"How is your dharma doing?" asked the white-haired Caucasian man over the sound of our kirtan. Our small chanting processional group was stopped at a red light when the question come to my ear.
"Absolutely gone. I'm doing my dharma right now. And how is your karma?" I asked him.
"I guess I'll be coming back," he said admitting his succumbing to the world again through the process of reincarnation.
"That's what happens to us."
"How do you know for sure?" he was curious. "Can anyone testify to that?"
"There are those who have come back."
Half joking he said, "I'd like to meet them," when the light turned green permitting both pedestrian and motorists to move.
We were near the Rideau Centre and the market square of Ottawa when the exchange took place. It's always interesting to see and hear people's reactions. Also earlier on in the town of Russell, where Anthony and I stayed overnight, a japa walk got someone really inquisitive. Coming toward me from behind in this sleepy hollow town the motorist slowed down substantially to catch a view, forged ahead and did a U turn just to make sure he saw what he saw.
A second motorist stood arrested at a blinking red. There was no traffic whatsoever to wait for. Only until I got close enough did the driver make a 45 degree turn, then stop, rolled down the window and say, "Now you have a good day, eh!"
"I sure will, and you likewise."
If someone asks if I like this kind of attention the answer is a resounding, "Yes". It's not that I reek self-aggrandizement here. I'm not particularly photogenic. I'm happy people are taking notice to the tradition of renunciation. I believe it provokes thoughtfulness and inspiration.