Roger and Patel
We had the good fortune to rest at a Patel motel. Mr. Patel who’s a proprietor of this motel took to 5 Kms with me alongside the Trent River the previous night. He asked me a common enough question while apologizing for his imperfect English.
“How should I deal with the interruptions? I am doing my bhakti (devotion) and I am concentrating, and then the interruptions come.”
“You mean desires?” I asked him.
“Let us look at what the Gita tells us. You control your lower self by your higher self, states Sri Krishna. The lower self constitutes the senses and the mind. The higher self is fine intelligence and the soul. Here’s another thing to consider; the same speaker of the Gita, Krishna, suggests to a student, Arjuna, that wherever and whenever the mind wanders, bring it back under the control of the self (intelligence and soul). The mind by nature is wayward. Keep your eye on it. Be a parent to the mind.”
Mr. Patel was content to walk and content to talk. The other person I met today who was content to speak with me was Roger. Roger is an elderly farmer. He was sitting on his front porch in the countryside. When he saw me pass by he got curious. Traffic was whizzing by on Highway 2 when he began to speak. It was faint what he was saying to me, so I went over to him. He had personally seen Terry Fox (a young runner who went across Canada on one real and one artificial leg). Roger had also seen Rick Hansen who had wheelchaired himself across the world. He had also seen a fellow drag a crucifix across the country and witnessed him coming along the road in front of his front porch. Now I had come, a true oddity. He showed me his hospitality. He offered me a choice, whisky or water. I accepted the water and told him of my vows of no intoxicants and no meat eating.
“Holy!” he implied. I sat there for a while in communication with him and handed him a mantra card explaining this is what I do for the most part while trekking. It actually helps to control the mind.
“I could never pronounce this,” Roger declared. Roger called for his wife, Joanne, to come out and meet the person who he found moving in front of the house. She was also delighted. Roger declared himself Protestant but not abiding very much. I left them after some minutes letting them know I’ll come to see them on the next pilgrimage I make across the country.