Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Monday, January 15th, 2018

Montreal, Quebec

Some People

I spent some time conversing with my Quebec friends, including Gokul, Bhakti Lata from Jamaica, Gord from northern Ontario and a few more.  Anubhava is one of my favourite Canadian leaders.  He administrates, but maximizes more on ‘doing’.  Currently, he’s doing carpentry and making extra space above the auditorium stage.

Madri came to Krishna Consciousness about four years ago.  She arrived with plenty of insecurities in life but much of that is now behind her.  She has built up so much confidence.  She keeps herself occupied.  She’s blossoming.  I'm happy for her.

Gokul and I lunched together.  They make good prasadam here in Montreal—although eggplant curried veggie preps don’t always hit the mark for me. It was something I consumed in the evening.

I was satisfied to deliver two talks today here in the ISKCON temple/ashram, the second one concentrating on one of those beautiful flowing verses from the Bhagavad-gita.  From Chapter 2, verse 20—I will avoid the Sanskrit or Roman transliteration for brevity’s sake and in English, not French. Sorry.

“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time.  He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being.  He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval.  He is not slain when the body is slain.”

The verse was discussed.  We had our eggplant and we went to rest.

A thought came to mind, as crazy as it was.  I had the image of Napoleon; his right hand concealed in his waistcoat.  Was he secretly chanting on japa meditation beads?

May the Source be with you!

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Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Montreal, Quebec

Transit to the East

I had booked a train because experience tells that in the days of extreme winter weather, a train has no delays.  The ‘iron horse’ (the train) plows through it all.  However, my trip to Montreal saw something different.  There were delays.

During those delays, and otherwise, I peered out the window from seat 15A, Car 6 of Via Rail, quite often.  For anyone who knows this route, you get some pretty good views of massive Lake Ontario.  There’s abundant trees and fields, and I could see cleared walking trails alongside bush and creek areas.  It was enticing.  The sun shone and all of nature looked clean.  I even viewed young boys on a natural ice rink where they were skating and carrying hockey sticks.  How endearing!  How Canadian!

I saw, through my window frames of peace, 19th century buildings—at least the backs of them—and to a past with the vision of towns of long before. Very Victorian! I appreciated the train stations themselves. Before the automobile, they meant everything to people. It was nostalgic to see it all.  A former life—or lives, and there perhaps—made me fall in love with those former hubs of activity.

I arrived in Montreal to be greeted by Dhruva.  I took a shower, ate some wraps and was rushed to the main temple hall at Pie IX Blvd., a snow-occupied world.  By morning, the snow will be removed for ample parking.  Each and every one of us are required to remove the snow from our hearts, as well as the street.

May the Source be with you!

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Vaughn, Ontario

Application of Our Faculties

As Doctor prescribed, I need to relax those legs, apply the Ayurvedic oil and take digestive aid in capsules (organic).  “With that, you’ll get better.”  And so I’ve been complying.

In the meantime things must go on.  Correspondence.  Counselling.  Planning.  Leading a chanting session before a crowd in Vaughn.  Also, there was an appreciation lunch for the cast of “Many Mothers, Many Fathers.”  We watched a video of the January 1st performance.  Not bad.  A one camera angle shooting doesn’t do justice but we thank Sati for putting it together.  We see the embellishments that the play carries, and many saw where there is need for fine tuning.

For the pleasure of guru and God, one puts their best effort forward and keeps striving for excellence.  Endeavouring toward improvement keeps a person alive, otherwise you are facing dry routine.  It’s a matter of application of the heart that brings us beyond the mechanics.

When leading the chant at the large home of one particularly sizeable and extended family, we asked participants to use their voice, hands, heart and smile.  That combination of our faculties seems to work.

We also applied leg power—dance—and got the crowd to form circles of fun.  After all it was Saturday and you’re supposed to have a fever—“Saturday Night Fever,” is how the Toronto Star described our ecstatic dance procedures at the Sunday Love Feast back in the early 80s.  A John Travolta film, if I'm not mistaken.

May the Source be with you!

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