The Day Began In T-Dot
The day began in Toronto in the Yorkville district, one of the locations for TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival. Just hours after the parties rolled up to honour Hollywood stars, including those red carpets, a small group of us robe clad monastics took to those streets for our morning spiritual workout, which is walking and softly chanting. Yes, chanting and moving your mechanism is always a great way to start any day.
Via West Jet, I flew to Saskatoon with a stopover in Calgary. From there, Daruka drove us (with both of our tummies saturated in lasagna compliments of Panchami and Kasyap) to Swift Current and to our rest stop. There was very little exposure to the elements today. I could see the rolling planes, the sun, the clouds, even drops from a sun shower made their way on to the windshield, but I couldn’t feel these features being confined to conveyances.
I had time to contemplate the recent past, such as the verbal exchange I had with the professional wrestlers of yesterday. We were in fact talking about the power of maya, the conglomerate illusions of the world, and to put its personification into a permanent headlock, maybe even cut off the circulation in the process in order for maya to have a long long sleep (apparently wrestlers sometimes press on a gland in the neck of their opponent to achieve this, sounds gruesome).
Well, it is also gruesome to see a soul fall prey to all the diverse hankerings. It’s a pity to be enslaved by the very senses that gratify. Our lack of fortitude permits this slavery. Our reluctance to taste the higher taste and to settle for cheap gratification shows that we don’t want to budge much. As monastics, we never condone the pleasures of life, we just regulate them.
In fact, I came up with a line that I could use for people when they ask about my trekking, “I’m walking to celebrate the human body and the extraordinary things we can do with it such as connecting with our spiritual side. We all know our capacity to eat, sleep, mate, defend. What else are we, as humans, capable of? How about cultivating our true self awareness?”
By the time Daruka and I reached Swift Current I was overzealoused to put my feet on the ground. But sleep comes first, that was hard to do. Probably there’s too much adrenaline running through the machinery.