Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Vancouver, British Columbia

Down on Marine Drive

By evening I was able to reflect on the day’s affairs as I strolled down on Marine Drive. It was past the sun’s setting. The air was cool; good for contemplation. I’ll add that overall, it is the coolest spring (and now the dawn of summer) that I’ve ever experienced.

A five-hour flight from Toronto and a three-hour time-zone change threw the biological clock a slight bit off course. I settled down in a room by the ISKCON facility, visited Govinda’s Restaurant for physical and spiritual nourishment, followed by a cat nap and then off to Devender’s. He has this quiet townhome in east Surrey where his family and I engaged in kirtan.

Three kids, two girls and a young son, Saket (2), are all adorable. We chanted and I listened. Devender asked what my thoughts were on whether he should go back with his family to India. “My parents are there. Here in the west, it is so materialistic.” He wanted my opinion. And to add – his folks are coming for a visit soon.

I suggested that he make his own decision, but that it would be nice if he got “fixed up,” as we say, here in Canada in his Krishna Consciousness, and share it with neighbours, friends, and fellow Vancouverites. That would gain, for him, some mercy from Krishna and our guru Prabhupada.

He appreciated the recommendation, which I was happy to hear.

May the Source be with you!

3 km


 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Midtown Toronto, Ontario

From Midtown

I put hours into drama practice. It’s coming along – the production “Demon.” I’m blessed once again with a good team, but it’s hard work. Following that came a visit to Adi Kurma’s. He’s a good cook. He pulled together everything I like – spiced avocado, boiled asparagus (lightly, then sauteed), sweet potato, moong dahl paratha and a lime-mint drink sweetened with maple syrup. All offered to the Lord. Thanks chum, I loved it!

A rush back to the temple/ashram landed me at another Zoom call with a Gita Chat. With summer finally here (solstice is on) and finally with the weather to prove it (27 degrees Celsius) a walk was justified in the coolness of the night. Vallabha Hari was my companion and one of our book distributor stalwarts, Punya, who dropped us off midtown Yonge St. at the corner of Eglinton Ave, where construction for a new subway line is taking an eternity.

Yonge St. can be a lively place with decent shops of all kinds, caf├ęs too, but not much that interests a monk like me. It’s just good to see people out and about. Vallabha at one point mentioned, “There’s an Indian restaurant and it has 100 percent western clientele.”

My thoughts are that, indeed, westerners are taking an interest in eastern cuisine and eastern thought. The Bhagavad-gita itself is the wisdom embodiment of what is eastern, but which, in reality, crosses all borders. The message is universal.

May the Source be with you!

5 km


 

Monday, June 20, 2022

East of Church Ave., Toronto

Getting Back

I’m getting back to doing plays now that the post pandemic restart button has been pressed. I’m preparing a production for Montreal and Toronto’s upcoming Chariot Fests; actually, reviving a piece of the past that is called simply, “Demon.” The duration is 30 minutes and the theme is about the young saint, Prahlad, and his conflict with his dad.

The troupe I’m working with is the Bhakti Academy Toronto (BAT) and we’re having a wonderful time. It’s great to get back on the stage. Hard work is ahead of us. That’s understood by all the members. On any bhakti projects, sincere team-work is required, which is a mere reflection of the endeavours of Sri Chaitanya and His sankirtan party.

My day was largely to do with catching up after my week’s stay in Winnipeg and, naturally, one of those matters of catching up was doing some walking. Subhal, who manages to blow minds with his exquisite cooking on Mondays, drove Chandan and I to his home at Parliament and Gerrard. From there, we walked back to the ashram, a mere four-kilometre stretch. Chandan will be going back to India, so this was my only chance to walk with this young student.

He’s quite excited about his conquering sixteen rounds on his meditation beads. Chanting on those beads with this iconic number is quite the achievement and walking while chanting is a task that some folks relish everyday.

May the Source be with you!

4 km