Monday, December 29, 2008


My Great Friend was given the job of escorting the VIP’s to their destinations in the Ashram. It was a perfect job due to the fact that she had never seen the Ashram before and had no clue where anything was. She took the job willingly and spent most of the days working harder to find work then actually working. The Ego driven people that she was working for would her her in various places for no reason and tell her to do things and take care of things that they could have easily taken care of on their own. I watched as she surrendered to the whole process. Honestly, she handled the nonsense of the Ashram hierarchy with such grace and ease that I was completely shocked. Maggie has been known to be highly reactive and instead she silently took the blows until the very last day, when she had had enough. She walked straight up to the woman running her part of the Seva, handed her the badge and said, I am finished with this work, you can do it yourself. With joy in my heart, I reveled in her growth and honored her for taking a stance. There was no reason for her to take any abuse from these people as she willingly gave her time to HELP. Some people just do not know how to deal with people, that is probably why they are still in the Ashram. I believe people are put in these alternate realities to learn how to deal with the realities of life. By no means do I see the life in the Ashram as real life. It is more like a fabricated version of reality in which certain hardships and real life situations are skewed so that the person in the situation can have a trial run on how to deal with a real-life situation. Then, when the actual situation comes to them in life, they will be prepared for the real world. It is like a mock world training ground for those in serious need. It serves it’s purpose completely for most, for others, they end up stuck in a factitous reality in which they try to convince everyone from the outside world that the only reality in life is in the Ashram. I actually remember a time when I was almost convinced of that, not having seen any part of India yet. If I would have been talked into this facticous reality, I would have never had the opportunity to explore the depth and sanctity of this great land and more importantly, I would have not been able to think for myself!!!

So, most of the duties that were assigned to me were taken away completely when I arrived back to the Ashram. I took them as they came and did my best to be available for whatever was needed. Mainly, I just became a calm and serene voice for people to bounce their anger off of. I had 2 performances on the 31st. One was during the day in the lunch room and the other, the big performance that we had been planning for, would take place that evening.

The first night’s performances were completely blessed. There was a man that did live painting to the sounds of classical Indian Music. The woman’s voice echoed into our souls and cried out for our hearts. She was as beautiful in form as in her ethereal voice. Entranced, I took a seat as close as possible lunged myself into her spirit. MMMMM.

That evening, I would rest up for the big day tomorrow. Sushma and the crazy crew had a quick rehearsal but were stopped short as our privacy was destroyed by the exiting of the Guru. Each night you can witness hundreds of people waiting outside the gate for Guruji to exit his temporary quarters. It is quite a site to see. It is devotion like you can never imagine. A few times I have gone over for my own touch of his pure essence and a few other times I have played my guitar close enough for him to hear it. Every time was a wonderfully emotion filled experience. It is like the experience you get when you come into close contact with a rock star. Your heart builds with vigor and anticipation only because of our mental concept that this person is greater then we are. When Ego drops, touching a rock-star or Guru is the same as touching the perfect buds of a blossoming flower. When the ego drops, everything becomes Divine and there is no seperation. Much much harder to experience then to talk about.

The next morning I woke up and was immediately in preparation for the day. Knowing that a friend of mine was in the space of illness I knew that I was going to have to be the soul provider of energy flow for my first performance which was taking place at 12:30PM. I dressed im my best as I was going to be the entertainment for the lunch hour for the conference. Being that 99.9 percent of the attendees were Indian, I dressed in a Kurta and cleaned up for the affair. The lunch performance one particular experience that has been a reflection of my time here in India. Again, I was faced with the opportunity to remain in the backdrop of things and create a space for the audience. For 2 hours, this is exactly what we did. Groups of people filed in through the doors to the right and were astonished by the two Foreign Fellows guiding their lunch hour with pure, honest English tunes that they could not understand. In my natural way, I made up vast amounts of lyrics on the spot pertaining to the conference itself and I made sure that I spoke on how grateful I was to see India making a change in their ways. The crowd was one that mirrored the crowd at my last Corporate Job. They listened respectfully with no reaction or inkling of joy. They sat 4 or 5 tables away from the sound system, leaving an uncomfortable space in front of the stage that ended up being filled by a few of my close friends fromt the Ashram. Finally, toward the end of the blessed offering, Ale and I opened up the floodgates and I began to beatbox and Ale began to play his mouth like a drum. Within a few moments, we were surrounded by curious Indians whom wondered simply, what the hell was that. We finished in challenging them in a sing along, but were only mildly honored in this matter. Afterward, we were rewarded with one of the most succulant offerings of Indian Food I have had in all my stay in India. There were close to 10 dishes strewn about in which we had unlimited amounts of. My belly became full to the point of bursting before I would put down the plate. It was a emotion stabalizer as the evenings event was lurking in the shadows, lightly prepared and socially unacceptable, in this culture. Sushma, Tarik and I did have a chance to run through the sequence one last time before the performance.

