Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Toronto, Ontario

A Message Came

What showed up on my phone screen was the following:

You have a new message:
Message Details:
Subject - I was humbled and inspired
Message - Greetings, I wanted to pass on my best wishes and share with you a few thoughts.  When you travelled through Jackson, California last summer I met you at the local park.  I was enthralled at your tales from the trails.  I was humbled and inspired.  Since that chance meeting I have walked in the woods weekly.  Your card is attached to my backpack and your presence keeps me grounded as I put one foot in front of the other.  Thank you.  You have added something to my life that I can’t explain but I hope someday to understand.  Safe journeys… Robert
Sent on: 24 March, 2018
Thank you!

And thank you Robert.

What a ‘good feel’ message that was, as I was just about to board a plane at O’Hare Airport.  I wish I had some forest to walk through today, but I'm satisfied knowing that someone is doing what we all ought to do.  For the sanity of the world, let us walk.

May the Source be with you!

3 km

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Honolulu / Chicago

No Swimming, No Surfing, but Chanting

In late 2015, I trekked from Pearl Harbor to the north shore of Oahu, where waves are ideal for surfing.  However, I haven’t seen that many people are taking advantage of the waves the south shore has to offer.  It’s mostly middle-aged men who very religiously show up at that early hour to catch the best wave possible.

This year, Gurudas, Kapu and I walked along the beach at Magic Island, aka Aina Moana, where the exotic banyan trees tower above grassy domains, while the surfers pull out their boards.  Speaking for myself, I’m looking for that perfect moment when I'm chanting with clarity, and with attention.  Often I find myself missing the boat, so to speak, but making an endeavour to sound it out right, softly, while using my beads.

As we leave the surfing beach behind and pace along with more walkers, it’s a greeting of “Hello!” and “Good morning!” in mutual exchange.  Kapu and I are in traditional garb.  It catches people’s attention.

Kapu, 23, who is a native Hawaiian, was demonstrating to Gurudas and me how they used to greet one another.  “It’s rare to find someone doing it today,” he told us.  It’s interesting.  “You put your foreheads together, even noses, and take your right hand to brace the other person’s neck.”  Rather intimate isn’t it?

Kapu also told us that it was illegal to speak Hawaiian until more recently.  Rather sick, I would say.  Can you imagine living in a place where it is illegal to chant on beads, something that you’re thoroughly accustomed to doing?

May the Source be with you!

5 km

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Honolulu, Hawaii


We sat in front of a statue of King Kamehameha I (approx. 1736-1819) who was King of the Hawaiian Islands.  A group of us were exploring the downtown, when we came upon his statue at the Supreme Court.  Now the king was like most conquerors, who set their own standards in order to meet his own agenda.  Now that the monarch has passed away, tourists can enjoy this facility of finely cut grass and palatial buildings.

While sitting here, after covering a few blocks by walking, we reflected on the power of chanting.  How blessed we are to have the engagement of japa.  I reminded the young men with me that the mind is either your friend or your enemy.  When we allow it to go astray, it’s our foe, and when we keep it in good direction it is our angel.

“Whatever you guys end up doing in your lives, have Krishna be there for you, and feel His presence in His name.  Never let go of your beads for chanting.  Take them with you, forever.”

For standards of chanting, I facilitated a “Kirtan Standards Seminar.”  I was so glad to see the core group of Krishna devotees, some of whom travelled with our guru, Prabhupada.  This seminar is something that is appreciated wherever we take it.  A faithful assistant, Dhruva, from Montreal, is someone who has presented this informative seminar along with me.

Guidelines for such endeavours are always necessary, otherwise it’s easy to go in a whimsical direction, and then everything can be spoiled.

May the Source be with you!

5 km