Amma led a group meditation on the beach last night and then gave a talk afterwards. Nix fired off a sly shot of Amma during the talk before one of the attendees told her off - behold the mighty square image to the left. The gist of the Satsang was the importance of gratitude. She said that to have gratitude towards all things at all times is a very high state to be in, but as most of us are not in that state permanently we need to practice regular Sadhana to help us get there. I have felt the most gratitude I have felt in my life whilst in India. If I could reach that state permanently that would be rather groovy. At the moment though, I am happy (and grateful ;)) to have experienced these temporary waves of gratitude during our journey. Temporary gratitude is better than none at all ;)
Today Amma led another meditation in the Bhajan Hall, gave a further talk and then offered Prasad to all present. Today’s talk was on the importance of dress code. Somebody had given Amma a letter expressing concern about Westerners’ dressing inappropriately in the Ashram. I told Nix she shouldn’t have worn the g-string to Bhajans yesterday night, but she just wouldn’t listen.... Personally I think dress code is a minor and arbitrary topic to broach with Amma, but obviously the asker was worried about it. I used the time to get up and do my table cleaning Seva whilst listening to the answer given. In a nutshell, Amma said that whilst a dress code is helpful in an ashram, nobody should be made to feel bad for wearing what is deemed inappropriate and that tact and kindness should be used if it is necessary to speak to people about the subject. She also inferred that if it was all too much for the person viewing the transgression, they should simply close their eyes.
As Amma sat in the Bhajan Hall eating her lunch after she had given out plates of food to everyone else first, I fought the urge to walk up to where she was sitting and give her a big hug. I would have probably been taken down by a neurotic attendant before I had the chance to complete the hug anyway. I have to say I think Amma is a very special human being. Nix and I are both grateful to have the opportunity to be in her presence. We like her way – she is always the same, smiling and present. That constant sameness of being is a pretty good indicator of having moved beyond body and mind. Big up all Amma massive and crew, even the OCD ones. There are some unusual Ashramites at Amritapuri, and I’m reminded of a conversation with Stephan in Tiruvannamalai - some people who are seen as mentally unbalanced in their home countries are often seen as touched by God in India ;) But then again, what is “balanced”? And as Krishnamurti rightly said, there is nothing good about being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. India is an ideal place for challenging fixed views – so much goes on here that is way beyond the scope of our Western constructs.... So maybe the unusual Ashramites are mentally unstable, maybe they are touched by the Divine, maybe both, maybe neither.... Either way it’s just another challenge to my judgemental mind, which ultimately is all for my benefit.