A brahmacari (monk) junior to me asked me the previous day if I would offer him some blessings to bow out of the morning sadhana, a standard ashram regimen, in order to concentrate on doing extra chanting on japa beads. Since the day was recognized as a day when one has an option to fast entirely including the abstinence of drinking water, this well-intentioned monk asked to be granted his special program. The fasting of grain is compulsory.
I had to frankly admit to him that although a complete fast is good, what was more important was adhering to the regular morning program in the good company of the other monastics. "This was the mood of our guru and we have an obligation to fulfil it." There is always a danger within the boundries of an ashram when individuals take too much independence. Solidarity is key in the smooth operation of a successful ashram. In many respects it is much like bootcamp. We are a unit. We eat together, work together, play together. Unity should be the theme.
On the same note I was invited to attend an evening dinner with a family of three- two parents and their teenager. Our talk over a great meal, centered on improving the communication amongst them. There was a ittle bit of "airing out" but it was all done with a view to increase understanding and listening. And as in all cases of even slight provocation, humility is always an ingredient to provide an excellent recipe for living peacefully.