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Saturday, December 15, 2007

spirit of christmas

spirit of christmas
Originally uploaded by alxindia


no words for this photo. just, uh, there are cream-puff days and then there are Maha Kali days.

one of my colleagues here refers to some kinds of troublesome, super-intense days as "Penukonda Days." as in, "geez, this was really a Penukonda day!" *chuckle*

that must be the ultimate in-joke of the cosmos, or at least on this planet. everyone thinks spirituality is this nice-nice, love-n-light process of getting sweeter and sweeter and more and more blissful -- and I've actually had folks tell me, with stars in their eyes, "you're so LUCKY to be living in such a calm, spiritual, peaceful ashram...!"

what to say? swallow mah tongue, nod, and smile, and don't roll the eyes visibly.

for anyone who's actually lived in Penukonda, or spent serious time there, every day is a century passing, as if whole lifetimes have been ground out and heaps of karmas have been reduced to a pulp, during the whole day when nothing, really, seemed to be happening.

one day in Penukonda can be an ultimately blissful, beautiful experience -- and at the same time it can seem like a total torture chamber, as we come face-to-face with people who are also in the same karmic pressure-cooker, and they become instruments of our own unfortunate karmas coming back to us as tests, taunts, challenges, arbitrary snarls, and outright insults.

some days, I literally felt as though I'd been battered and bludgeoned by people until I was black and blue.... and I'd crawl back to my room, exhausted by my apparent efforts at surviving the slings and arrows of what seemed like truly outrageous fortune...

and I'd look back on the morning's events (which now seemed like an eon ago), and think that something that occurred in the morning had been several weeks before. (yes, the time factor gets highly stretched and distorted in Penukonda... a curious attribute of the life there.)

I'd say to Jonathan, 'oh, you know, that thing we did last week," and he would grin at me and reply, "Alx!? that was THIS MORNING!"


some days here in America are really just like that -- "Penukonda days."

and this has to do with Christmas, how, exactly?




  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Marie said…

    Hey Alx!
    Happy Birthday! May it be a beautiful 'grace day' in your life! Occasionally they do come out of the blue to remind us, "oh yeah! Mmmmmm" The times when the karmic steamroller takes a break! I recently had such a day and I'd like to share it with you- because you had a big effect on it! Your 'kitty pages' opened my heart in a beautiful way.

    I'd been wanting a cat- no longing for a cat- a little fur ball friend to snuggle beside me and meld its purrs into my chest. Years of prior programming walled off the possibility. "No no" I argued, "I can't do that... the apartment deposits, the vet bills, endless vacuuming of black hairs on the white couch,and most of all what about when I TRAVEL?"

    "When you what???" I laughed, looking over my life on the couch with occasional trips to the grocery store. I knew with my current health condition, I wasn't going anywhere very fast... Tears rolled down my cheeks as I finally surrendered to my life 'as it is' and gave myself permission to get the cat I'd been longing for. That night I had a dream about a little white cat- I felt so happy...and it wouldn't be a problem shedding because it matched my clothes!

    The next morning I went to the humane society and asked to look at all the white cats... one after another they paraded by me in the visiting room. Nervous and hiding, scratching and squirming to get away- not one would give me the time of day! So I looked at the black cats, the gray cats, the striped cats, the yellow cats. Nope. Not one was my cat! I left feeling rejected and alone. "Wow", I thought, "If you can feel THIS rejected by a cat, you have some work to do!!" Then I remembered in my dream the little white cat was in a different shelter I had once visited long ago. It was on the way home so I decided to stop by.

    As I entered the room, he was staring straight at me... a silky little white cat. He started mewing loudly and reached his paws out from the cage. "Me! Me! Here I am!" I opened the cage and he jumped into my arms snuggling under my chin, purring. When I got him home, he went from room to room rolling on the floor ecstatic with his new life!

    A true temple cat, he instinctively knew what not to touch. He sleeps by the altar but does not get up on it or play with the PO's. I was reminded of the Penukonda cat who came into the temple late each night for his prasad chapatti's filling the temple with Baba's magic.

    So thank you Alx, for all your heart warming kitty pictures. They really helped me out! Pandu thanks you too! Love, Marie Fontaine

  • At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Becca Morn said…

    As I write this actually *IN* Penukonda, I can swear and attest to the total 100% veracity of your observations.

    We got back to the ashram on 7 Dec, and it's been one "Penukonda Day" after another.


  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Alx said…

    oh, hey, Marie!

    what an amazing story. thanks for sharing it. what happened to us was a little similar -- our Abby cat, Sienna, a real healer in the last few years, took off from this life in September. I haven't lived without a cat since I was about 20 -- always have one or two (or four! LOL!) rolling around.

    we were catless, completely catless, for two weeks. it was finally excruciating.

    we went looking for black cats because SK said they're Maha Laxmi and incredibly auspicious.

    like you, I met them in a dream before we got to the shelter to find them.

    like you, they were the ones who recognized US as we came in the shelter (and there were about 10 black kitties there!) --

    & like you, we got temple cats. pure respect for the altars, which are everywhere -- they've never tried climbing them or disturbing holy objects.

    we call them Baba's Lions.

    I'm SO glad you got a kitty friend!

    it makes such a difference, having a little buddy to be near and talk to and fuss over and enjoy, soul to soul.


    & yeah, Becca -- ha ha ha !!! of course, you ARE in Penukonda.... where every day is in fact, a Penukonda Day.....!!!!!!!!!!!

    love to you dear ladies --



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