Outside & Inside
I was determined to meet the air, wind and sun on this new day. A younger monk, Karuna Sindhu, 28, and I made it a point to do just that. It’s easy to become an indoor addict even with service to God. There’s God within and God without. So out we went at an hour of opportunity. Only it became an extra hour ordeal. It’s just how it happened.
It was Pat, a woman at 50, a neighbour from Rosedale that lengthened our anticipated trekking time. I hadn’t seen her for 14 years. She saw Karuna and I walking through the park as she was walking her two dogs. “Are you the walking monk?” she asked. I didn’t recognize her in the way that she did notice me, at least in the beginning. It’s the robes that always makes it easier for others. She continued, “I met you…”
“Of course, I saw you in Saskatchewan on my first walk (in ’96). You were with your husband who drove a truck,” I recalled.
From there we spoke a bit of necessary trivia. She expressed her love for nature, for travel, for India, and respect for what we do as monks. I wondered what Karuna was thinking about all this light conversation and why it didn’t perhaps reach deeper channels.
Pat like millions of people are willing to have as their friend a monk but not so willing to commit to a particular spiritual practice. But the time may come when she will have her moment of introspection when there will be a need to reach deeper.
I hope that day will come. It’s something we all should do – to reach deeper.
I was pleased to see her and hopefully our paths will cross again. I know her place of residence. “Come on over anytime!” she beckoned.
“I will,” I thought, but only if her hubby is there. I say this because I am a monk.
In the evening Andreas, a student from Equador came to the temple. He asked about seminars in order to learn. (There are millions of people who want to go deeper.) It was so convenient for me to say to him, “Yes, in fact there is a visiting monk from India who is about to start in a few minutes.” I think you can learn something. Andreas entered the main temple room, sat down with a smile and began to listen.