by Michael D. McCarty
Have Mouth. Will Run It!--Michael D. McCarty, Storyteller
Some of life’s most unpleasant experiences make some of the best stories. This is an account of an experience I had while traveling around the south of India in 1989.
I was traveling with two friends visiting different ashrams, temples and churches. Doing the ‘spiritual thang’. We came to the town of Pondicherry to visit the Auribindo Ashram. My two friends went directly to the main ashram hotel, the Park Guest House. I went to take care of some other business and arrived at that hotel an hour or so later. As I walked up the steps to the lobby I noticed that an elderly Indian woman gave me a dirty look and then said something to the man who was sitting behind the desk. Having taken all this in, I walked up to this gentleman and asked for a room. He told me that there were no rooms available.
Now it should be noted that this was the hot season in the south of India, the off season for travel in these parts. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees most guide books noted that you wouldn’t have any trouble getting rooms at this time of year. And there were hotel room keys all over the board which generally indicates available rooms.
I asked if my two friends, who just happened to be white, had checked in. They had. I asked when some rooms might become available, he said perhaps in a few days. Now, needless to say I’m picking up on something. Duh! But I don’t want to believe what I’m picking up on because I’m in an ashram, a spiritual place. But I maintained my spiritual equanimity. I left and checked in to another near by hotel. The next morning I had breakfast with my friends in their hotel restaurant. There was another guy I knew who’d checked into the hotel after I’d been by there the previous evening. Maintaining a positive attitude I reasoned that some rooms must have suddenly become available. So after finishing my breakfast I went to the lobby to check it out. When I got there, the elderly woman who’d given me the dirty look the first day was sitting behind the reception desk checking in some Indian people. She looked at me with a frown on her face and asked roughly what I wanted. When I asked politely if there were any rooms available she said a malicious no and noted that this was not just some hotel but a place for people coming for the Auribindo ashram,like I was half way around the world and didn’t know this.
Now I was mad. I’d had enough of this ashram and this town. I left that hotel, went to the bus station and made arrangements to leave the following evening. The next morning I was on my way to meet my friends for breakfast at their hotel restaurant when I was physically barred from entering and told I had to go to the lobby and get that woman’s permission to enter. Struggling to once again maintain my spiritual equanimity,I went to the lobby and asked that same woman if there was some problem. I was just going to have breakfast with my friends again. May I go in? She said , “No! You wait for them in the lobby.” And began reading some papers.
Now I was pissed! And I was getting ready to raise some Cain up in there. I hadn’t cussed or acted a fool in a long time but I still remembered how. As I was preparing to make my verbal assault, suddenly a voice in my head said “This is a test! It’s easy to love those that love you, the test is to love those that hate you.” And I figured that this woman qualified.I sat down. In the past I’d had this same voice alert me to danger and save me from injury or death, so I paid attention. I was trying to figure out how to send this...person love. Love was not upper most in my mind in terms of things I wanted to send her!
I remembered having read about the aura that surrounds all living things in a variety of colors. Each color has a particular significance. Pink is the color that represents divine love. And I figured that divine love was definitely what was needed. So mentally I surrounded the old woman with an aura of pink light and proceeded to pump pink at her . This was hard work and I pumped pink for about ten minutes. I worked up a sweat. Then suddenly, the woman came over to me with a totally different demeanor and in a pleasant tone of voice asked, “Are your friends in the restaurant?” I was somewhat taken aback by this sudden transformation and responded that I didn’t know if they were there because she hadn’t let me go in to see. Then, with a smile on her face she not only encouraged me to go but personally escorted me to the entrance to the restaurant. As I walked into the restaurant I looked back at her still smiling face and realized that I had experienced the power of love.
I told this story at one of the storytelling meetings I attend in Los Angeles. After the meeting several folks came up and told me how much they’d enjoyed that story. One woman seemed to be particularly moved by the tale. A couple of months later after another meeting at the same site, this woman came up to me excitedly and told me this story. It seems that her boss at work was giving her a hard time every day. So, on one of those days, rather than get upset my friend decided she’d do the “pink thing”. Throughout the morning she sent her loving thoughts. At lunch that day all of the employs were sitting together at a table along with the boss who was sitting next to my friend but engaged in conversation with someone sitting across the table. All of a sudden, she turned to my friend and began engaging her in a pleasant, complimentary conversation! And from that day on there was no more mess between them.
The power of love. It takes some effort. I have passed some tests and I have flunked a few. Sho’ nuff. But it’s worth the effort. Check it out.
AND THAT’S THE END OF THA
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