I’m feeling better today. I fasted yesterday, in part to help clear out some respiratory congestion I’ve had since we got back from India a few days ago. For this particular purpose, I did a fast called the “Master Cleanse,” in which you drink a “lemonade” consisting of lemon juice, Grade B maple syrup, and a little cayenne powder, diluted with water. Occasionally Devi and I will do Paramhansa Yogananda’s marvelous Nine-Day Cleansing and Vitalizing Diet, which consists of lots of citrus, raw vegetables, a daily steamed vegetable, and a special “vitality beverage.”
After she had blown out the few candles on her cake, Gloria said, “I’m glad they didn’t put all 90 on it. I’m not sure I could have managed that.”
We often ask this question of someone we’ve just met to get to know them. Predictably the answer people give is their occupation: “I’m a doctor,” or “a cook,” or “a machinist,” or “a mother of young children.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta told this very touching story. The sisters from her order were visiting the very poor during a time of famine in Calcutta. To each home they brought some desperately needed food: a bag of rice, some lentils, and a few other bare necessities. As one sister gave the food to a mother of several starving children, to the sister's surprise the famished mother divided it in half, saying, “My neighbor’s children are also starving, and I must share this with them.”
Her name was Ofelia. She was born in Mexico and grew up in an orphanage there. In her early twenties she made her way to California, where she married and raised twelve children. She and her family lived in the Hispanic district of Sacramento, and though her home was small, the doors of her house and her heart were always wide open to anyone in need.
What are some of the qualities of youth? A sparkle in the eye? A buoyant step? An enthusiasm for life? Laughter that springs easily from the heart?
There are many interesting connections between being an artist and being a spiritual seeker. The other day it struck me that there is a kind of “spiritual” color wheel—I’m given to these musings from time to time. I shared my thoughts with Devi, and she suggested that it might make an interesting blog. So, whether you enjoy this one or not, it isn’t my fault. The karma, good or bad, is on Devi.
On April 21, 2013, the strident ringing of the telephone in the middle of the night abruptly awakened us from sleep. Groping in the dark, we picked up the receiver and heard the shaking voice of a friend in Assisi, Italy. She gave us the news that we’d known would come one day, but always hoped would be in the distant future: Swami Kriyananda had left his body.
I had an interesting dream last week. In the beginning a group of us, friends and gurubhais, were strolling in a crowded street with many people milling around. Then, in front of us, there was a commotion, and we saw a military-type vehicle backing up toward us. With all the people around me, I was unable to get out of the way and was struck by the jeep and dragged underneath it.