Friday, August 3, 2012

you are served.

Last night I had a plate of Patience, Gratitude and Learning moments that I would like to share. 
After yoga and studying, I went to meet up with friends at the local watering hole. (Barton Springs Pool!
They were finishing a long trail ride on bikes and meeting me there. 

It was a special night because when the moon is full many folks take to howling from the 68 degree Spring-fed waters!! So we meet up, take a dip, make noises akin to a wolf, Chewbacca, and a bevy of Beached Seals!! 
They guys were starved and even tho I was not hungry and wanted to go home to read, I was persuaded to join them in some Tex Mex.

We tried one place but it closed at ten and we were right on the ten o'clock mark so we went one place down the street. Its Austin TX so Tex Mex is prevalent! We were seated right away on an outside patio. This is where it gets really interesting, Really Quickly;

A man drops off some chips without a word. Another table of four is seated near us.
At this point we don't know who are server is, as people are around but no one has communicated with us. The other four top gets waited on and their server departs. She comes back with drinks for them.

One of my friends, lets call him sharing that he notices a table piled full with dirty plates and says this is a bad sign for service and I agree, tossing him kudos for his detective work. I offer to go to the bar for waters as I am in need and the guys are antsy. Quickly Ace takes the initiative and goes inside and I sit back with  my boyfriend.  The man who gave us chips comes back to our table and takes our drink order and we also order a food item.
Meanwhile our friend comes back and has missed this exchange. Ace drops off water glasses at our table, sits for a moment, then says calmly,  "Lets leave."
We reply there isn't really anywhere to go... He says "well, I'm leaving" and gets up, quick pats on our backs and he has gone.

As he is leaving, there is a stir.  Ace had talked to the manager, also a barkeep, and now our server is coming out with drinks. The communication has opened up slowly, yet the action plays out quickly. I wish I had noticed the actual time.... maybe ten or more actual minutes have passed since we were seated?

Yes the other table seated around the same time had a different experience, but how do we compare? Our experience is ours to be with right?!

So he has gone, his drink order and the nachos come and as the remaining twosome we are bewildered. We right our ship to the wave of attention from staff and get things settled that we are staying and its all good. Whew!

As we sit, I recall the teachings I have been learning this summer in my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification at Dharma Yoga. It is all bubbling into the present moment as I am seeing my self observe this situation and cannot believe the patience space I am holding.  I was able to employ an observer's stance and just observe without getting into the situation. This kept me from acting to quickly.

Had we really been on a boat, it would have tipped over soon after we boarded! 

I begin to think about Sunyata- the Buddhist term describing emptiness. Sunyata, pronounced Shun-yah-tah, referes to the inherent emptiness of all things and situations. The value placed on these things is tied to perception and the circumstances applied to it. As situations, perceptions and all things change so does this value... therefore the object /situation is empty of value until we place it there....

Please Read more on the link for a further explanation  pertaining to non-attachment.

An example my teacher illustrated used  the Tibetan Singing bowl we use in class ringing it to signal the beginning and end of class. He rang it a few times while explaining that we all see and hear and agree that his is a singing bowl. He wadded up a piece of paper and tossed it into the bowl it then became a trash can!

This also speaks to the impermanence of all things and how there are no inherently good or bad actions. There is only the circumstances to which the decision or action is applied.

While reading the Bhagavad Gita we are shown that one of the main characters must decide if he is to go to war or leave the land in peace. Both are not what he wants and hurt is heart, but what would serve the greater good???

Another book in the Summer Reading list was Awakening the Buddha Within, authored by Lama Surya Das.  In this wonderful book he relates many stories  to assist us in applying the Eight Fold Path of Buddhism to our everyday modern lives.
One example he illustrates is how an Upstate New York Monastery he was spearheading was being overrun with cockroaches! The monks were at first trying to make it work, but then threatened with being shut down by health inspectors and also with students leaving. Their practice of non violence and easing suffering were being tested in a real and tangible way. After many meetings, meditations, and prayers of release; the extermination trucks pulled up and the school remained open and roach free. The situation may have warranted the School to be turned into a cockroach sanctuary if it was discovered to be the last remaining specimens of the species. In this situation the value of the school and the teachings and works that would be activated called for this action.

To recognize the breakdown in communication and realize that when we act quickly and with lazer focus, so much of what is happening can be left out. As we sat and finished our meal we talked with the manager, the server, another server and we were able to share all sides of the story and
transmute karma in this lifetime! 

There is the the karma of this lifetime and also many lifetimes. I like to think on the karma of this lifetime and apply it in the present happenings.
For example, by choosing to stay and work the situation we eased the outcome. Our server first had come over and said, "What is going on, Now I'm in trouble with my boss." He said this quietly and with a pained expression. This man had been working hard all night and was confused, as he was doing the best he could with his circumstances. Also the manager we talked with during and after the meal was able to understand how the events unfolded.  What if our server was fired on the spot, went home and had to move and leave town and his family, etc etc you get the idea. Ace had just had a long bike ride, sugar crashed, very hungry and thirsty and also had a long drive home and that was his story.

The threads are all woven together in a tapestry and pull on one will push on another
and so on and so forth....

I was watching this happen to me in real time! It was such a different experience than I might have had. I was so excited to dissect the situation  and apply the ideas I had been working on and reading about all summer. My boyfriend and I shared the aspects and had a nice teaching and learning discussion. We checked on Ace and he had safely made his way home. What a weird wild wonderful world we live in. Taking a few deep breaths and using my new toolkit is keeping the Vern Boat afloat with a wave of wonder.........................