Not only was our performance of modern dance and music going to shake up the audience beyond their confort zones of movement, we chose to perform at the back edge of the Ampitheater under the large, enchanting tree. Another great reason was to take the focus off of the master for a short period of time so that the performance could be enjoyed without the constant distraction of his captivating presence. Our mission to accomplish this woud be quite tricky. When Guruji was done speaking, we had to completely lure the crowds attention to the back of the ampitheater, away from the master. Now, if you have ever been to an Ashram before in you life, you know that pulling any attention away from the master requires a great a mount of force and charisma. On this night, Sushma’s pure Feminine Power took my breath away. When the time came for the offering of grace, the crowd maintained their focus directly on the Guru and only about 10 percent of them had turned to face the back of the Theater. Almost instantly, I heard a voice come on the microphone that had such deep power and gusto, that is completely resonated into the bones of my body. The voice was confident, the voice was luscious, the voice was subtley demanding, the voice was Sushma’s. She took it upon herself to caress the crowd into a space in which she honored Guruji in the same breath as luring the attention away from him. From his seat, it was almost impossible to see the back of the Theater, so we actually requested that he come from the bottom of the theater to the top, this action fell short as he ended up exiting well before the middle portion of the performance and just before our offering. In my mind, all day and night I had anticipated singing this spacious song of pure consciousness directly to the ears of this Divine master. When he left, I found myself dumbfounded in rejection and I immediately became a slave to my EGO. How could he leave when someone is offering something to him like this? How could he have the nerve to let us down like this?? No Master would ever leave in the middle of a performance. Well, this master would, and, I am sure that he did for all the right reasons. For the next 10 minutes leading into my solo performance, I played the role of the backdrop completely consumed by my own thwarting desires. Half of the crowd had left and my self confidence had fallen by the waistside. I had let a circumstance destroy my centeredness and there was no stopping at that point. Finally, when my cue came to enter the stage and perform the song, I gracefully walked out into the crowd. Instantly, I heard the feeble sounds of gentle murmuring and snickering that sunk deep into my state of consciousness. As I sounded my first chords and began to open my voice to the sky, the light snickering became full bellied laughing. I felt like a child in the 5th grade performing Amazing Grace to the student Body and this performance was my first ever. I began the song and maintained a sence of presence due to my long career in public performances, but internally, I was weakened and those who knew me best, could read my fear like a billboard ad. When I moved from the D chord to the G, the world fell out from underneath my seat. 2000 plus witness a guitar that was completely out of tune!! So now the mind is really going. I had to completely rearrange the song so that it would not include any notes from the low E string. Not only was I in a state now, but I was also linked together with Sushma and Tarik as they performed a dance piece over the music. I stared at them, finding any way to connect in my state of pure disconnect. They saved my life. They moved with complete purity to the fumbled version of the song that I displayed. Somehow, I survived this prolific EGO meltdown.

I held onto the emotions of the mixup for about an hour after the show, trying to prove myself to everyone and let them know that my guitar had gone out of tune. To think back at this point, it was one of the magical moments in which we all must go through as performers in this life. We take ourselves so GOD DAMN SERIOUSLY and we must not. I know that in my own performance, I would have sang about my misfortune, but in this ride, I had to live through this and perform the song in as much purity as I could maintain, because, this was not my performance, this was a collective art piece. If I would have gone on with my banter, they would have been thrown into oblivion and dismay, this time, I could not think about myself, I had to go with the group. The funniest part is, nobody really knew of my struggle, nobody knew of my pain and most people thought it was amazing!! I guess that is the power of seasoned performers. Even when the cards are drawn and we have seen our defeat from the beginning of the hand, we can still maintain that face that drives the others to surrender to our hand. The whole experience shaped my days, for days!!

Afterward, I buried the emotion in more fried food then was tolorable and went to bed ill. What an evening!!!

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