Monday, 24 January 2011

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

You Adjust

Thornhill, Ontario

Serious waling is next to impossible after surgery. All hernia patients wake up stiff and in some pain. Exercise is recommended though. You try your best edging your way up and down the hallway. Daily, patients are treated to formalized exercise classes. It begins with graceful movement like Tai Chi to the sound of soft piano. Then it wound up to Elvis', "I'm All Shook Up" where participants bend knees while moving around the room like a locomotive steaming down a curved track.

Next to me was an elder from the Ojibway tribe. Normally this type of dance with a different twist on music would be regular fare as in a Pow Wow. The though came that perhaps in the future the Shouldice will introduce kirtan music and for motion, the swami step.

It is my last full day here and I thank God it is. People here are nice and the atmosphere is peaceful. They are even eager to hear about the ABC's of my spiritual lifestyle, but frankly, football grabs their attention and for some, hour after hour in front of the wide screen. It's not my cup of tea. I'm ready for home - the temple.

Word got out in our community if you're going to visit the swami at the Shouldice, then bring him some juice. And so it came to pass that at visiting hours, as on the previous days, each new well-wisher would bring not one, but two bottles of the ambrosial stuff. Always carrying a bag, as soon as the kind donor would pull out the content, it would create a stir of laughter. Oh well, all is done in love and service. My patient's room was looking like the juice compartment of a convenience store.

I have my juice, my meditation beads, devotional company, something to read and something to write. A little food with specifications - vegetarian, no onions, garlic - would be something I would quickly offer mantras to make it prasad and in silence in front of my co-eaters. I'm all set.

Wherever you are, as a monk, you adjust and you are happy.

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