I could get no foothold on a walking trail today. My movement was by car to various locations. All four places were people's homes. There is a thirst to hear a swami talk. It is part of pastoral duty to offer encouragement to community members. Usually they come to you. Sometimes you have to go to them.
My first visit, along with assistant, Connor, was to a household in Woodbridge, where friends came to huddle and eat. Mind you, we not only did that, but I also told stories that were real/surreal and had occurred within my lifetime as a monk; stories of ghosts—friendly and not so friendly—who had come to visit ashrams, and temples, and even appeared on a ferry during my first cross-Canada walk. Whether telling of hobgoblins is a deviation from pastoral obligations, or not, at least I can say I had a captive audience that was told in the end to “chant your mantras.”
The next home, we went to, was in Brampton, with Keshava. It was brief, and only cranberry juice was accommodated within the belly. The former home had stuffed us to the neck.
Visiting Rajesh, whose wife, Sundesh, had just passed away last November, was meaningful. We were there to comfort him. Losing a life partner, and a good one at that, is tough.
Finally, another fair-sized gathering took place in Oakville, at the home of Kasyapa, who held together our outreach centre in Saskatoon for years. We spoke about caring for people in death and despair. We also packed in the prasad, blessed food.
May the Source be with you!