Oh Happy Day!
Gaurachandra and I slept the night at Russell's Music Academy, also the home of newly-weds, Kasper and Vraja. I woke up very content from the previous evening's successful workshop on the nine steps of devotion. As mentioned in a part entry to this blog, if my memory serves me correctly, there is often times a tendency within a devotional gathering to routinely execute the process in a formal way and to forfeit the heartfeltness of bhakti itself.
When assessing the workshop I asked the participants which aspect of the presentation they liked the most. The consensus was 'befriending someone'. It appears that while we give all of our reverence to the Divine (Krishna) we may forget the people around us who are also expressing adoration. It's easy to lose sight of the need to acknowledge the others around us. Let's not forget the parts and parcels of the Supreme as we remember Him.
The joy I felt from the participants' happiness carried over into this morning and as I explored practically every street of the town which had been snow-shovelled minutes before I trekked its sidewalk. Indeed snow accompanied my japa journey as it does fairly regularly these days. Once completing the trek I volunteered to shovel the Academy's driveway with pleasure. Pushing snow out of the way feels like removing karma from the heart. This chore merely extended these feelgood hours.
Gaurachandra and I drove off to Montreal for the evening's Open House program which included initiations of candidates into the process [formally]. Kasper and Vraja from Russel also came. Kasper asked me what gives me the fire to forge ahead, to which I answered, "All the nine steps (beginning with hearing and chanting) and which includes pushing snow (and karma)."