In the morning, Eunice met up with Kavi at the opposite end of the compound. She sat where he ushered her, while he stepped out for a moment. The small sitting room had wall to wall banquet style sofa’s and a soothing water feature. The décor was of similarly exciting colors, as she’d seen throughout the ashram.
The thought of small talk with him rattled her nerves. How does one shoot the breeze with a guru? She led with a hard hitting question, to hopefully get him to do all the talking.
“Kavi, I’d like to know more about spiritual healing for the sick, tired and oppressed. I saw it on a plaque in my room. I think minorities in the U.S. feel ignored and shunned don’t you?” Eunice said, hoping to show off a well-versed intelligence.
“Nina, pain of the heart is the worst kind of pain. It takes over all other thought. Why do you hold onto things?” Kavi asked, rhetorically yet the way he asked it, startled her. He seemed to have no doubt, she was harboring things.
“Wow! You are smooth. A hard hitting question right out of the gate!” she smiled bashfully. It felt like flirting but she suspected it was one-sided.
“What do the things you hold onto ever do for you? Have you ever tried to see where they came from?” he asked.
“What a great question. I’d have to think about it!” Eunice said. Gotcha!
Eunice had never thought about it. She despised people who analyzed themselves to death. She never found the why to be that important, it was the how that mattered.
“Have you had dreams or premonitions since your arrival?” Kavi asked.
“You’re asking about the jaguar aren’t you?” she said, with a blank look. She purposely tried to show no expression, so he didn’t pick up on her clues. She’d heard fortune tellers were scam artists, expert at reading people then fleecing money out of them.
“Let me first say, I’m no apostle. I’m just a guy who’s been awakened and wants to share what that means for me, with others,” his accent was indecipherable maybe the Midwest, Canadian or even British. She liked him but she still thought he was full of shit!
“I’m listening,” she said.
“Even though it’s important to have feelings, it’s equally important not to be dramatic. Taking care of yourself, doesn’t mean total self-absorption,” Kavi said.
“So you’re saying my anxieties will be gone if I breathe, meditate and exercise like they tell me here?” she asked.
“Yes, it’s that simple. The antidote to fear is being present. You remind me of myself. I rarely shared myself with people, even those I loved most. If we are committed to evolving we must be more open with each other. Will you allow me to lead you in a meditation?”
“Sure,” she said. She would have been hesitant prior to the seaweed experience but that jaguar was really cool!
“Close your eyes. Nina think of yourself as the perfect woman you are at this moment!” he spoke like a hypnotist Oh dear! “Allow your mind to wander back through the years. Go through school, grade by grade,” he said.
She didn’t find it too difficult to go backwards through her years of high school then to Nixon elementary.
“Where are you now?” he gently asked.
“I’m six years old,” she sank deeper in her chair.
“What tells you you’re six?” he asked.
“My mother and I are baking and Daddy’s gone to work,” she whispered.
“What images come to you. Real or imagined. A picture or photograph,” he said.
“A picture of me,” she said.
“Can you describe it for me?” he said.
“I’m in a white cradle or car seat. My skin is dark against a white background,” she said. She got a warm feeling in inside. I’m not mixed.
Her body was immovable in its relaxed state and she noticed her breaths were deep. She didn’t have precise thoughts of her own, only images in her mind like a canvas. She was conscious of crossing into unknown territory. Could it be a sign of his spiritual possession.
Her thoughts were amazement in having no thoughts. She searched her lifelong list of responsibilities but couldn’t put the items into words. Impossible. They were items that drove her ambition. If ignored they always bit her in the ass.
Confused she felt like curling into a ball. Please send the jaguar back to protect me. Rejection was her aphrodisiac. She had found a similarly obsessive personality to what she despised in Sam. She could see Sam’s motivation.
“Love isn’t just about gazing into each other’s eyes but looking out toward a horizon in the same direction. In India we have the saying, love comes later. Falling in love with yourself always comes first,” Kavi said, after several minutes of silence.
