Thursday, 31 October 2019

Friday, October 25th, 2019


Baby God and Men In Black

All over the world, there is a Damodara buzz going on. Damodara is a name of Krishna, referring to His mother chastising Him for His naughty behaviour. This event is meditated upon by offering lit ghee wicks before the images of Krishna and Yashoda.

While this warming ritual is taking place for one month globally, Vidyanidhi hosted this sweet program tonight. He’s one of our followers, an architect from Brampton.  Many newbies, or first timers, came for the song, lights, and food. Ajamila, my Bengali friend, led the kirtan in his outgoing, soulful style.

To get to Vidyanidhi’s home–a mere forty kilometres from our downtown ashram–I decided to go for a head start on foot. “Please pick me up, Jaya. I’ll be going north on Bathurst.” On Bathurst, you find many Jewish folk honouring the Sabbath. It is the weekly day of rest, observed from sundown on Friday until the three stars are visible in the sky on Saturday night. One way of observing this sacred day is by going to a synagogue or Jewish worship centre. So, in my trekking north in anticipation of Jaya showing up, I passed by numerous men in black with black hats.

They were nice to me. I was nice to them. We tried to exchange a nod, a smile, a word or two. It was the beginning of a brief relationship on the spiritual platform.

May the Source be with you!
7 km

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Toronto, Ontario

Some Foot Care

I have decent track shoes, but was lacking in the easy slide-in-and-out type of sandal. They are essential because I’ll soon be off to milder climates, like Argentina and Cuba. So, I walked up Yonge Street to the store, and made my choice.  I also needed indoor, temple footwear which will be easy to remove. Our building has rooms such as the temple room, where footwear is prohibited.

It’s all about footcare.

I was reminded of the story in the Ramayana, where both the wife and brother of Rama were so sensitive to the destination of Rama’s feet that they vowed to walk in front of Him through the thickets, where sharp stones and thorns could do damage. Their names were Sita and Laksmana, respectively.

We know Rama didn’t necessarily need their protection. They declared His soles to be too soft, but for Him, enduring austerity was what He really thrived on. In any event, the sentiments projected toward Him were about care and personal service.

Once I arrived back at the ashram after asking for a lay-away of my chosen sandals, I took some time to care for my feet directly. Some epsom salts would do the trick! I’ve also been putting some ayurvedic treatment on the corn on the base of my right foot. Believe it or not, I’ve had that silly thing with me since my first cross-nation walk in ’96. It doesn’t really hurt. It’s just there, and I just want to ask him to take a hike.

May the Source be with you!
4 km

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Grafton, Ontario


Jay and I decided to stop in at the farm in Grafton, but just prior to that,  Jay expressed that he was tired, and so I said, “Take a nap. I’m walking.”  I proceeded to do this loop on Old Shelter Valley Road. The sun was out and after a full day of rain, yesterday, the leaves on the trees were dripping with life. Also the wild grapes were heavy with overnight drops.   I thought this walk was “groovy.” Then I pondered on the origin of that word. Google tells me it evolved in the late ‘50s. Of course, the “beat’ generation brought that on.

When Jay and I returned to Toronto, I received a call from Billy Kabino. “I’m sending you the promo for “Temple Groove” on Sunday morning.”

“Thanks! I’m behind it,” I reassured. Billy is the brainchild behind the “Temple Groove” initiative. It will be the second time running. It includes chanting, yoga, sacred bowls, ecstatic dance and vegan prasadam. All lyrics are drenched in bhakti (devotion) and Billy himself will do some DJ-ing.

I really appreciate the creative approach which is being held in “Govinda’s” at 243 Avenue Road, in Toronto. When I saw the promo (which I’ll share on instagram) I thought, “Oh yes. This is how it started when Prabhupada came to New York and San Francisco. Local youth were coming. They were dancing in interpretive ways, singing from their hearts, relishing all that was heard philosophically, and all that was tasted. He successfully took an ancient culture and fed it to the ‘flowers’ of the nation—the youth—the whites, blacks, Orientals, Indians, and everyone. It was totally “Groovy”.

May the Source be with you!
3 km