Today we had another birthday in the ashram, it was Nicole who took the honour on this fine day. Born in the Philippines and in her early 20’s, she has captured the hearts of all the ashram dwellers with her fine devotional qualities.
We have a kind of family atmosphere in the ashram and when it is someone’s turn to be recognized it becomes moments of lightness and gratitude. Manish is an outstanding artist who designed a gorgeous card for all of us to contribute our tribute to her. Kanad is our main cook these days and he made a cake with an outstanding icing, at least that was the consensus. And my input was, well, it was not an out of the way gift, but I encouraged her to come on that early trek with us as we chant our japa, mantra meditation, which is the ultimate medication.
Let’s face it, we are all imbalanced in some ways in this dark age of Kali. Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, in his brilliant delivery of 7 purposes of the bhakti devotional technique expresses the need to check the imbalanced lives of today and the root cause of the problem is emphasis goes so much to ‘me’ and not ‘we’.
I was delighted that Nicole be part of our small troupe on the street. As of late she has come to like the process of chanting while on the feet. I do wish her the best on this day and in this life. She carries a real sweet attitude that rubs off onto others. It’s contagious.
While she spent a section of her day with family and friends, some of the boys and I made our way to Dundas Street and the Bhakti Lounge run by a devotional stalwart, Mangal Aarti by name. There we had staged our latest drama production, Gita: Concise, to a small group. This was an important venture for me because the lounge attracts among a diversity of people, the artistic types. One chap completed his four year course at Ryerson U in theatre arts, and Melinda is an actor and dancer who very much liked the drama. In fact, her comment at the end of the presentation was that she wants to read up on the Gita now that she saw the rich concepts that the philosophy contains. The actors too had a great time at this humble venue wherein was included a tasty vegan meal of kofta, veggie rice and halava. It was a good day at these two places of bhakti.