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Thread: Happy, Happy, Happy!

  1. #1
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    Happy, Happy, Happy!

    Namaste,

    Happy summer solstice.
    Happy International Yoga Day.
    Happy Father's Day to all the fathers (and to their families too).

    Pranam.

  2. #2

    Re: Happy, Happy, Happy!

    Namaskāra everyone!

    I was at my Temple all day yesterday and a good part of today. We had abhiśekams, pūjās, high school graduation pūjās, music and dance performances (yesterday), and today, we had yoga class, an abhiśekam, a pūjā, a Father's Day arti (when I thought about my Dad, gone to another life for a long time now), and of course, we had prasādam on three occasions. Wonderful weekend. Even though I'm the only white I have seen there, I felt like I was home, there was hardly a sense of feeling I was an outsider or an imposter. It's where I need to be. I have enjoyed the people's company very much. On Saturday morning, I volunteered in the kitchen for two hours, preparing the first prasādam.

    It is a world's different from what I see in this world and the western world. Completely different. Praṇāma for giving me the opportunity to post this here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Happy, Happy, Happy!

    Namaste,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. There is a sense of serenity in your post; a rare commodity in today's world. Hope things continue to improve for you.

    Pranam.

  4. #4

    Re: Happy, Happy, Happy!

    Namaskāra Believer,

    While at temple both days, I could see the level of development and confidence in knowledge in a "human civilizational" sense, (hard to explain; I just knew I saw something there in the people that I do not see in non-Dharmis). It was a humbling experience to watch people interact with each other, parents chastising children in an intelligent way (for running around in the temple or being loud during abhiśekam or pūjā). I compare this experience with say, a Christian congregation (which I have seen in my aunt's family upon a visit one time), and it's completely different. Something is just not there. At my temple, I felt much more at home and completely willing to participate in most of the procedures of both activities (one I didn't do was because you had to buy a ticket to support the abhiśekam in order for the priest to come to you with a basket of cut flowers, holding it in front of you while you have your hands on top of the basket, and listening to the priest say something, and you respond quickly to what he says, back and forth, back and forth). This, I could not do in my own aunt's church. Too much baggage and clash with my own beliefs.

    I was even able to read along in the chant book written in IAST because all I had to do to keep my place was to look at the first syllable of a person chanting clearly, compare three of four instances of the utterance on the page, and watch the first syllable of the second part of the couplet, find it, and watch the next syllable of the beginning of the next couplet, and eventually, I would find my place. Sometimes, I would notice people moving from one page to the next. I would keep myself in track this way. When I saw a simpler word at the beginning of a couplet, I would try to say it. It is amazing to see some people chanting over 100 couplets without reading anything!

    Reflecting upon it this morning, it's made me painfully aware of my place and situation within western civilization. It's a dangerous one. I'm approaching 50 without much in the way of viable trade skills or job experience at them. I wish I had access to someone with familiarity with my situation and yet understanding of varṇāśrama to help advise as to what to do next that has meaning rather than taking a job at WalMart to survive, which is what a lot of people do. I had a dream this morning in that I had gone back to work at a camping/outdoor store, and the first recall was I had a mesh bag full of thin, very light sleeping bags to sell, and I was going around in the store, advertizing that I had sleeping bags to sell. I believe I was asked how much they were. I didn't know the price, so I took one package out to find a tag, which didn't have the price on it. I went to a scanner on a wall, and by the time I got ready to scan it, the man who followed me (young white man with not-fully-mature jawline beard and a whisper of a mustache) said something like, "You know, you're not good at this job. Your customer has already left." I was bewildered by the experience, and I had considered taking off my vest (which salespeople wear on the floor) and just walking out the door. I had woken up at that point.

    I don't know what to do at this point except two things. Take up the offer to learn sewing skills this summer, and getting a job offer this fall to work with one of the vendors at faires for sewing, or failing that, surrender myself to my temple or somewhere where I can do seva for the rest of my life. Fact is, I've got 20-30 years of life left, if not more. I've gone through the process of bottoming out and realizing that something fundamental has to change, and that is civilization and the way it handles its people with disabilities has to change. Right now, it doesn't have the resources to help me deal with this phenomenon/sensation of not knowing what to do with my life and not feeling like I want to do it for western civilization. This isn't the world I had envisioned, America attacking and getting involved in domestic affairs of other countries, America existing at all (meaning it's based on theft of land, fauna, and flora from Native Americans in addition to genocide and cultural destruction), and countries fighting one another because of their exclusive, history-centric, geo-centric tendencies, among other things.

    Maybe what I have seen so far at temple is only the "best foot forward" of Sanatanis, who probably have baggage of their own that I'm not aware of. It would be like dying at the end of this life and being reborn a Sanātani, and hating it and wishing I was white and affluent instead (maybe I did that some lifetimes ago and was born in this life for that purpose, to realize the issues and baggage that comes with being white). But at any rate, what I saw at temple was something I could live with, completely. Rather than solidarity with your own kind by seeking out your Christian denomination at all costs, I could see the people's willingness to participate in the different abhiśekams, to be inclusive and respectful to the different sampradāyas. It meant I could do the same thing, too.

    I could also see that the people I think I haven't seen before noticed me right away, wondering why I was there. And the people I have seen almost every weekend so far have warmed up to me.

    I'm reflecting on all this in the calm after the whirlwind of activity of the past two days. I'm at a point where I'm not sure I want to do any serious reading today, just simply reflecting and contemplating on the experience.

    Praṇāma

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