I woke up again last night to the blissful sound of explosions (last night of Pongal meant that the fireworks were in full effect) and couldn’t get back to sleep. My nausea also returned, although it wasn’t as radical as the previous night. When we got up this morning we meditated and went for lemon and ginger tea – the only thing I felt capable of imbibing – before heading to Amma’s Darshan. Stomach cramps and a sore jaw had added themselves to the list of symptoms. And it felt like my fever was returning. It seems more purifying is needed. Unfortunately. I was debating whether to go at all, but Nix convinced me to attend, saying that when she was ill she had asked for healing and it had helped. So I somewhat begrudgingly went along. We were there half an hour early so sat quietly in meditation. I decided I should do as Nix suggested and ask Amma for help, so I continuously repeated the following in my mind “Amma, please help me heal my anger and illness” as it felt to me that the two were connected. Some time into the Darshan I heard a woman next to Nix and I crying and sniffing. This rapidly turned into full blown hysterical wailing and screaming. I continued to sit quietly with my eyes closed as the wailing continued. I heard the woman intermittently shriek “Eeeoooweeweeweewee!” . My sarcastic mind kicked in as I said to myself “I bet she’s Russian”. At first I thought her behaviour completely bizarre and over the top - I felt anger rising that she didn’t just leave the hall and let the rest of us get on with it (stiff upper lip and all that old boy). But then I thought to myself “What if there is a message in this for me?” So I observed my anger. I had just been asking Amma to help me heal my anger - how could I heal it without facing it? Here was the perfect opportunity. The wailing continued, as did my observation. It was surreal to say the least. I had come across something like this during an ayahuasca ceremony some years back where a woman (also positioned right next to me – is someone trying to tell me something?) let out an uncontrollable primal shriek that lasted for an age. As this woman in the hall screamed I remembered how I felt as I had been purging in a bucket the other night. Perhaps this was the form her purging was taking. The thought helped me generate compassion for her. But inevitably my mental continuum fluctuated. As the screaming continued, I questioned if she was keeping herself in suffering – she didn’t want to let go. She was getting something from her wailing. People started to talk to her in Russian (so she was Russian after all ;)). My eyes remained closed, and I don’t speak the language, but from what I gather they were trying to quieten her down (she had been screaming for a long time) and take her out the hall. She was having none of it and screamed all the louder. Then it occurred to me that the woman may in fact be mentally ill and suffering a psychotic episode. She sounded exactly like the people I had dealings with in lockup wards during my time as a psychiatric student nurse. It also occurred to me that Russians as a whole seem like quite a repressed race. They are cold in nature, and perhaps this woman had reached critical mass with it all, like shaking and hitting a ketchup bottle with your palm before the sauce splurges out all at once. The group of Russians surrounding her continued to talk. The woman had become the centre of attention in the hall. Perhaps this is subconsciously what she wanted. I continued to sit quietly as my way of contributing to holding the space as best I could. I felt Nix next to me doing the same. I understand why the Russians wanted to talk to her - they thought it would help, but I felt their actions were misguided, it only served to perpetuate the drama. I felt very strongly that the best way to help is to sit, go inward, maintain awareness and generate stillness to hold the space for her so she could experience and move through what was coming up. If everyone in the room had done this I think the result might have been very different. It is not possible to do the work for her – she alone can do it, and evidently no amount of talking can change the situation. But then perhaps everything is just as it should be. Nix touched my knee gently to indicate she was leaving. I sat for a while longer then got up and left. As I walked down the road I looked at my phone – we had been sitting in there for an hour and a half. Intense India strikes again.