Back in Winnipeg
Before embarking on the Westjet flight to Winnipeg, a young South East Asian man, who was also boarding, said to me, “You did my moodan.”
“I did?” I asked the fellow, who was beaming.
“In 1985,” he said. “You probably don’t remember, you meet so many people.”
I doubted that he remembered either. A moondan is a haircutting ceremony that a child receives at about age one to relieve himself of babyhood. The shedding of baby hair denotes change, growth. It is a purificatory stage one goes through.
I addressed the fellow, saying that he has a good crop of hair and everything turned out okay.
“Your name?” I asked.
“Karuna. I know you from the photos,” he said, followed by more conversation until we set to our assigned seats. I was reminded that in the context of my monk lifestyle, there have been priestly duties also factored into my responsibilities.
The two hour flight landed me safely to the Winnipeg Airport to meet Daruka, a clean head-shaven devotee in his forties, who was my support person during the last cross-Canada walk. Daruka drove me to the edge of the city’s Granola Belt to 108 Chestnut Street, the home of Vrnda, our bhakti coordinator. We had refreshments at Carolin’s. Organic no GM Saskatoon berry juice was our fuel until we trekked through St. John’s Park. Daruka then took me near a famous corner of fierce cold wind, the corner of Portage and Main, nicknamed Portage and Pain.
Finally the day was topped with a sat-sang, a gathering of yogis and bhaktas (devotees). The chanting together was sweet indeed and our discussion was on the topic of how to overcome dualities. It’s all a matter of changing our consciousness, about change, about growth.