Dead and alive.
At 5 am right on the button, today`s set of troupers, Ekavirya, Vrikodar, Roman and myself set out at a beginning point of the journey on foot. It was a 24 hours convenient store just off of highway 2 near Rishpon, that was the finishing point from the previous day. We all had taken to resting late the night before, as the evening called for sat-sang (spiritual gathering). Yet that did not give cause to dampen any spirits for the early rise, shower, and then the drive to our starting point.
Our first hour was total confusion, a meandering through the curved streets of Kibbutz settlement. As the sun's lightness began to pervade we trekked along narrow trails atop cliffs, and then eventually made our way descending to the beach heading north to the city of Netanya. We met fishermen and runners and youth being primed for the army training. According to my companions the cleaning up of beach trash was a part of their training.
To the exclusion of this humble servant the troupers of today admitted to being out of shape and that our mere 18 KMs was a little hard pressed. No real complains thought. The reward for all the leg labor and a treat for me, the guest to Israel, was a dip in to the Dead Sea. After a good hour and a half on wheels, we arrived at a resort where Russians, Americans, Europeans, Asians and other tourists came for the therapeutic bath in this world famous mineral-dense body of water. Fish don't live in it, but humans flock to it for the buoyancy fun. And after time spent floating (careful to not submerge the head, the salts are intolerable for eyes and mouth) we did as every one else did - smudged the body with mud before a final rinse of real water.
The day`s experience with the elements was not a complete day until the heart could speak out about gratitude to our Guru, Srila Prabhupada. On this 33th anniversary of his passing we expressed what we could about the person who was clearly the cutting edge of a change in world consciousness. Due to his coming to the west, we now have all this marvelous people who have taken to ahimsa (non-violence), vegetarianism, karmic cognition and something else profound called prema (unconditional love for the Supreme).
People have come alive. Our indebtedness to him knows no bounds.