Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Calgary, Alberta

Landing for the Lord

At security in the Saskatoon airport, just behind me, was a tall man of medium-large frame and his son in the line up. I admit I immediately judged him (the father) as a prejudiced cowboy. However, when I sat down at Gate 5, the destination for Calgary, I found the two of them, sitting across the seating aisle, to be quite kind and curious.

“What does your attire represent, if you don’t mind me asking?” inquired Mr. Cooper (not related to yesterday’s Chief of Police, Officer Cooper). That question led on to a refreshing conversation which went rather deep. Mr. Cooper, with the first name of Michael, and his son hale from Terrace, B.C., and run a farm with green-housing. They were thoughtfully interested in the book “The Saffron Path.” A sale was made along with a friendship.

“I’m in Calgary for a Chariot Fest; a re-enactment of a family and friend reunion from the time of Krishna, 5000 years ago. It involves celebratory activities,” so I explained.

I’ve landed in Calgary with a little breathing space. In-between I ended up downtown for a rather happy but crowded group of bhakti yogis, all in cheer of the Lord of the Universe, Krishna. Actually, I was quite amazed by the turnout. It is a post-pandemic burst of social interactive-ness. As usual, with such an event, there are glitches but overall it was a great success.

May the Source be with you!

3 km


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sweet Saskatoon

Two and a half hours north (by car and not on foot) is the city of Saskatoon. I made it in time for the Chariot Fest managed by a gracious couple, Vivek and Amee. They receive a lot of help from their friends. Two lovely young daughters got to the stage for a “Bharat Natyam” classical dance performance.

Ryan flew in from Toronto to play djembe to my lead on chanting. Our methodology was to get safely seated in the back of the “sound” truck and sing and play from there. Radhika from Milton was on the hand cymbals (kartals). This worked well. We were stationed with the vehicle in slow movement in front of all the chanters of which were several hundred. This provided good interaction. And from my view, if I saw one of the pedestrian chanters step over the middle yellow line on the street I used my mic to indicate, “Stay on this (safe) side of the line.” It wasn’t often but I felt I was assisting the police escorts.

Speaking of police, you will not find a cooler “Chief of Police” in Canada. Chief Officer Troy Cooper danced with us at the park site along the North Saskatchewan River. In fact, I think the “icing on the cake” to this 7th Annual Ratha-Yatra was the kirtan session at the end. People got involved with the “Swami Step” and other movements, to the rhythmic beat of the drum and after the light but tasty and well-liked, grain-free meal. Good work done! The Lord of the Universe must be pleased.

May the source be with you!


Ps. I managed to grab and eat some wild saskatoon berries at the end of the day.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Regina, Saskatchewan

Now After Three Years

White City, with a population of approximately 4,000 people, and growing, is an upper middle-class type of town. Many trees have been planted here and the urban green trails are plentiful. Poplar trees are indigenous to the area, as were prairie grasses and tiger lilies until European farmers cleared these areas. There are spots where you can sit, wait ’til the deer come, and enjoy some shanti (peace) as if you are plopped in the middle of tranquil Vrndavana.

It was in Regina at Retallack Street that I met members of the Krishna community as well as Sandy and Evening Star who are part of the Wellness and Healing community in the city. Evening Star is a First Nations person and has been active in native affairs. Recently she attended the local Chariot Fest.

I was impressed with some of the new people coming around and assisting at the temple. You have these younger men and women, newer immigrants with PR status, that have been most helpful in support of our aging couple who have been running the show here for years. Jagannatha, the temple president, is turning 90 soon. Cintamani, has suffered from an auto accident. Their daughter Kavita works in the nursing field and has now become quite increasingly active in temple affairs. The family has worked hard to establish bhakti in the city of Regina and region. I am inspired by them.

May the Source be with you!

3 km