Thursday, 25 February 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Balcony at 243

 

Go Slow

 

“Slowing Down in a Fast-Paced World” was the theme chosen for the Mauritian Zoom crowd. I started off with everyone doing a boogie snap of the finger and singing Simon and Garfunkel’s first stanza to 59th Street Bridge song, “Slow down you move too fast/you’ve gotta make the morning last…”

 

Arjuna slowed down. To process. To listen. Only then to pick up due to the empowering words of Krishna. Further still, to go in high gear; into the battle of Kuruksetra. For us ordinary folks it appears that a day’s balance is situated in high and low tides. “Low” as in downtime. Then to run when the rush of high tide comes in. Have you ever been at the Bay of Fundy? That is an exciting place for strolling on the ocean floor that’s all dry. Within minutes it fills up. Quite the experience! An actual rush!

 

The overall message is SLOW DOWN. Pause. Take a moment or two or three, a hundred even, and simply reflect. Remind yourself that you are a spirit, a servant of Him and that it is ok to stop, to pause, to inhale. Let that stretch and also stretch it out on the exhale. It is fine to just pause and be calm; as a service to family, friends and faith.

 

Let’s not forget that when Krishna Himself arises from slumber He meditates. He has His calm before being very active for the day. He sits down and pauses.

 

For today’s motorists we would like to say “Slow down!” Hasty drivers often topple.

 

May the source be with you!

2 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

Getting Messages Out There

 

At noon we had a Zoom. “Mindful Trinity” is a regular broadcast/podcast from South Africa and I had the pleasure to be interviewed on one of those “Tales from Trails” by an elegant host, Vaishnavi Carana.

 

It certainly puts me back on the road when recalling and conveying the stories from the trails of past walks. It will be 25 years ago that I began my first marathon walk across Canada. In April 1996 I took that journey, which lasted seven and a half months, starting in British Columbia and finishing in Newfoundland in December.

 

Vaishnavi was multitasking with the interview in the sense that she was Zoom-ing, YouTube-ing and, to my knowledge, utilizing Instagram all at the same time. I don’t know how she got the technical side to behave in her favour. Anyway, the interview went well according to her.

 

A second Zoom for the day occurred with our Oakville group as we completed our reading and discussion of chapter 16 from The Gita. We had determined once again that a good substitute word for “demonic” (as in a person’s character) is “whimsical.” Several times the purports of Prabhupada make use of this word. Whimsy implies a sense of being confused, casual, directionless and scattered. They are treats that you are not necessarily to be proud of.

 

In two weeks this group will dwell on chapter 17, which is most interesting.

 

May the source be with you!

1 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI


 

Friday, February 19, 2021

243 Avenue Rd., Toronto

 

At the Pots

 

There is bliss in service. That bliss is demonstrated by those in the devotional realm of bhakti. One person, whom I snuck up on, who characterizes this joyful practice, was a person in the kitchen of our ashram. Uttamananda is a kind soul — and a kind soul is usually a happy one — and in the early hour of 6 a.m. he was immersed in pot washing. That’s how I was able to get in from behind him. The pot sinks are against the wall, so anyone who has that designated role of pot washing has a wall in front of him. In front of that wall is a stack of pots, bowls and an assortment of cooking utensils. That stack diminishes in size as you tackle the darlings.

 

For the one who faces that stack of bliss (if you have the right attitude), as you embark on the task it becomes an act of exhilaration. It is like looking at a gorgeous mountain, snow-capped and all. For mountain climbers it becomes an act of ecstasy, a rush, even just thinking about ascending it. For the kitchen optimist it becomes an anticipation of releasing karma, and getting clean. As you scour away at the foodstuff stuck to the base and walls of a pot, both inside and outside, you can really feel good. The heart can savor in the cleanliness of it all. Such a feeling is genuine and real.

 

When our guru’s guru welcomed new recruits to the ashram, for training in monkhood, he would direct them to the kitchen and more particularly to the pots. It was the best service for a novice.

 

As I approached Uttamananda from behind I caught him in a blissful mood. He was busy working away at a large Chinese wok. I asked him if he was wok-ing. He liked that.

 

May the Source be with you!

2 km

 

Please view our new film, Rolling the Dice:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3legHdMgI