I still catch myself addressing people I meet with a "Happy New Year!” Soon, in two days only, the calendar flips a page to reveal another month, making New Year's totally irrelevant. But you're not going to get me to say, "Happy Valentines Day." It's just not the thing monks say to anyone.
To compensate for this great lack of etiquette, I can say to my fellow colleagues and community members, "Happy Nityananda's Day" or "Happy Shiva Ratri" in reference to saints in our lineage. "Happy Gaura Purnima" is another one coming up. The glory goes on.
For further preparation of my India trip, I poked my head into the Army Surplus Store and snooped around. The owner of the place makes everyone smile with his salutations. It's never a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Easter." He's been using a mantra, however, and that's what gets the snickers going. "All merchandise has to go!" The additional one is, "We're going to be moving," and he says it in a strong (unrecognizable to me) accent. The funny thing is he’s been greeting his clients with these lines for ten years, mentioned one friend. Another line which is supposed to invoke some empathy is: "It's a big job moving all the goods."
"Yeah, right!" respond the doubting minds.
You do have to hand it to him. He's determined to get cash and card. A steady flow of browsers and shoppers enter and exit. Everyone who comes in receives a greeting of that mundane sort and it's quite okay.
Anyway, I'm sold on one item. A duffel bag was my purchase for carrying some theatre props. All in my service to guru and God.