Monday, 14 June 2021

Saturday, June 12, 2021

High Park, Toronto

 

Getting High on Chanting

 

Some restrictions becoming relaxed on Covid discipline has made it more possible for a flow of freedom in places like High Park. From noon until 4 pm, a small group of us bhakti yoga followers gathered at what Nick called “the Hill” for kirtan performance. It’s a great spot in a great park where people come to chill.

 

I managed to catch the last few minutes of the blissful chant before embarking on a trip (by car) north to Caledon and to a farm. Visiting this sixty-four-acre land in the rolling hills north of Toronto was a real treat, not only because of the breath of fresh air myself and three companions were experiencing, but unique to this farm are the special features it offers. For instance, this new facility has this high-tech self-cleaning automated operation all to accommodate the bulls and cows in the winter season. It is their feeding space, living space, and pooping place.

 

These beautiful mammals also receive a lot of love from owners Vishal (who boldly gets on the back of this feisty bull for a ride), his wife Yashomati and their three children. Both animals and humans are in love with each other. 

The four of us visiting took to chanting, as we had done in High Park, in the barn which actually has living quarters affixed to it. We enjoyed prasadam in the living room which has four large windows that allow you to view the animals in the barn. Cows, bulls, and horses could hear our kirtan and, like a happy family, grouped together to listen in through those windows. It was precious.

 

May the source be with you!


 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto

 

Turned 32

 

Dwarkanatha turned 32 today. He gets to cut the cake and has the first bite. It’s now a tradition that someone (in today’s case it was me) takes that piece in hand and almost forcefully presses it to the birthday boy’s mouth. Congratulations, Dwarka, for being who you are – a great cook, musician, human being, devotee.

 

Hmmm! Great cake! Did he bake it? No! It was a secret little party that took him by surprise!

 

We then went to the park for lunch and there met Pabsung and Dipti. A lovely couple. The veggie burgers were her first attempt. Quite nice! The homemade mustard was nice. A bit strong. Can’t complain about the lunch, which was healthy and tasty.

 

I met Mahabhagavat today at the front steps. He and his family are gearing up for an 18 kilometer walk from home to destination: the temple/ashram. That feat they will take up tomorrow.

I wish them the best. Mahabhagavat makes this a regular feature of his life in addition to executing kirtan in public places. That he does with the greatest enthusiasm. He has got the right spirit – the spirit of Chaitanya – one of sharing.

 

In the Bengali text “Chaitanya Charitamrita,” it is said that in every town and village the sound vibration of kirtan will be heard. It is happening because of people like Mahabhagavat. Thank you!

 

May the source be with you!

2 km


 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Mount Sinai, Toronto

 

Anticipating New Knees

 

A gorgeous morning and I’m on my way to get a check up on my knees at the orthopedics department. I will be making a big decision about my knees. After meeting with Mount Sinai Hospital consultants and connecting with my own doctor (which I did this evening), I’ll proceed to arrange for surgery for knee replacements.

 

I captured a picture of a fellow who was doing a complex rock-climbing feat after he had knee replacements. That picture was framed on the wall in the clinic room. That’s inspiring.

 

The surgeon and assistant were informed of my walking marathons. They were impressed. I shared with the assistant of how I have been coping with the arthritic effects on my legs. “I’ve been applying mustard seed oil on the knees. And for addressing inflammation, I intake a bit of extra turmeric.” The mustard oil was new to her. “Yes,” I reaffirmed, “I experience almost immediate relief of pain.”

 

My walking to the hospital through Queen’s Park was a mere three-kilometre jaunt. Our residing location is just so excellent. Everything is just so nearby.

 

Now, for the night, our ashram residents took time to honor our cook Dwarkanatha. He’s 32 today. We arranged a cake for him and then I popped the first cut piece into his lotus mouth.

We all love this guy.

 

May the source be with you!

3km.