Fleeting realizations floated in her mind. It was true, she was tired of thriving on chaos. She opened her eyes to find Kavi pleasantly looking at her.
“Guru Kavi have you ever worked in greeting cards?” she asked, dryly.
With a pen Kavi drew a straight line on a piece of paper in front of her, “Nina here you see the easy road. The path of least resistance that can take you far. How far is if from your destination?”
She watched him.
He then drew a zigzag line, “An easy trek in the wrong direction can be more exhausting than an uphill climb to euphoria. Mistakes are wisdom. Now is the time to look at trouble as a road map by asking why is it trouble. When we ask ourselves where the tender spot is, we can troubleshoot. Instead of looking to others we look within,” he said.
“So what you’re saying is problems are always my fault? I don’t buy it Kavi! Pardon my French but there are a lot of assholes out there,” she said.
“If your life is your movie. Other people’s lives are their movies. No two movies are the same. Neither do we react the same to all movies. Do you see what I’m saying in concept?” he asked.
“I understand the movie,” she said.
“Your movie is your perspective in life. Why else do we sometimes connect with strangers. We connect with those who accept our perspective and vice versa. Those are often the ones who would do anything to see us smile,” he said.
“It sounds wonderful but I’m no doormat to someone’s perspective!” she said, irritated by his idealism.
“We live until we die, while our minds are constantly working. Even while we sleep, our brains are running without an off switch. Naturally some thoughts are based on assumptions based on the facts we have. I call them filler thoughts without value they may not be true. It all this is going on in our heads and we don’t know the access filler thoughts in others. So assuming other people’s thoughts is unwise,” Kavi said.
“Sam used to say his anger came from being disappointed in unrealistic expectations. Is that it?” she asked.
“Yes, it sounds like the train station story where a delay is announced. Passengers get into an uproar about what it’ll do to their day. Five minutes later a new announcement says the delay is clear. So if we wait five minutes sometimes our problem is no longer there,” he said.
“Ashram practice sounds an awful lot like self-help. I swear there should be a section in book stores called Self-blame. What about people or things that are plain annoying,” she said.
Kavi’s expression remained neutral.
“Using our anger or annoyance can drive our good intentions without causing harm,” Kavi said.
“Anger used for good?” Eunice asked.
She didn’t know what he was getting at.
“History repeats itself. I’m afraid of making mistakes because I’ll get angry with myself. If I don’t ask myself why I get angry I’m ignoring it. When history repeats my anger does too,” Kavi said.
“I’ll be honest I don’t know what you mean. I never used to make mistakes but now I do. Nobody knows me here so I feel lost. I guess I don’t mind if a stranger sees a mistake I made,” she said.
“There is no such thing as lost. You are here at this moment. You are where you’re at. Think about walking on a street and finding a growling dog standing in front of a cardboard box. You might be afraid of the dog right?” he paused.
“I guess,” she said, zoning out a little.
“Someone else walking from the opposite direction would see the dogs litter of puppies she’d been nursing in the box and it’s growling to protect them. Two perspectives,” he said.
Eunice understood. It made sense in her ridiculous disagreements with Sam. They were always at odds over the smallest things and it came down to there are two sides to every story.
“How can we make a judgment on what someone’s mother taught them? Their view is perfectly acceptable to them,” he added.
“I’m so confused. It’s no wonder people go postal and blow things up! I won’t but this is crazy making!” she said, hoping her time with him was nearly up. She was exhausted.
Eunice got more out of Kavi than she had with Dr. Lynch at couples counseling but it was eerily familiar. Kavi was a know-it-all like Sam but he spoke to her in a voice, she recognized so it didn’t bother her.
She thought about her folks, the posse crew and Sam. They would have a field day ridiculing Kavi’s advice but maybe they wouldn’t understand. If she ever made it back to Montgomery she wouldn’t share intimate things she learned about herself with them.
Maybe Mother, Daddy and Sam were her allies all along. Like a mystery, where the answer is right in front of you.
“We never make the same mistake twice. The second time, the mistake is a choice,” Kavi said.
This guy has an answer for everything!