Fox and Fiddle
I don’t believe that any mosque, church or temple could boast the amount of attendance that bars and nightclubs receive. It was a rare Saturday night that I found myself rendering my legs the service they need on Bloor street when I happened to look through the window of a packed house pub. It was the Fox and Fiddle Bar. Naturally it is that time of the week that people chill, and those are the kind of places they go to. I generally don’t peep into windows of religious places, partially because they are less welcoming. They usually have intimidating walls, no large windows in which to catch a glance throught. The overall message seems to be that we are exclusive, not inclusive. Places of worship are also located often where there is no foot traffic and where you require a car. Someone might argue downtowners show little interest in the spirit. Religion draws people who live in the burbs. That’s arguable, our cozy litte Bhakti Lounge at a downtown location is on a second floor over a restaurant and you’ll see something happening there every night, whether it be a kirtan, Gita siscussion, a yoga exersice or a veggie cooking demo. It’s a happening place.
As I trekked more this eveing on the same street, I walked the pace of the younger browsers and chcristmas shoppers, window shoppers included. It was so clear to me that Christ was not really on people’s minds. In fact, the reality of aggrandized smells hit my nostrils. There was the occasional whiff of alchohol and the invisible cloud of marijuana sometimes in the air. You know, this is all gratification stuff that monks dare not engage in.
It put a neat closure to my day. After the promenade, I looked to the Gita for real comfort and in curiousity looked up the subject that often people ask me about. In verse 17.16 Sri Krishna addresses the topic of the mind and what would help tame it. Here is how it is translated by our guru, Srila Prabhupada:
“Satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self control and purification of one’s existence are the eausterieties of the mind.” That’s the clear simple statements, that’s profound. It’s really the purport for the verse that provides more insightful material of the subject of the mind. I love it. It’s given me food for thought on what to sermonize on the next day when a crowd will come to one of our centres in the burbs.