While living in an ashram (monastery in the eastern tradition) those many years ago, I found myself one evening offering seva (selfless service, a yoga practice) in an office in one of the buildings down the road from the main one, the hub of the ashram - so to speak.
It was during the holiday time and I was particularly feeling the spirit of the season. As I sat at my desk attending to various details, I felt moved to launch into a solo, a capella, rendition of the beautiful Christmas song Emmanuel, as in, “Oh, come, Oh come Emmanuel!..” It was a very quiet time in the office and, as far as I knew, I was pretty much alone in the general vicinity, though a few others might still have been in offices a ways away. As I recall it being evening, at that point perhaps most everyone else had already left to partake in that-time-of-day repast in the communal dining hall located in another building down the road.
While sitting at my desk, I allowed myself the pleasure of singing, with great exuberance, this dramatic and gorgeous hymn. Following this, quiet settled around me once again as I resumed what I was doing.
Not long after, I heard a sound and I looked up to find a tall, slender fellow walking toward me. I asked how I could help him, and he spoke to me briefly most probably about some aspect of seva. Taking down his message, I then asked, “And, what is your name?“
”Emmanuel,” he responded. “My name is Emmanuel.”
November 23, 2021