Los Angeles, California
A concrete man-made water way is what gave space for the Ballona Bike Trail, a route that Dhananjaya and I had now become partially familiar with. It looks like we were not the only ones aware of this quiet getaway. We shared in this secret with a coyote who non-chalantly prowled his way (a portion of its length opposite to the river to us.) I Tried to gain his attention, "Hey Dude!" but he wasn't in the least phased. Frankly I was happy he was just there. His very presence seemed to defy or transcend the human infrastructure around him.
The other day, I had the same feeling when at pre-dawn an opossum was making its journey at post-party time on the San Diego beachfront. For him the party just began as I followed his quiet footsteps from dumpster to dumpster. He was apparently doing his rounds.
For those of us who are fortunate to live the lifestyle in the monastic order, rarely a day goes by where we can ignore sastra, the written wisdom, wherever we go. In reflection on today's Bhagavatam verses I was asked to speak on the final message of Chapter 11, Canto 7, regarding the Vedic four social orders. The Vedas convert the four social human types based on a person's psyco-physical make-up. What I attempted to emphasize was that spiritually we are all equal, as servants of Him. Materially we are all distinct and simultaneously complimentary to each other.
Complimentary or not, I did mutually get on well with a guy at the LA Airport waiting for a flight to San Jose. He calls himself a skipper or a sailor who is well-travelled and works on boats. He was neighbours to Crosley, Stills, Nash & Young and helped them get their yacht adrift in those days. A firm believer in conspiracy theories, he clearly pointed out at the CNN screen in front of us and declared that tv tells no truth.
He expressed that he really liked what I was doing as a roaming monk, hitting trails on foot and meeting people. On a recent ocean voyage he took ninety boy scouts for an adventure. I asked about the outcome.
"They're today's kids, hooked on gadgets and know little of the outdoors. About a dozen caught on. It's a shame, really."