Saturday, June 23, 2012

in the wilderness. numbers. vaidyagram

The simple days in vaidyagrama. washing clothes and putting them up on the clothesline become kind of a benchmark in my schedule. like, i started drinking ghee the day i did the last washing.what i want to say is kind of weird but as hwubby says, you are weird, accept it, so what to do but take myself as i am, all of the weirdness. what i want to say is,  as i study the book of numbers which is what we are doing now according to the cyclical design of torah study, i experience what the ancient rabbis said. by the way the hebrew name of this book actually means 'in the wilderness.' don't ask me why it is titled 'numbers' in english. i'm not a bible scholar. anyway this book is about what happens when the israelites are doing in those forty years in the desert. by and large they live by the direct command of the lord who guides them as a pillar of fire. when the fire pillar moves they pack up and move accordingly. when the fire pillar stops that's where they pitch their tents.  for food, manna come down from the sky. it tastes however one desires it to be. one of the ways of the rabbis look at this phase is, those are such marvelous days, we have such direct connection with the lord. somehow this reading resonates with me. as far as i am concerned, in a simple setting, following a simple routine has the power to turn attention within. okay, i am aware that it has not always been this way. for a long time a simple schedule would drive the mind nuts. but, boom, years later, here i am, thoroughly reveling in the sublime sweetness of act such as carefully spreading out a piece of clothing.

 the greens around me are not manicured lawns and landscaped gardens but rather like wilderness. dr ramkumar, one of the founders, is determined to create a forest setting, mimicking as much as possible how the ancient sages dwell. so, in a way, i am in the wilderness when i am in vaidyagrama. the sense of timelessness is pervasive. i love it.

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