Muchas Gracias

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Vacationing in Mexico (March 2017)

Quirino, Janeth, Guillermo, Marcella, Rodrigo, were among the many friendly, helpful staff during our vacation stay in Mexico.

They smiled incessantly and offered consummate hospitality. Sometimes our ‘gracias’ was met with ‘de nada,’ but more often with an even broader smile.  The staff learned our names and used them in greeting us. One greeter was thrilled when Eva and Isabel called to her, “Ola Crystal,” they had remembered her name!

Hundreds of staff make this resort flow smoothly. As I woke early and walked in the dark to the 24-hour bar, I was greeted each morning by the night bartender’s friendly cappuccino service. On the fourth day of my early morning ritual, I asked what time he arrived which led to the bartender telling me his life story.  He worked the 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. shift as it paid a bit more. During the winter months, when work was available, he had an additional day job. This affable man was carrying a good deal of emotional pain regarding his life circumstance and family, and over the next days, I got to know about some of his struggles. It was fair trade—an ear for a cappuccino with a smile at 5:30 a.m. These were small cups. The bartender measured out his story in teaspoonfuls, so there was time for silent meditation and reading sentences such as, 

This erroneous self-understanding as one of the objects is called adhyasa, the superimposition of self and not-self, certainly experienced contents are appropriated as belonging to one’s own self –an inner self as opposed to what is located outside the self—as it articulates itself in our saying, for example, ‘that I am’, ‘that is mine.

I was on vacation from myself—what I mean is on vacation from my habitual routine—immersed in a different flow of life. The waves came in and went out and the days slipped by with relaxed ease.  Our family was being catered to and cleaned for as we became another cared for tourist by this community of smilers. So we smiled back and said ‘muchas gracias’ at every turn of the sheet or door held open.

We entered their hospitable world and lost track of a bit of self in being cared for

so exquisitely.  With gratitude, we said farewell for the graciousness of a friendly people south of our border.

Muchas gracias.

~Dr. David Sanders



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