Sunday, 21 January 2018

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario

A Good Old Game

I got a little bold today with walking.  Temperatures have risen to a greater level of tolerance and my seized-up thighs were able to handle the more and more relaxed climate.  I walked out of Simon’s clinic, a place where Simon did some great work on me, with, once again, needles.  The left knee is irritable and when Simon, a man who knows his stuff, examined it, he saw there was an unwanted curvature to my left leg.

I immediately could identify the culprit or cause of this irregularity.  It is that notorious TT, the ‘Terrible Tilt’.  This last summer I struggled with walking the slant of the road’s shoulder.  Naturally, months of this will take a toll.

“Am I the only one with that curve or crookedness?”

“No! You’re not!” And that’s all Simon said.  It reminded me of a game as a kid—Simon Says.  So Simon says, “Sit down!”  So I did—this is not now a game.  Simon says, “Breathe in.”  So I did.  Simon says, “No, collapse.”  I did.  Simon says, “Breathe in.  Chest out.  Then collapse.”  I did all that Simon said.

I was feeling better after all he said.  With confidence I trod east on Bloor Street near High Park for some good city blocks.  I did thank Simon, by the way, and paid a modest fee.  I felt like my old self coming back with a minor limp.  I swore to myself that from here on I’ll avoid the TT and stick to level trails.

Keep that in mind Monk!  I take shelter of Krishna.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Montreal, Quebec

The Arotika

Practically every day of my life I walk to the nearest temple, regardless of distance, for the 4:30 a.m. arati, whether it’s down the hall from my bed or a few blocks away—as in Mayapura.  The exception would be on long walks where there may not be a room or building for honouring arati.

What is an arati?

It is a presentation of paraphernalia offered to the Supreme—things such as incense, a small dhiya (flame), water, flowers, etc.—all to symbolize appreciation to the Creator.  One very special part of the presentation is the offering of sound, a sacred sound—mantras.

Always done at an early hour, before sunrise, the arati sets a tone for the day.  Like any other day it is a space in time which is meant for ‘giving’.  The arati’s begin with the blowing of a conch, even before the mantras begin.  In many ways, this signifies the start of the day.

During the time of arati a small bell is consistently ringing by the shake of the priest or priestess’ left wrist.  Each article of paraphernalia is presented to the presiding deity of Krishna in the shrine.  With the right hand there is the wave or motion of the article being presented to the deity—usually in the form of a circle.  For instance, the article can be held and, with a circular sweep of the hand, directed in circles of three to the face, two to the chest, four to the feet, and seven swirled around the entire deity’s form.  The arati is completed with a final blow of the conch.  This morning Nandini Radha opened the curtains, blew the conch and proceeded with the arati ceremony.

May the Source be with you!

1 km

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Monday, January 15th, 2018

Montreal, Quebec

Some People

I spent some time conversing with my Quebec friends, including Gokul, Bhakti Lata from Jamaica, Gord from northern Ontario and a few more.  Anubhava is one of my favourite Canadian leaders.  He administrates, but maximizes more on ‘doing’.  Currently, he’s doing carpentry and making extra space above the auditorium stage.

Madri came to Krishna Consciousness about four years ago.  She arrived with plenty of insecurities in life but much of that is now behind her.  She has built up so much confidence.  She keeps herself occupied.  She’s blossoming.  I'm happy for her.

Gokul and I lunched together.  They make good prasadam here in Montreal—although eggplant curried veggie preps don’t always hit the mark for me. It was something I consumed in the evening.

I was satisfied to deliver two talks today here in the ISKCON temple/ashram, the second one concentrating on one of those beautiful flowing verses from the Bhagavad-gita.  From Chapter 2, verse 20—I will avoid the Sanskrit or Roman transliteration for brevity’s sake and in English, not French. Sorry.

“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time.  He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being.  He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval.  He is not slain when the body is slain.”

The verse was discussed.  We had our eggplant and we went to rest.

A thought came to mind, as crazy as it was.  I had the image of Napoleon; his right hand concealed in his waistcoat.  Was he secretly chanting on japa meditation beads?

May the Source be with you!

0 km