Sunday, 4 December 2016

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Toronto, Ontario 

Leaving but Loving
Paul Knitter, an American dialogue theologian once said, “Although the religions of the world are apples and oranges and are more different than they are alike, still there is a quality of “fruitfulness” that characterizes them all and out of which a ‘common ground’ for shared conversation can be established.”

I certainly believe in the above.  The brahmans of each community should converge to strengthen their relationships and establish a solidarity, despite different ways of approaching the Absolute.  It is a wholesome gesture.

For some years, I participated in interfaith sessions before I ‘hit the road’ to become a pilgrim.  The friendship and bonding amongst the faith leaders was truly rewarding.  I do recall becoming disenchanted, however, when a new representative of a particular group felt that in order for him to be part of the inclusiveness, we not say “God” or imply a Supreme Being, since his group were of a discipline but not a theism.  Clearly for them, there is not a persona or even a supreme energy that can be entertained within the world.

When the inter-faith group gave consideration and catered to the condition, I became disheartened.  Perhaps my thoughts or actions were immature.  I am curious about your comments.

I did become a marathon walker and it strengthened my belief in a Superior Power being very much a person.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Toronto, Ontario

Drain Your Blood

When it started to rain, we headed for the hills.  Not hills, really, it’s Toronto.  There are no hills.  We went for protection, is what I meant to say.

Surya—who hails from Siberia—and I, headed for the underground mall in the city.

Oh, yes, I’m reminded it’s Christmas.  I’m amazed how each year the d├ęcor changes, hence the “look” of holidays gets re-defined.  There is clearly one message, however. “Spend! Spend! Spend!”

Whether you have money or not, “Spend! Spend! Spend!”
Whether it clogs the traffic or not, “Spend! Spend! Spend!”
Whether it makes you happy or not, “Spend! Spend! Spend!”
Whether it snows or not, “Spend! Spend! Spend!”

Etc. etc.

“We are here to drain your blood!” the merchants say.

Sorry, I’m a cynic over what has become of the spiritual event, Christmas.

To lift my spirits, after Surya and I did the underground walk, I went to look for a verse from the Gita which comforts me.  In chapter ten, “Opulence of the Absolute” is listed.

 “Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, non-violence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of the living being are created by Me alone.”

May the Source be with you!

4 km

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Varadero / Toronto 

Just One

It was just one last chance for a beach walk at Varadero.  In that dark, early-hour time, not a soul can be seen or heard (5 a.m.).  A tractor pulled up and ploughed the beach, leaving a fresh turn of the sand.  Done before the people come out to make their prints, it’s a daily affair.

The tourists who come here are globally represented.  Lots of Russians!  Lots of Canadians!  Lots of drinks!

Oh, dear Prabhupada (my guru), thank you for sparing me from the vodka/beer culture, for I see that even in broad daylight, some come into the water waist-deep with huge mugs of booze.  They stand there in the water’s current.  Clean water surrounds them but toxic water pollutes the inside of them.

And there are children at the beach.  What do they learn from these adults? 

This is what it will be like for you as an adult.  Not a good message sent.

In the queue at the airport, a man and woman drink the last contents of a bottle.  It’s precious for them but stinks for those standing behind them.  “Good to the last drop,” they think.  I wanted to say (to them), “There’s got to be a better way,” but I doubt they’d accept my sermon.

I like the massive campaign that has gone on for years to discourage smoking.  It has been effective in saving so many people from bad health.  Can this pro-active education not apply to drinking?

I know for a fact that the plane we were in brought in bottles and bottles of rum and so much other fluid.  Just one bottle weighs something substantial.  But just one bottle pays substantial, and that, it appears, is usually the bottom line.

May the Source be with you!

6 km