Richmond Hill, Ontario
I don't know if anyone wishes to hear about spring and nature but here goes anyway.
Winter has broke, finally. Along the moraine Rouge River system we could detect it. It was obvious with robins in sight, red-winged black birds in song, and snow now a clear fluid of water rushing by our feet.
It was kind of a rare moment for us just to be us, or rather to be together with the busy lives of devotion, work and school and all. I was with the members of the Gaura Shakti Bhajan Band. We had a few minutes to kill before entering Yvonne's spa so we timed ourselves a little early (better early than late) to meet our appointment and so we hit the trail at the Rouge. The environment set a great tone for our evening engagement, not for a spa but for conducting a workshop on the nine devotions.
Nine Devotions are 1) hearing 2) chanting 3) remembering 4) rendering service 5) honoring the Divine form 6) power praying 7) declaring servitude 8) befriending and 9) sweet surrendering. All of these practices are directed to Vishnu if we translate the origins of these 9 concepts literally from a Puranic verse. The words which I did express in Sanskrit originally sounded a bit foreign to the attendees at the spa and who were of various backgrounds like England, Iran, Ukraine, Philippines, Columbia, India and even Canada. But as we glided through the devotions all who were there felt they knew these principles. After all who is not familiar to praying or recalling a life-changing experience or to making a friend?
We just don't do these things enough. And that was the comment by one of the attendees- "We don't do these things enough?"
To wrap up the evening at Yvonne's Spa Gaura Shakti led us in a great chant and all ended with refreshments.
There you have it- a word on nature, Vishnu and what we did at Yvonne's Spa on April Fools.