Community and Family

thoughts on how we fit into the web of community, family and society

Seva

Today, instead of going with the group to visit a Hanuman temple a couple of valleys away (which entailed at least two hours each way of hairpin turns and going through a construction zone so dusty tying a t-shirt or scarf around my head would be necessary and having almost no opportunity to take care of biological needs), I chose to stay back. I honored the spirit of Hanuman with seva in the form of a morning helping tend the grounds.

In the afternoon I will walk into the village with two others who are in residence here. One a Canadian Indian who is a Kabir scholar, the other a Dutch woman who has been spending a month or two every year for the past decade.

There is a Siva festival going on. It is loud even up here on the hill. I will have my earplugs.

I am appreciating getting to connect to the space and the people who live and serve here in a way that I could not when surrounded by the rest of the group. It was very grounding for me, too, to spend a few hours gardening.

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Prayer

As a nontheist, I’ve not been much called to prayer throughout my life. In these days of social crisis though, in addition to taking concrete action, though not directed at a being, I find myself praying as a mode of personal comforting.

We leave Delhi before dawn tomorrow to go up into the Himalayan hills where we will be meditating and chanting in a place of great beauty.

I’m told there’s WiFi. I will no doubt find myself reading the news, signing petitions, and sending comment letters, as well as posting photos, but perhaps not every day.

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On the Walk Home From Work (Outside the Department of Labor and Across the Street From the Shelter for Those Without Homes)

Thinking about privilege, including the privilege to choose whether to take time away from the conflict and not think about it.  I’m trying to be conscious of that particular privilege whenever I find myself instinctively trying to turn away and then to gather myself from the recognition of my good fortune and reengage.

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