Thursday 30 September 2021

Monday, September 27, 2021

Ramsden Park, Toronto

I’ve Been Seeing Them


While sitting at a park bench, a curious soul came next to me. She is part Cree, part French, which makes her a Metis. She started talking even before an introduction. “I sometimes go to Govinda’s to eat.” That kicked off a conversation with loads of questions.

A section of the conversation was her appreciation of seeing regularly, before Covid, two monks, one handicapped, walking up and down Avenue Road routinely. “Please tell these two men that I’ve been seeing them, as I live on the same street, and they’ve inspired me with their walking and chanting.”

“I will,” I said as I’m now sure she’s talking about Dharmaprana and Dakshin, two of our elder monks.

My new friend asked about the chanting and so I gave her my mantra card which reads “Please try the following mantra and shine: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” Translation ‘Oh Awesome Creator, allow me to be of blissful service to You and the world.’”

I explained that “Hare” refers to God Feminine and Krishna refers to God Masculine and Rama refers to the pleasure of serving the Divine Mother and Divine Father.

More questions came – many – and it was a pleasure to share from my side. As a follow up I invited this very sweet woman, a film-maker by profession, to any of our morning classes at 9:30 a.m.

Nice day in the park.


May the Source be with you!

1 km


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Hospitals on University Ave

Taking a Walk to See Mary


There we went swiftly on our feet – Dhruva from Calgary, Satya from Montreal and I – down University Ave in the hospital district. Many of these establishments are renowned for their research on cancer, heart disease and children’s diseases. “Oh, and look, there’s Mount Sinai Hospital next to us,” I pointed out, “where two months ago I had my knee surgery.”

Our purpose for walking here was not necessarily to show the boys a haven for sightseeing. That the area is not. Rather, one of us, Satya, is involved in a feature film on the iconic silent-film star, Mary Pickford, and I thought to bring them to a monumental bust of the grand lady on University Avenue, right in front of Sick Kids Hospital. She apparently was born in a house at that spot. Funny thing is that she was highly admired as “America’s Sweet Heart” during the silent-picture era, but in fact her body was Canadian.

From a total perspective of a monk like me, I would just say that she was an entertainer and, as a service to humanity offered, joy to many. She is also documented to have an affinity towards spirituality in the form of a book, “Why Not Try God?”

Pious woman, indeed.

There was a time when God was important in people’s lives, in fact it was very prevalent in Protestant-dominated Toronto and that was true in 1892, when she was born.

Thanks, Mary, for sharing faith and wisdom.


May the Source be with you!

7 km


Saturday, September 25, 2021

High Park, Toronto

Something Special


Something special happens on Saturday with events that occur at Toronto’s popular High Park. I can’t confess to know all that goes on at this green piece of relief from Big City dynamics, but one thing is for sure – people come here for peace. The venue, in fact, is so sought after and relatively but serenely busy that traffic is closed here on holidays and weekends. Those of us who are chant-and-dance lovers make it a point to take full advantage of this wonderful spot every Saturday from 1-3 p.m.


Off of Bloor Street near Colborne Ridge we gather where people of tranquil minds funnel in and out and where an elderly fellow plays his sax from a park bench belching out tear-jerking classics like “Days of Wine and Roses.” I don’t know how long he sits there but to me he’s a permanent and welcoming fixture who gives to the atmosphere.


Heads turn and smiles project off the faces at the free flow of human limbs in a dance and chant tradition of monk Chaitanya, who is most influential to this day since he inaugurated this bliss in the early 16th century. It is so crazy to see that this tension-releasing program of love and tenderness goes on in many fine corners of the world.


I’m happy to hear and receive pics of devotees celebrating Krishna’s birthday in Antarctica. Perhaps the Beatles’ “I am the Walrus” was prophetic with the lyrics, “penguins chanting Hare Krishna.”


May the Source be with you!