Getting to Know You
Tel Aviv, Israel
From the ashram in Aeriel on Hadekel Street, two of the monks residing here took me on a trail that looped around the edge of the town. It was 5:30 AM and Adan was being sung from a minaret of the local mosque. One of the monks chose to be in civilian attire for reasons that he didn't want to deal with authorities. The other one was bolder and stuck to devotional attire. I didn't think there was too much to worry about.
I was becoming familiar with the customary greeting in "Hebrew". Of course, there's Shalom. Also boker tov was the expression I got to know. We were not alone on the stroll. There were warm greeters. One man however, with a lips cap on his head just didn't take too well to our presence. I was trying to get "biker to my tongue, grappling for this new term to send off. I found a big smile had to suffice. A condescending glance that went from my head to toe was how he reciprocated.
I got to know the area a bit, including the university grounds. Cats frequent the streets. Bala Krishna, one of the monks, told me that the students feed these stray feline creatures, which explains the numbers. Jasmine, fig and olive shrub and trees are recognizable to me. It's a wonderful world.
Twelve hours later and we drove ourselves to near the central bus station in Tel Aviv. I'm just a stranger here but I find an absolute "no no" that our Krishna devotees are partaking in. There's nothing wrong with them chanting. In fact, I'm keen to be a part of it. It's the location and formation that got me concerned. As a rule of thumb I would never have a chanting party cause people to have to walk around and walk on the sidewalk and especially outside a busy department store. Sure enough, security came out because our group was just too much "in the face" of the place and so they reacted. Mind you the singing and drumming was supremely lively but we were in one spot for too long, too loud and creating worse than a bottle-neck situation. We had to move on. I hope to learn from our mistakes.
A ten minute walk and we were set for an evening sanga at a community hall. It was a predominant Russian community that came to hear about the Science of the Self, to sing, eat and enjoy each others' company. Bala Krishna translated my message and I was gratified to hear the audience was gratified. It's all the mercy of guru.
May the source be with you!