As I was saying in my last post, the Noble Silence is also often broken by lesser disciplined folks. Breach need not necessarily mean talking. It can happen in more ways than one.
For example, close to the mediation hall was a large banana tree with a sheaf of more than 350 bananas. The weight of the bananas had tilted the tree and a gardener had place a sturdy 2 by 4 to prop the tree up.
For Anoup, who always thought bananas came in plastic bags by the dozen at the local FoodWorld, this was an amazing sight. As he was admiring nature’s marvel, Prakash came along and stood alongside to see what Anoup was marveling at. Anoup turned to him and raised his eyebrows with a matching facial expression that clearly said, ‘Amazing isn’t it?’. Pakya…oops Prakash…was facially blank and turned away clearly meaning, ‘ I have seen more than this’
And not a single word was exchanged.
On another occasion a favorite seat in the dining hall, of a rather elderly gentleman, was taken up by some one else. Clearly the elderly gentleman would brook no transgression. He walked up to the interloper, fixed his stare on him and moved his drilling gaze up and down several times. What was meant was clear, ‘Hey this is MY place and what they heck are you doing here.’ The trespasser clearly got the message, and being unable to stand such public humiliation any more, left the seat clear for the balance duration of the course.
But I used to wonder, if this was the case with the Male gender, who are normally not as expressive and receptive to non verbal signals as the female gender, what must be the position over that side of the camp.
I am sure it must have been a pin-drop-silent fishmarket over there 🙂
Venkat / Kanna