June 2012

The Moon and Saturn, Spica and Mars, and Arcturus, at arc’s end, greeted me in Texas on the evening of June 1. On the morning of June 2, I heard a woodpecker flailing determinedly at some metal on the roof over my head (having some months earlier actually seen one on neighbor Hilda’s roof pecking furiously at a metal ventilator, I was pretty confident in my identification). Sadly, the partial lunar eclipse of June 4 was a no-show in my locality.

June 5 I set out for Florida’s Kashi Ashram, to grieve with its inhabitants over the passing in April at age 71 of Ma Jaya, whom I had known for many years:


Ma, who was raised by black winos under the Coney Island boardwalk, always maintained that “there are no throwaway people,” and dedicated much time, energy & money to caring for individuals afflicted with AIDS. She lived a full & controversial life, and her detractors have been vocal, but her influence on me at least was always positive, and over the past two decades I found particularly rewarding the private meeting that I would have with her on each of my annual visits to Kashi. Even on this visit her presence, though disembodied, was still palpable. Her spirit continues to inspire the denizens of Kashi, whose name, which means “the Illumined”, or “the City of Light”, was taken from India’s most ancient city, known also as Varanasi, or Benaras.

On June 7 I flew from Orlando to Costa Rica, where I spent the remainder of the month quietly, reading and writing, meditating, and furthering my familiarity with the local flora & fauna. Pura vida!