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Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter muffin brigade!

Easter07-everybody WAVE!
Originally uploaded by alxindia.

well, it was a beautiful way to spend Easter Sunday. The Church of Baba's Kitchen was in full force, with groups of us running around downtown Santa Cruz feeding the homeless people on the streets.

"whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for Me." -- Big
Boss #1

there were 12 of us from our satsang & meditation group who showed up
in Santa Cruz this morning -- many with dozens of home-made muffins.
two women made home-made tuna sandwiches, packed in lunch sacks
with a can of soda and some chips. (the Easter bunny didn't forget to
show up, either -- there were festive little candy sacks, as well!)
there were bags of apples -- it was a lot to shlep, at the outset, we
were staggering around the streets, carrying all this stuff......

we went around the downtown Santa Cruz area on foot, combing the
streets and targeting hungry-looking people, and there were plenty of
them. we had 30 meal bags; they were gone by the end of the Pacific
Garden mall. finally we wound up at a park where the homeless
congregate, and gave the rest away.

it's amazing how you learn as you go -- someone had the inspiration
to give out apples, and only the younger generation of homeless
people really wanted them. the older gen has failing teeth -- many
missing or in such disrepair that they can't EAT apples at
all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (good to know for the future....)

after it was all over, and we were completely out of food, a young
woman -- shaky, beautiful, tentative, came over and asked us if we
had anything to eat, she'd missed dinner (at the shelter) and was
starving, as well as diabetic and having sugar problems from lack of

we all pawed around in our bags, looking hopeless, and one guy,
with extreme presence of mind, pulled out a $20 bill and gave it to
her, saying, "well, this is a simple enough problem to fix!" & that
young woman burst -- burst -- into tears and at first was too freaked
out, in a kind of shock, to even accept the money. she did take it
and walked off, weeping and dazed.

it was really moving, esp for people who've never done this kind of
seva before.

Jonathan made a big vat of tapioca pudding (like the sweet milk
pudding Baba is so fond of?) and took it, in advance, to the homeless
shelter. they were so happy -- had put it on the lunch menu for the
people, already, because he'd called to see if they'd accept it. it
was enough, I think, for about 50 people.

the day was glorious -- one of those coastal spring days where the
sun is warm and shining, spring is bursting into bloom wherever you
look, and the breezes are a little cool, just a little sharp.

and the people were SO happy to receive the food. it was so
beautiful. it is really an honor to serve Baba & the other Bosses in
this way.

especially on Jesus' big day.

we're looking into how we can be more regular contributors to the
homeless shelter here: a fine organization that feeds about 200
people a day, twice a day, off the streets and also has multiple
small dwellings (with independent kitchens) that house and feed up to
28 people per building. it's homey, and family-oriented, and a
terribly sweet place staffed mostly by former homeless volunteers.
they work so HARD! cooking and cleaning up, washing all the
industrial dishes and food-prep materials, and sweeping, etc. -- and
they're so incredibly cheerful.

you look in their eyes, and you see people who have been so down in
their lives that they're pretty much beyond fear, judgment, and self-

I really think a great medicine to the unbelievable amounts of
depression, eating disorders and mental anguish that many Americans
suffer today -- esp in the 'upper classes', so-called -- could be
instantly cured by taking a few turns doing this kind of work on a
regular basis.

it is a kind of bliss -- you can see it on the faces and in the
hearts of the volunteers.

(& a whole lot cheaper than anti-anxiety medications, anti-
depressants, illegal drugs, etc.)

anyway, that's our story, we're stickin' to it.

thanks for letting me share it with you, today!


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