My week at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas was generally a good one. My days were filled with spirituality in meditation, chanting and lectures twice a day, plus yoga class and then my 6-7 hours of karma yoga duties. Add a few meetings and meal times and a lovely silent walk on the beach for sunrise satsang, and you have a pretty good picture of much of my week.
To add a little spice, I guess, I received an urgent email message from home. The woman who leases my town-home wrote “Emergency, please call me as soon as possible”. I read the note 17 hours after it was sent, and when I called, I prayed that whatever the emergency was had subsided without injury.
I just went through an approaching hurricane, and didn’t once hear the word ‘emergency’. My anticipation was that something really serious had happened for her to contact me with such a note, considering I was in another country and many miles from home
This “emergency” back home was a mouse. It had entered somehow and found the pantry, eating into a bag of chips, the bag of sugar and left some ‘droppings’. She was still very upset when I spoke to her on the phone. There was still terror in her voice when she spoke of seeing this tiny little mouse. All I kept seeing was the mouse chef in
Even a year ago, I would have reacted in a similarly panicked fashion.
I now live with all sorts of creatures on the island - many I have no idea what they are -I just know they are alive and live here peacefully too. I walk past snails and other typical island critters every day, without giving them a thought. I’ve carefully scooped up little creatures and gently put them outside.
Ahimsa is practiced here - Do No Harm, and the yogis take it very seriously.
This whole situation reminded me of a passage in the book I am reading, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs,
“Crisis medicine reflects a crisis-based society. Unhealthy people make unhealthy choices, and create unhealthy environments, which create unhealthy people.”
I’m not knowledgeable about my tenants overall health, but I do know that her mental health is very fragile, for the sight of a mouse to put her into a crisis mode of emergency. I hope that she will soon find some peace in the situation and be able to relax again.
Patience was the topic of our evening lectures this week. Whether with my tenant’s cry of emergency, my finding out unexpectedly I needed to change rooms and preferably immediately, on the same day I traveled to London for my grand daughter’s 1st birthday party, or the delay in Miami for flight takeoff due to bad weather or the 2 or 3 year old little boy right in front of me that was screaming on and off for the hour as we sit in the plane.
The yogis would say that the best way to practice our virtues, such as patience, is to have instances where patience is needed to endure the situation. Since I don't have this virtue mastered by any means, I think I will continue to be given opportunities to keep practicing it:)
Sending You Love from the Bahamas,🌞
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