|Lily pond under reconstruction so finding other flower models--gift to Gurudev from a disciple|
I found myself a bit crabby after walking down the street to the ashram and getting honked at twice in such a short distance. Isn't it possible to ever walk anywhere in India without getting honked at or hear honking? I wasn't even walking in the road, but they want to make sure you know that they are coming. Yes, it is better than getting hit.... Obviously the ego was activated in some way. I had already had the water shut off three times while I was taking a shower, I ruined my coffee milk by adding the coffee at a different time so curdled the milk, and had a new squeak start on my exercise bike. None of them life threatening, but the ego was awake. I have already lowered my expectations for cleanliness, quiet, and fresh air to the lowest standard that I have ever had in this lifetime, so now what? Does this mean eliminating any and all expectations? Can one live without any expectations? Will there be joy in life? Seeing a thread of attachment.
After sitting in the ashram for a bit and regaining tranquil composure, I started to wonder if it was actually possible to have this same sense of inner peace in the city. I have had extended moments, but my ego wanted to know if it was really worth the work. Obviously, I needed to make another circle around to examine expectations. Narrowing my questions down to one, I asked Gurudev if it was possible. Of course, I was hoping he would say no, but I doubted that would be the response. Yes calmly came from this unblinking being. I had already organized my plan of attack if the answer was yes. so I ran it by him to clarify my homework.
Expectation + Expectation not met = pain/separation
No Expectation = no pain from Expectation not being met
*Clarify action: Mind is a chalkboard, keep wiping off ANY thought of design/expectation
*I asked if people living in the slums have a lower expectation, so less pain. In principle yes except for the addition of materialism, desire, etc. getting loaded into their environment. Gurudev talked about growing up in a village that didn't have clocks, cars, phones, etc. He said it was so pure and so beautiful. The only periodic twinge was for food. I didn't go onto ask about respect for women, environment, and animals. The thought of the serene village where he cooked food out on a boat in a river was a pleasant place to leave it. Besides, the homework around keeping my mental chalkboard clear was plenty.
I am not trying to change India, I am only trying to find a way to be in it (the world/hospital) without pain. I know where my pain spots are at home, but I didn't have my new tool kit clear enough. He also confirmed that as a foreigner, growing up in abundance, materialism, high standard of living, etc. the challenge to eliminate expectations/mental designs is not easy. Possible, but not often easy. The mind has to be open/willing. (Although, it could be easy--just let go. People give up cigarettes cold turkey, so why not mental expectations? Making a mountain into a molehill! Gurudev Rocks!)