Sunday, 9 September 2012

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I Open the Door
Shebandawan, Ontario
I open the door to a starry sky, when condensation caused a dripping from Daruka's car. Days are warm, while nights are cool, which accounted for a similar drip from our hosts' eavestrough. I waited outside the home of our accommodation at Dr. Jani's house until Daruka appeared to drive me to the place of the previous day's finish line.
September is the best month for trekking. Today it warmed up to about 20 degrees Celsius. Kids are waiting by the road for the school bus pick-up. Traffic moves north and south on this stretch of the highways 11 and 17 merger.
A local TV broadcaster came to film and interview me. She expressed off-camera how she really believes in the meditative walk. She runs everyday to have time for herself. I gave her a mantra card, letting her know that this is the mantra that I chant while stepping along across this vast land.
At a convenience store where they sell salt and sugar goods, I popped into this isolated place to meet Daruka who was parked there. The store owner, a woman, mentioned she saw me earlier on the road. "You're a real head-turner. I was driving and I couldn't believe that I saw a monk." She was friendly, and I guess you could say eligible to receive our complimentary book Chant and Be Happy by BBT books.
Before a second and third installment of walking today, Daruka took me down this abandoned logger's road as the quiet place to nap. It was a good three kilometres back to the main road trekking through an area of deforestation. Not all that you see along the main highway tells the truth. Tucked away in behind the tourists' eyes are hectacres and hectacres of ravaged forest.
A major highlight for the day was being pursued by a group of young teens. Dr. Jani and I were walking along the park on Riveria Road when these young fellows spotted us. The robes I wore drew their attention. They ran to us, and they were inquisitive like anything. When they asked, "Are you a monk?"
"Yes I am - all of me," I said.
"We've never met one before. Can we take our picture with you?"
I admitted to them that I know no martial arts, although friends of mine do.
"I teach mantra-meditation," I told them, and they understood that it was for inner peace. I shared the maha-mantra with them. They went on their way. That was fine.
Dr. Jani and I then spotted a bear next to a stream. Within the Thunder Bay city limits was this furry guy. I stared at him and he at me. He turned the other way and dashed off. He was not ready to receive the mantra.
39 Km

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