When I Became a Monk
When I became a monk in '73 one of my first assignments was to go in my devotional duds and to help reclaim the fallen conditional souls back to their spiritual position. I remember how it was somewhat of a task along with fellow monks to approach with the hard sale businessmen in particular. You know, they are the one's in the suits and ties with a callous demeanour (at least to me they appear so). With spiritual book in hand and in the other an incense stick (homemade with love by our very own devotees) you begin to strike a conversation with the oncoming corporates and the retort would be, "No time!" or you may not get a response at all, not even a peep out of them.
Today I took to foot southbound on University Avenue which has its share of corporate entrepreneurs making a quick jaunt from one building to another. And the walk I did was for killing time 'til our party for West Virginia was ready to leave. I took a head start. Maybe it was the great sunshine weather. Maybe it was the fact that I was unarmed but for my small pouch with mantra beads inside. Maybe after all these years (39 to be exact) I felt relaxed. But at least three business-clad fellows in that short time struck up a conversation beginning with a remark on the niceness of the day. From there the question was something like, "What's with the garb?"
"Oh! I'm a monk - a Hare Krishna monk!"
A little more exchange and we are short time buddies. In retrospect I didn't have to force an in-the-face message. I just had to be myself, being comfortable with myself, and the magic then took place - the magic of communication.