, and I drove her home, with nice chanting playing, to relax her some, while my passenger sang to the chant. She gradually got relaxed enough to tell me a few things, allowing us to connect like a scene out of Night on Earth. I did not pry and she did not tell why she was down at the ocean at night. I just talked about how important the nuns are, and a spiritual path and telling her said she stop by to say hi. We talked all the way to her house, ending with a hug. That same hug I shared with my friend later.

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