Thursday, 20 January 2011

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Ice and Tongue

Toronto Ontario.

Sidewalks are slippery. They are hard, smooth and shiny. I opted for trekking on the streets where salt is more dispersed to break the ice. Other pedestrians do as I do. Some remain inching along shuffling their way with baby steps on the sidewalks coming from work, school, shopping or the bar.

One woman shuffled her way to the temple. Her friend joined her minutes after the agreed appointment. Lady #1 said she drove by our building hundreds of times, tempted to come in. Its understandable, hundreds of thousands of vehicles pass by our temple on its west side while the east side of the structure, more scenely, is frequented by squirrels and racoons. Less so in the winter of course.

Lady # 2 has a history of living like our monks do in the ashram. She admits to having lived sixteen years in a cloistered nunnery or convent. I asked her how she found it. She expressed that she enjoyed her practice, but it had issues with "statues quo" as she put it. The vow of silence she honoured at that time was precious to her. It was austerity of speech.

"At least there was no gossip" I joked. We discussed that more lethal than a sword, a gun, an arrow, or a club was the tongue that is uncontrolled. Certainly there was a nod of agreement. The undignified warrior will use that weapon.

IN the prayer by saint Bhaktivinode Thakur it is said of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. Therefore to become dignified, we eat prasadam (sanctified food) and that with limits.

Our two visitors, the two ladies, enjoyed their sattvic(good)food very much. Being vegetarian in the convent for her sixteen years term allowed her to be most confortable with the prasadam.

I was so happy to see that our two guests shuffled their way to our temple.


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