The Way Things Work Around Here

I surprised a snake this morning as I was walking back to my room. The sun had just risen, and there was a hazy quality to the air. As I stepped onto a rock, there was a sudden swish about two feet away from me, and a three-foot-long dark colored snake (the only description my mind could accomplish at that speed) suddenly materialized out of the vague underbrush. Before I could focus it had skidded soundlessly to the side, almost flying against the ground. I followed it with my eyes as it disappeared and reappeared in the debris nearby, passing under a small log and over a basket remnant, until it was out of sight.

Dr. Ramdas, Dr. Om and Dr. Vasant

“So, Dr. Ramdas, are there many snakes around here?”

“Snakes? Um… yes.”

“Are any of them poisonous?”

“Ah… you could say. Yes.”

“What kinds of poisonous snakes?”

“Well, cobra…”

“There are cobras here?”

“Yes, cobra. That is why it is best not to go walking in the sand from 5:30 to 8 in the evening, that is their hunting hour.”

“Their hunting hour??!”

“But do not worry. I am one hundred percent certain nothing bad will happen with snakes here. We do pujas for snakes. So that is not a problem.”

To have such confidence in your relationship with nature is astounding. The staff here know they are following the rules of harmony in the world. They have set their intentions and solidified them with ritual, and in return they depend on that compliance to protect them.

And they are right. There have been no problems with snakes on their property.

9 Replies to “The Way Things Work Around Here”

  1. well, i suppose “problem” must be defined in regards to snakes. i, for example, do not LIKE snakes and find walking in peace to be disrupted if i see, hear, sense a snake NEAR. now if that snake MIGHT be a cobra, well, i MIGHT HAVE to avoid walks PERIOD. and that would be a problem , for me.

    1. You’re a riot! But that’s just it – I haven’t “felt” a snake’s presence in all my time here, until this one. I have been peacefully unaware, and I presume, they have been peacefully AWARE of us humans, and they keep their distance as much as possible. I certainly admit being a bit shaken to know cobras are around, but having not seen one, and having it not brought up to us before now, reminds me that being fearful certainly won’t help anything!

  2. wow ivy,

    each of your entries reshape perspective…turn long held notions and beliefs on their heads. what an amazing haven you have discovered and uncovered for those of us reading on the sidelines. lpsi

  3. What a breathe of fresh air this post provided – not only because of your Vaidyagrama snake story but also because it reminded me of laughing until tears ran down my face listening to your wonderfully dramatic story of the snake (and other critters) story from Placitas. Such sweet memories.

    And another cool thing happened last night that I enjoyed immensely even as it interfered with much needed sleep. Something has happened to your website when I open it on my ipad instead of my computer. It has reformatted almost like a book – when I open it the cover is that lovely flower arrangement outside the treatment room with no words on that page and then you literally open the book and turn the pages. There’s a lovely graphic table of contents with a “cut” from a picture from each post. Not sure how “they” selected the picture to illustrate each post but the one about the grown-up table has this lovely picture of three of you but it only shows your legs and feet – conjuring up the images of the feet under the table. Just wondering whether you did something or if Apple gave us this nice gift – and wondering whether anyone else has looked at your blog on an ipad. It’s really quite wonderful. And that’s from the family “luddite.”

    Much love sweet Ibles

    1. Oh yes, snakes are all over, aren’t they! Interesting that they seem to be a universal symbol for healing too. We tend to think about the poison angle, but then they are in the AMA logo too!

      So interesting about the iPad. No, I haven’t done anything to indicate how it should format the blog, nor have I heard anything as of yet about how the iPad configures things – sounds very intriguing. One of my classmates here actually has an iPad, so I’ll have to check it out. Sounds cool!

  4. “Oh yes, snakes are all over, aren’t they!”

    And how.

    Back to reptiles though, have you heard about the cobra missing from The Reptile House at the NYC Bronx Zoo? Everyone’s in a dither, it’s been a week and the youngster is still missing. Most think he’s tucked in the dark somewhere nearby, that he’ll emerge when he’s hungry.

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