Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Canon City, You're Awesome

Canon City, Colorado

While the bus was moving at its usual 70 miles per hour the passengers inside enriched their morning by memorizing a verse from the Gita, 5.29. With a hip hop swing to its recitation, the dozen or so boys picked up on learning very quickly the message of the verse, which was referred to often as ‘the peace formula’. And here’s the verse in Roman transliteration:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam


suhrdam sarva-bhutanam

jnatva mam santim rcchati

The translation worded simply is, “to achieve inner peace one must come to know and apply three things. 1) That God is the enjoyer. 2) God is the owner of all. 3) God is everyone’s friend.

This formula is universally applicable.

Time afforded space for walking Canon City. Just off of main street I met Chris. A young maintenance guy who says that Canon City sucks. To say that your own town sucks is rather a common phrase which I have heard ever since I started long distance trekking. When Chris first saw me walking near 12th Street, he saw me through his backview mirror and remarked, “Hare Krishna in Canon City?” I actually heard him say it, and then he came to see me to ask questions. “Is this a condemning kind of faith? What do you believe?” My answer was, “We follow an ancient book called Bhagavad Gita where Krishna speaks to His warrior friend, Arjuna. Arjuna was undergoing a personal crisis to which Krishna addressed encouragement to the spiritual side of life.” Chris wanted a picture taken and a book to read about Krishna. He had only seen a Hare Krishna in the movie ‘Airplane’

Why does Canon City suck anyways? Chris talked about the negative karma of the place, how 15 out of 18 state penitentiaries are in and around town. If most people here are like Chris, then I can envision a Krishna centre here before long.

As I walked through a park after meeting Chris, a group of young people under the shade set their eyes on this unusual sight, me. To see a monk is rare in these parts. One of the boys shouted out, “You’re awesome!” I looked at the group wondering who the remark was directed towards. He said it once again, “You’re awesome!” And I threw him a peace sign.

Canon City, if this is a sampling of you, I don’t think you suck.

10 Km

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