Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The Burst at Amherst

Little River to Amherst, Nova Scotia

Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police stopped their vehicles out of curiosity. We chatted. They were familiar with our Hare Krishna order. Then outside Shipley’s Monuments, where they sell tombstones, Dave, the owner, caught my eye as I proceeded west.

“Where are you from?” He asked in a friendly tone. We talked of many things, including tombstones, and of life and death. In our community, we would likely not provide much business for Dave because we basically cremate our parish people. Dave was not concerned with anything but the fascination of the pilgrimage undertaken. After I left him to hit the road again, he proceeded to call his buddy Donald who told his buddy. Through word of mouth I suddenly had all these friends to talk to as they met me at the road.

Lilly Ann was walking and spotted monk, Matt, and I on the street in Amherst. We conveyed to her what we did the others, that this is a therapeutic walk meant to purge the soul, “Please try this Hare Krishna mantra.”

Truly intriguing for me was to meet Dave of the Amherst Daily Paper. He picked up on the purpose of the trekking as a way to explore who you really are. I took that cue as a way to say that we are spirits. We are not humans, black, white, male, female, Buddhist, Christian or Hindu. We are a spark of life, moving on, trying to make good, being conscious of the Creator, loving Him, and seeking ultimate freedom.

There was one more Dave today who interviewed me right in the studio of CKDH 101.7 FM radio station. We got to speaking about the soul’s motion from body to body and that we have this golden opportunity as a human to work at perfecting to the fullest capacity, our potential. I mentioned to him that I chant for 3 hours each day on my japa beads. He was astounded. “Three hours?” he repeated. I walk 6 hours each day so 3 hours of chanting is easy.

The Amherst area was the best yet for receptivity. In the beginning of the day I conveyed to Matt, “You know, here in Nova Scotia people are rather reserved. Even the police haven’t stopped. By responding to a call that I might have escaped from a local penitentiary where the guys dress in orange.” This has happened several times in the past. So here we are, the day started with the meeting between two mounties and a monk, and everything rolled out just great from there.

This portion of the first leg of walk four ends here. I will reconvene at the New Brunswick border in the spring of 2012. All goes well. Om tat sat. Daily walking reports will continue.

24 KM

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

He Slapped His Tail

Oxford/Little River, Nova Scotia

He slapped his tail against the surface of the water, warning his community that danger lurks in their midst. I was the intruder and the one sending the warning sign was a beaver. On the Cross Canada Trail leading up to Oxford, Nova Scotia, you will have these wilderness experiences. I also spotted a pair of grouse, bear feces everywhere, but most prominent was the work of the boys with the fancy sharp teeth and tennis racket tails who have made their mark. Their trails are abound. I saw a mini Hoover dam so expertly constructed, and at least one sizeable tree chewed off to a pencil point and then crashed to the ground.

Thicker trees are left alone, but not by the night chill. Autumn cold is turning leaves from green to deep orange and red. So that happens to those trees who stand alone. Those nestled by other trees are at this point protected from a chilly dynamic. This display of nature is to me, like attempting spiritual life all on your own. You are vulnerable to the onslaught of temptations when you try it solo. Once you commit to spiritual camaraderie, you are then sheltered from the attacks of maya (illusion). I’m fortunate to have Bhakta Jeff, a good supporting soul, to be present at every access area to the trail as he drives ahead. Once we reached Oxford we realized the trail merges with the highway. It was a disappointment. From there onward I ventured down the Highway 204 to Little River at Oxford. Jeff and I met with Charlie of the Oxford Journal for an interview and photo.

Boy, this is certainly not the Oxford we hear about in the UK, but it does boast having the world’s largest blueberry, a metallic sculpture of the fruit.

We left the wilderness and small towns behind for a wild and ecstatic kirtan (chanting), a reunion with other brahmacharis (monks) in Halifax for the late afternoon. Halifax is another world. There’s young people everywhere and they respond so well to the presence of us monks.

30 KM