Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

Toronto, Ontario


I Met Miles


I was at Queen’s Park, once again, sitting on a park bench facing a monumental statue of King Edward VII on horseback. I was chanting on my beads when a young man with a professional camera sat down on the same bench, which is beautifully curved and can accommodate 20 people or so.


At one point he came over to me.


“Do you mind if I take a few shots of you? I find this subject to be most interesting.” I agreed to his request. “Just pose as you were,” he requested. He went at clicking from so many angles.


“Where are you from?” I asked.


“North York.”


“Are you freelancing?”


“A student at Ryerson. I’m always looking for unique things to shoot. It’s an assignment.” He clarified.


After some moments he had me move off the bench. I sat under an oak tree, then maple. He kept taking pics like crazy. We kept talking over the course of the shoot. I mentioned something about our warm weather and my going to Cherry Beach on some days.


“For the summer I’ve been a lifeguard there,” he said. Small world. We’ve probably seen each other.


I spoke about my pilgrimages across the US and Canada. He was interested.


“And your name?” I asked.




“Well, you better live up to your name and do some of that cross-country stuff yourself.” I joked.


“I never thought of my name in those terms. Usually people identified Miles Davis the jazz musician.”


“He’s good!” I remarked.


Miles said he would send me some of his photos.


May the Source be with you!

3 km


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Toronto, Ontario


Sunday, Sunday


For several hours during the week I am bound by Zoom-style classes on bhakti. Sunday is no exception. The interest and practice of devotion is up on Sunday’s; compared to other days of the week. At least it was what we were witnessing today. To honour government regulations a certain amount of people are permitted to enter the temple. That has been successful for a third Sunday now.


And “Govinda’s,” the eatery, is doing well. People don’t mind paying for a nice meal, which, by the way, has the status of being prasadam, blessed food.


Being that today was a day to fast from grains, occurring every fortnight, the menu was simplified and our primary cook, Dwarkanath, was turning out great preps.


The temperature and overall weather conditions were just right. Call it satvic if you will—very much in the mode of goodness. Sunny with a slight breeze, temperatures in the low to mid-twenties Celsius. Comfortable.


After our usual “staircase kirtan” I tried to go for a one-hour, serious walk. And while I attempted to do so my phone kept ringing. In one sense I don’t mind. If I don’t give attention to people reaching out on Sunday, then a tough backlog starts mounting on Monday.


When the phone rings, and I know it will be a conversation of minutes, I go to the nearest sitting bench, or simply plop myself onto a patch of grass, and do my service of listening.


May the source be with you!

2 km


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Toronto, Oakville


At Play, No Walk


There is this sunken area full of trees, green and red, and has a flat surface with grass. Located right next to the Rosedale subway station, it is tucked away and a secret space, which makes for a perfect, private area. We found it ideal as an outdoor drama-practice venue.


This intensely maple-red trees defined our area of work. We scanned this park area and it was clear that here was where we should be. We carried with us no props. However, we found, conveniently, an antique wooden chair. “This is perfect for king Dhrtarastha’s throne,” I suggested. So we began to work, going over the actor’s lines. We auditioned Miles for a part. I also asked Dhruva to come to our practice as he’s great at making short videos for promos.


Each time our cast comes together improvements are made. “Once you get your lines memorized then you have so much more freedom,” expressed actor, Stephen.


Our rehearsal did attract the occasional pedestrian. An English couple, mother and son I presume, sat down to watch for a bit. Our crew remained oblivious to the attention. The story is too captivating.


“Envy is useless,” asserts the king (in the practice). He believed that to be true until his affection for his son, Duryodhana, eclipsed his moral and common sense.


“This story is about greed and ambition and how it eats you alive. In the last scene a sober resolve transpires,” I explained to our visitors.


Our practice then came to a closure in order for me to rush to Oakville for a house program, to chant, read and eat, in the reverse order, actually.


May the Source be with you!

0 km