After climbing up the hill to the "man on the hill," I hung a sack of fruit on his door. Just as I turned to walk away, he opened the door, looked at the sack, and looked at me with a big grin on his face. Cool! No anger or throwing of fruit to the wild animals, (even thought that would have been okay too.) I had checked with Gurudev about protocal for greetings of people in orange robes and he suggested to go with the feeling in my heart--hands clasped together were fine and on the ground pranam if my heart desired. Hands clasped together made sense in the moment; I didn't have the same feeling as I do for Gurudev. Actually, I haven't met any orange-robed beings that I have had the same feeling.
He invited me in, but I was thinking baby steps, so I thanked him and started my walk down the hill to begin my morning run. As I was walking along the path, I turned to look back and felt the urge to pranam to the experience. How lovely to experience an offering to someone without expectation, strings, or anything other than kindness and how lovely to have someone receive it with kindness, no strings, and no expectations. The experience was felt from the new inner alter as something tranquil and clear--no scratchiness. Tears of gratitude and that energy experience that appears to come with these moments was the physical response. How cool to experience what appears to be a true renunciate walking the talk, living alone on the hill, and living in some sort of focus on the Divine. As a beginner on the path and one submerged in the western culture, it is awesome to experience this lifestyle choice. I was thinking I could sign up for it, but something tells me that isn't going to happen.
What a life lesson to experience something that simple. It felt like I spent the day in the Divine car wash. No thorns for the day and experiencing an exchange from the other side of the door--a new perspective. Living outside one's normal routine and comfort zone generates the most remarkable learning opportunities.
It appears that I am back on the learning schedule where I experience something and then I read about it. Opened the book to these thoughts today:
"God, Guru, and Self are only different forms of the same."
"So long as you think you are the individual you believe in God, On worshiping God, God appears to you as Guru. On serving Guru He manifests as the Self."
Sri Ramana Maharshi