Thursday, 11 November 2010

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Jesus was wet here

Jordan River, Israel

From Natanya city situated on the Mediterranean sea we trudged along, always choosing the hardest packed sand next to the water. Our team of four chanted on beads, meditating on the sound and then sang to the standard bhajans sung in temples around the world.

There were intermittent quiet areas where we could manage this in loud tones. The trail which is cross country path, is marked with orange, blue and white stripes on rocks, trees, and just about anything. This trail diverts away from the coast at places and therefore creates some confusion. Ekavirya eventually called our path "the paramatma trail", because in all reality we just moved with our gut feeling. Paramatma by the way, refers to God-in-the-heart, who gives direction within. That seems to work for us.

We met a friendly horticulturalist who guided us around areas that were tricky such as the big power-plant at the Nahal Park. This guy, a retiree, was such a hospitable type. He knew who we were, of-course my robes are the give-away. "You are Hare Krishna?"

In most places judging by the faces, the saffron robes are a novelty, if not an alien sight. After a glorious 20 KMs on foot we drove to the Jordan River, the place of Jesus' Baptism at Yardenit. Our group chose to bathe in his holy waters, just a few meters away for our own privacy. Indeed, the water is sacred, cool and clean, and shaded by varieties of trees, including the medicinal eucalyptus. School girls in uniforms canoed the channel here and adolescent males appeared to camp at our bathing area.

There is lots of life in this area and there are date and orange groves nearby. And while our men were munching on snacks after the swim an amiable groundhog ate fearlessly next to us. In fact it was Roman, our youngest trooper, who mentioned that chanting helps the animals. So the Shabda Brahman (spiritual sound) impacts even those creatures that make no effort toward spiritual practices, the sound has such power.

As Jesus said in delivering the Lord's Prayer "Our Father - who art in heaven, hollowed by the name..." The name is powerful!

20 KMs

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