dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

seeing Amma for the second time

Yesterday we went to see Amma.  We left here at 6:45 hoping to get there at 8, but there were traffic jams and a wrong turn.  So we got there at 9, which was okay.

It was my second time at Amma's ashram in San Ramon.  But last time I didn't even know about the pond.  Yesterday I spent a lot of time at the pond, which has swans in it.  I also saw great blue herons, a wood duck, a coot, and something that I think was a kingfisher, but I didn't get a good look.

This time was different with Ming.  Last time I carpooled with church friends but felt alone.  This time I was very much with Ming.  "Do you want to get our hug together or separately?" he asked me.

"I didn't even know you knew we could get our hug together," I told him.  At first I said separately, greedy for my own hug.  But then I changed my mind.  "Then it would be like our relationship was being blessed," I said.

Our tokens said K3.  I was by the pond when Amma arrived so didn't see her arrive.  When I was there years ago, I saw her car drive up and saw her smiling face in the window, just like in the pictures, and it was a joy to see her.

This time, like going to the Sacred Peace Walk for the second time, I felt less dazzled, a little detached, as if protecting myself from the intensity.

When Ming and I were hugged, Ming was grabbed first.  She spoke mantras in his ear.  Then I was grabbed, and she held me to her and spoke mantras in my ear too.  Workers threw flower petals and gave me a hershey's kiss.  Later I saw that they'd marked Ming's forehead with a bindi, but they didn't mark mine.  It was all fast.  They try to get you in and out of there. 

Afterward I was happy.  We got our shoes and bags.  Oh, I forgot to say I bought myself a necklace.  It's made of tulsi and cost $3.  It's tan or light brown and looks like something I would wear.  We thought about buying a tulsi plant as well, for ourselves or someone else, but in the end, we decided not to.

Driving out of the ashram, we were asked if we would give a ride to some Indian devotees.  I gave the front seat to the older of the two.  It's hard, climbing in and out of the back seat.  We talked--the younger of the two was named Chandra.  "Like moon?" I asked.  He said yes and seemed happy--Chandra means moon.  He and his traveling companion were both doctors.  He asked if we were coming back for the 8 o'clock program, but I said no, we were heading home.

So then we went to Berkeley for a late lunch.  We met Ming's mom at the restaurant, and it was good to talk.  She told us about her recent trip to England, Ireland, and Wales. 

Oh, I forgot to say there's a labyrinth, and we walked the labyrinth together.  No one else was around.  It was a little walk to get there.  I left pennies at the center and we kissed.


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