Saturday, 13 August 2011

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Down Highway 5

Portland, Oregon

The only walking I did today was with my arms, I did a careful plucking of blackberries across the road from a Walmart. I took the task as a service to the bus crew.

We had a great morning sadhana (spiritual workout) while the bus was in motion on Highway 5. At that time we were driving through areas of history through the state of Oregon. When Europeans settled in the area from 1840 – 1860, 320,000 of them in fact, they fought and found a last frontier, Oregon. Mormons, gold seekers and others took to the Oregon trail. The famous Donner party expedition challenged their first severe winter. Many died and the balance resorted to cannibal dinner. That’s extreme, but who are we to judge, not being subjected to the circumstances of the time? But back to the morning program. As facilitator, I divided up this morning’s verse, 5.51, from the book Bhagavatam. After reading it’s purport, I asked the young men on the bus to pick a theme from what I just read, and to speak on their topic for 3 minutes. They took turns, and so we went about it in this interactive way. Everyone contributed. Here was a list of benefits the boys came up with as feedback on this approach:

It made me think
It helped me for public speaking
I had to think philosophically
It kept me awake
It helped me to be sharp and to not repeat what someone else said
It forced me to focus

I perceive some of these boys as future leaders. Their three minute dissertation and follow up remarks were indicative of leadership material. One comment made by Godbrother Mitrasen, after the presentations were over, was a quote from Lal Tzu. “The best leader goes unnoticed. The second best is loved by all. The third best is feared, and the fourth is hated.” The conclusion is, according to Tzu, is that best type of leader is that when everyone thinks that they are doing things themselves.

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