Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Monday, August 31st, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

Come To Terms

I had come to terms with one thing about our little chanting party that makes its merry way regularly through streets of pedestrians. The group, like today, consisting of three monks, one nun, and a layman by the name of Patrick, are not a particularly "loud-sounding" group of singers. I suppose I can belch it out to the accompaniment of a resounding mrdanga sound but everyone else....?

This is not to blow my own horn but the others are by nature more soft-toned as well as more soft-spoken. So, the resolve in my mind is that we agree to not be a boisterous group but to be what we are - a bunch of mellow fellows.

Since I'll be leaving soon for a historic walk I thought, "Let's see what it looks like when I'm not there. Can we assemble a meaningful procession to go up Bloor Street? No! Then let's settle for a milder approach, sit on the grass and let our song run like smooth molasses."

So, to Christie Pitts Park we went this evening and delivered, or rather, tested the waters. We plopped ourselves onto the grass next to a small oak and sang. Two drums played with light thumps and one kartal (hand cymbal). During this time, the whole hour, what appeared to be a lost, homeless character had been in a daze while seated on a park bench. He kept looking our way. From the ample distance away, approval or rejection from him was not easy to discern.

Our group did what our alotted time could and as we were about to leave the fellow came over, again a bit dazed and perhaps traumatized by a ruthless world, and handed me a roll of quarters. It was done so nonchalantly. He turned and went off. I asked one of the boys to run after him and hand him one of our books for his edification but, "no, not interested". The mantras we sing were enough for him to appreciate, I imagine.

Perhaps a point was proven. A small group can choose a spot to sit down, chant with all their heart, in mild format, and people will love it.

May the Source be with you!

6 km


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