Chant For Change
Quebec & Ontario
There is not much difference between the two provinces Quebec and Ontario. One is predominantly a place of Francophone; the other Anglophones. Traditionally they were named on a map of the 19th century as Lower and Upper Canada depending on the direction in which they were situated on the St. Lawrence River. Upper meant “up the river” and down meant “down the river” or near the mouth.
Apart from language differences the culture is relatively the same. McDonald’s crosses all borders and so does the car culture.
I decided to walk to the bus depot. With me were residents of the Montreal temple. The neighbourhood along this east end of St. Catherine’s St. isn’t that great although city planners are trying their best to “clean up”. We pass by an intense smell reeking out of a brewery to our right. A huge male strip joint is to our left. A number of churches, all of which are monolithic in size, have been recently closed down. They look gorgeous though, old historic. Montreal has plenty of them.
I bid Farwell to, my co-walkers, all wonderful people who are young and endeavoring to develop spirituality. I was impressed with the public mega-bus, a double-decker but less so with fellow passengers. En route to Toronto I see more signs of decadence, I hate to say. A young fellow conversing on his cell phone was cursing, threatening death to the person on the other end. After the five hour ride we enter Toronto’s downtown business core when I witness another angry caller outside on the sidewalk demonstrating the same aggression but this time with body language while waving his folded newspaper in the air. Do cell phones make people more violent? Certainly it’s a more impersonal way of communication. I don’t carry one. They scare me. Anyways I’m a monk so I have an excuse.
In any event the day has given glimpses of hell and provided as impetus for doing more mantra mediation. What I have seen today is relatively bland as far as evil is concerned but it did stir up in me the need to “chant for change”.