As amazingly open as I feel here, I am feeling the wall that protects my heart, that has such a very hard time letting the suffering in. I do and sometimes it feels very sweetly sad, but there’s a love flavor to the pain in me, and perhaps I am allowing love to come out from me as a defense to not have to let in the actual heartbreak. Today I am in Mamallapuram and this morning while walking around a park with amazing huge bas relief sculptures and stone temples from the 6th/7th century, I walked past a herd of pigs, boar really, just kind of munching their way along in the heat. I noticed that their eyes were all blind, even the youngest of them. Reminds me too of seeing a blind man in Chennai, although not only was he blind, but he had no eyes! There is so much suffering here and my heart honestly doesn’t want to break, but I’m afraid it must.
Aside from the historical and artistic significance here, I kind of hate this place. It’s touristy (tons of Europeans) so everyone tries to be your friend so they can sell you something. My practice is to be friendly to them and love them as best I can, but not fall into their game. It’s also sweltering hot and with no paved roads, kind of dusty. If you head to the beach to cool off, you’ll be mobbed by about a dozen gypsy girls selling baubles. One man (Bhoo Bhoo) I met there yesterday tried to sell me a stone carving, but soon realized I wouldn’t buy anything from him, but i still was sweet to him, so he helped keep me insulated a bit. I’ll be heading back to Kelambakkam shortly once the heat subsides, to get back into Siva Shankar Baba’s community there and enjoy the evening and morning prayer ceremonies. I hope to meet with him and get his guidance for where my ‘pilgrimage,’ as I’m beginning to call it, shall take me.
Oh, and the other thing which is important, is that yesterday was my first bus ride, an easy 30 minute ride from Kelambakkam to Mamallapuram. The very notable thing about that ride is that no one smiled at me. Not one person. I’ve felt so loved to this point here, and yesterday’s bus ride clarified the idea that it’s all not going to be fun and games here. That’s OK with me, but it does make for slightly more nervous traveling. With Gaza invaded, I need to pay attention to my travel plans too because Muslims here are I’m certain none too happy with Americans at this moment.