Wednesday 28 December 2016

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Mississauga, Ontario

Hooked Up 

I was “hooked up” to one of Dr. Ho’s devices for muscle relief.  I accepted an invite to Raj Grover’s home for dinner, and how splendid it was!  He had everything that could kill a monk (sarcasm here).  On the menu were wraps with choices of dips, pizzas of Italiano quality, hummus garnished with mouth-exploding herbs, my favorite—asparagus cut with Indian masala—and for a beverage, a fine lemonade with stevia to replace nasty sugar.

But now the hook-up! And the muscle relief to follow that lovely killer of a meal.  By the way, my doctor, known professionally as Dr. Pandith, sat next to me at the dinner table, and also indulged at my side.  We watched each other’s quantity intake. 

Dr. Ho must be doing well, at Christmas time, with sales of his equipment.  He convinced Raj to get this device with pads and wires for feet, leg, and back muscles.  But I must admit, jolts of joy were applied when Raj pressed the button to trigger the various levels of intensity.

Before Raj applied this to my various areas of a walker’s challenge—such as knees and the right shoulder blade—I looked at the apparatus and caught a glimpse into the past (a flash-back) of Alice Cooper being set on the electric chair for a zap.  The recall was just momentary.

The end result of being hooked up was good.  I became more relaxed than before, and came out of it better off than Alice Cooper.  Truly, Dr. Ho’s device looks less foreboding.

I would just like to end with a “Merry Krishnas” and a “Hare New Year!”

May the Source be with you!

0 km

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

Scarborough, Ontario

Jesus and Krishna

Trekking today was restricted to the balcony of our building—the balcony being a horse-shoe shaped formation.  And that I executed after the party, or shall I say when the sermon and the hymns were over.  In our Toronto Centre, we have Sunday functions of chanting, discussion and food in what used to be a Methodist Church.  I took the opportunity to walk at night when all was done.

Yes, it was a trying day.  For clergy, Sunday is usually like that—very demanding.  It started off with a trip to our Scarborough Centre where a bubbly bunch of congregants meet on Sundays.  Sunday is not a special day, per se, in our Krishna or Vaishnava tradition, but out of convenience it is the day of the week when people are more available for getting together.

The turn-out in Scarborough was good.  Even Christmas is not a marked day on our calendar—although a day to honour Christ is worthy of some attention.

Back to 243 Avenue Road, the downtown Toronto Centre where I live and gave my second sermon, or as we say pravachan, of the day.  When I stepped into the room to greet the Sunday crowd, I recalled a Jesus/Krishna parallel.  This room and building was our purchase in late ’75.  It was formerly owned by a Protestant Christian group.  It was up for sale.  We were seriously looking to buy it but the former owners had no interest in selling to the Hare Krishnas.

Our guru, Srila Prabhupada, told our people—the potential buyers—to say, “We will install a statue of Jesus Christ and honour it,” as a way to negotiate.  He was quite serious about that.  They wouldn’t hear of it.  Somehow Krishna and His devotees got inside.  Jesus and Krishna are compatible.

May the Source be with you!

5 km

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Toronto, Ontario

Happy Holidays

I had only two hours left in the day to get some kilometres in before the midnight approached and Christmas Day would begin.  I tied my shoe laces and grabbed my phone, then dialed an old friend whom I wanted to wish well.  I shut the door behind me.  I was outside now in a snow-melting Christmas.

“Hello!  Visvakarma, it’s been a while.”

“Yes it has.  Hare Krishna.”

“I’m walking as we talk.”

And talk we did—of old times, ’73, of people we know and also wish well, of the world situation, of the power of the technique of chanting.  And as we did, I saw people, some having the spirit and some not.

“Where are you now?” asked Visvakarma when music of yuletide was playing from the outdoor speakers of Holt Renfrew.

“Bloor, but getting close to Yonge,” I said.

Much later on, an hour or more, after a muscle car burned rubber, and he could hear the sound penetrating through a hopeful “Silent Night, Holy Night,” he asked again, “Where are you now?”

“I’m near Dundas.  I got to Queen and turned around.”

I was happy to hear that he’s been in touch with God-brothers (“Go-bros” I call them, sometimes) and giving encouragement to each and all about doing their japa (mantra meditation).  Some had drifted from this request of our teacher, Srila Prabhupada, but to his credit, Visvakarma is pulling them back in again.

It was time for me to sign off on the call, which was no doubt positive.  I had listened, spoken and observed the rough and refined.  My last leg was a slippery slope over ice, water and snow.  Just a reminder of the care we must take as we do life.

Happy Holidays.

May the Source be with you!

7 km