Quick magical story which happened last night. I had been hanging out with some friends I’ve made here. We separated so they could head off to the Manna Cafe and I could send off an email and update an image on my last posting. When I finished and was walking back to the Manna Cafe to meet up them, I met a Baba (Saddhu) who asked me if I knew of a roof he could stay on for the night (roofs are important as they are relatively mosquito free). It was already 10:30p and apparently he too had been on the internet and missed the curfew at the ashram where he stays. He first had to stop somewhere, so we agreed to meet up at the Manna Cafe and I would take him to my roof. He came to the Manna cafe where people were playing and singing Bhajans. When we walked away, he said to me, “so many ways to find happiness.” How true. We went to my roof. This whole time it was dark out so I didn’t really get a good look at him but he seemed sweet enough and his english was surprisingly good.
When we got to the roof, he said to me, “When we receive something, we should give something in return, and when we give something, we receive something.” He said because I was nice to him and took a chance on getting in trouble for bringing him there (which I did in the morning when the building manager asked me what time I was checking out, which I wasn’t, because I brought the Baba there) that he wanted to do something for me. Oh, and his name was, and get this, “I Am.” So there we sat on the roof, me and I Am who offered as a present to embody the Supreme and answer any questions which I had, as long as I asked them directly to the Supreme. We were sitting there cross-legged, about 4 feet apart, in the dark, he appearing as a silhouette in front of me, with me asking him questions and he asking me questions, almost like Zen Koans. It felt a little like I was in a movie, like The Legend of Baggar Vance and here was Will Smith as my guardian angel coming at night to help me work out my golf game, or in this case, my spiritual game. We sat there in conversation until midnight when I went to bed. At one point he had me chanting my own name, “Ted…………… Ted…………… Ted…………..” over and over, for about 15 minutes, he chanted along with me, and while doing so, he touched various parts of my face, including annoyingly a repetitive thumb-forefinger wiping motion towards the tip of my nose. I won’t say that I’ve completely seen the light, but there was a power in the chanting. In a way, it helped me to see more clearly that the Divine resides within myself and isn’t just something outside. It’s probably easier to chant your name when your name is “I Am” and doesn’t conclude with an interdental fricative, but nonetheless “ted…..” had a power to it, once I got over the fear of looking silly. While the silliness fear was still up, I remembered an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show where a comedian had someone chant “Oh Wah – Ta Goo – Si Am.” He had him chant it faster and faster until the fooling nature of the chant became apparent.
Like I’ve been saying all along, there is Magic waiting to happen in India to those who are open to it. Today at breakfast a woman (traveling with her son and daughter) who also is having her first trip to India said to me, “I’m an India virgin too.” I told her “actually, I’m pregnant.” She asked how that happened and I told her I’ve been traveling without a condom. She said that she’s been wearing 6. Come here without prophalaxis (while trusting your instincts, your heart) and the magic of India comes knocking, over and over, like a delicious past lover knocking at your door, entering while you are asleep, and presenting yet more magic to your ever unfolding dream……..