Hanuman Temple on Sunday

There must be folks who are always here at the Hanuman Temple on any given Sunday. I’m not one of those, but I do think about it, am attracted to the place and always am glad I went when I do go. Today I did a double dip and first attended the 5-Rhythms dancing at TaDa (1 1/2 hours of continuous dancing) and then went directly to the Temple.

Hanuman is a monkey god in the Hindu pantheon and the temple was founded some 20 odd years ago by the efforts of Ram Das. Check the website if you’re hungry for more history and accurate info.

This male peacock must have his home here. I counted three females as well. I once lived in a community that had peacocks and have fond memories of the place and the exotic energy the peacocks added, not to mention the blood-curdling screams at odd hours.

The deal with the Temple residents is that they are dedicated to feeding people as part of their spiritual practice, so on Sunday at lunch time anyone and everyone is invited to share a meal that they prepare. The typical Indian food is always tasty and the portions generous. Dessert and their signature homemade chai are also included. In season they have extensive gardens which supply fresh ingredients. A spirit of beauteous bounty and generosity permeates the place and leaves you feeling more optimistic about the human experience.

I noticed this decal on a window depicting Hanuman, the magical monkey god, flying through the air. The reflections add context. The head of the monkey is hard to see, but is located in the center of the photo. My own spiritual teacher, Gangji, credits her enlightened state to Papaji, a Hindu sage who was a devotee of the more famous figure, Ramana. So her lineage is Hindu even though she, like Ram Das, was born and raised in the USA. In any case I feel at home at this ashram and often run into people I’ve met here in Taos when I show up on a Sunday. It’s becoming an integrated part of my Taos experience.

The weather today was a cloudy but balmy 47 degrees, probably pretty fair for March at 7,200 feet. These crocus blossoms, growing in a flowerbed at the Temple, lend hope for more spring-like movement in the plant world looking forward. I consider them blog-worthy harbingers of the spring equinox, March 20. The astrology of this day I plan to blog about on my “other” blog site, SoulSpeak.

While obviously not a “fresh” flower this fading blossom was sitting alone on a railing and its color and very presence shocked and pleased my dull winter sensibilities. It has a wabi-sabi quality, a reminder of how all beauty progresses into a fade. I particularly love the sprinkling of red on the greenish center parts. Very painterly.

Saving the best for last, let me introduce Zinnia, daughter of Meem. She and mom were walking up the path to the temple when I intercepted them. Zinnia was in the best of moods. Her hat is a family heirloom previously worn by a couple of her older brothers, according to Meem. I believe that’s an earthworm, the white snake-like shape on the hat. My kind of hat for sure!  I want to honor both Zinnia and the hat (and the worm) with my photo. I’m grateful to these subjects for their generous cooperation.