Christmas Day 2005

It is late eveing in India... Christmas day.

At 6.30 am, my Sanskrit teacher telephoned me to wish me a "Happy Christmas". She is a lovely woman - deeply religious and such a good person. I had not long woken. So nice of her to think of me in this way.

It has been interesting coming to India. I was not baptised nor raised in any particular church - but I was raised in Christendom. I have enormous love and respect for Christ and see the essence of his message - "love ye one another" - as a universal inspiration for all.

I suppose I am a humanist (in the broadest reach of that term) who tries his best to face the man in the mirror! When you throw yourself into such a different culture, one comes to see clearer the aspects of one's own conditioning - the good and the bad.

I spent the early morning chanting salutations to mother Mary in Sanskrit - in the company of Westerners and Indians alike - at the yoga school...

"namo namaha mary"

So beautiful, so simple.

Then I attended lectures on yoga and it's application to everyday life.

In the early evening, I sat on the stoop of my dear friend Khartik's house and laughed at his story of his visitng a palm reader. Apparently, the palm reader had said that one day he would go to the West - something he dearly dreams off. The palm reader had made a special point of explaining this (though he knew nothing of Khartik's dream to do it) and Karthik repeated this, emphatically explaining that his dream would come true with the assistance of "EITHER a man OR a woman". Karthik said this with such deliberation and care and we both fell about laughing when I said "Well, I am glad you got that cleared up - at least you know it won't be a monkey."!!! The local children gazed wide eyed at me and buzzed by on bicycles in the crowded alleyway. Wherever you are, it is good to have friends!

In the evening, I visited two very different Indian families, who number Christians amongst their members and celebrated with them with a little cake! A little boy showed me his Ferrari model car with flashing lights and music and tickled me. I tickled him back...

At some point my parents telephoned and my dad spoke to me in his terrible Indian accent as I was being driven through the thick city traffic...

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Mind is the closest thing to our Reality...Be careful how you use it. Businessman, yogi, teacher, addicted to laughing...