On this Boxing Day, day after another Christmas with no tree on which to perch, the Christmas tree top angel, looking more like a fairy godmother, found a dance with Shiva Nataraja and his cohort.
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.
Avilokitesvara– god(dess) of compassion had one head and two arms. Zhe didn’t have enough ears to listen to all the stories of suffering, so one of the buddhas busted one head into eleven. Avilokitesvara’s two arms broke from the weight of helping, but instead of two arms broken and worn out, two arms broke into a thousand arms.
I had a work day full of things that it would not be hard to find annoying. I recognized that the challenge I was having with being at peace with my day was not unrelated to the morning news of us lurching closer to nuclear holocaust than ever before in my lifetime. I took myself to the museum to refresh myself with art–the place I most readily find nourishment and refuge.