As we parked into the back driveway at Shanti Yoga Studio on Main Street our group’s nostrils picked up the scent of steel in the air, a reminder that Hamilton is referred to as Steeltown. The aroma hit us even before we slid open the van door to unload the djembe, mrdanga drum, harmonium, tambourine and kartals (hand cymbals).
I should not fail to mention about Hamilton’s treasures such as the famous Bruce Trail, a walking haven that meanders through this city of population ½ million. Ther are waterfalls galore, many of which are tucked away like hidden riches.
I had just come from doing a presentation in the Krishna Brampton Centre. Now it was time to unleash a sharing of pedestrian pastimes which included trekking through Hamilton two times as part of my route across Canada in ’96 and ’03. I have found the folds here just fine.
That was confirmed when meeting Alex who hails form Lithuania. She’s the studio’s coordinator and yoga teacher. What a great spirit! I also credit Vrajadham, the program’s organizer.
I spent a good hour relaying some of my favourite encounters with Mounties, bears, people and the elements. The room had filled up with eager listeners, and with that, silence, which broke at question time. Then chanting filled the space followed by arms and legs moving (everyone made an attempt at trance dance).
My good friend and godbrother, Visvakarma, conveyed to me that Hamilton has always embraced spirituality very well. He’s right. I recall the interaction in ’96 and the great media response for my first walk across the country.
Sadly, the program had ended. Our group could have stayed for hours conversing. And while we were engaged in dialogue my nose holes could make out the distinct scent of a living entity cohabiting, likely in the lower quarters. It was the distant perfume of a skunk. I take little offense to the little guy’s scent.
Indeed the smells were strong today. Taste buds were stimulated over the prasadam (blessed veggies) prepared by Sachi of Burlington. Ears were perked over the messages about simpler living and higher thinking. The attendees shone while the sun didn’t for the fog of the day and the dark of the night.
I would say for the spiritually minded, Hamilton really rocks!