Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Going East

Onward we go in our trusty 2006 Ford Freestar, ‘The Jaladuta Express’, eastbound on I-80 through Utah, Wyoming and the soon-approaching Nebraska.  We know little of what’s going on in the world.  We are in our own little transcendental bubble.  This is brahmacari-style living—simple, humble.  We like it that way.

Even though we are somewhat limited to a van, we have diverse things going on—japa meditation, chanting, reading, naps and some time in the park.  It’s a break for us and our machine, ‘The Jaladuta’.

The capital city of Wyoming is Cheyenne, population 64,000, and it’s celebrating its 150th birthday, just like Canada.  We pull over at the Holiday Park, where a manmade lake is replete with deep red fish—maybe goldfish.  But that’s not how we busied ourselves.  The squirrels are particularly human-friendly, golden-bellied and gorgeous tailed.  The boys did the benevolent act of feeding the bushy-tailed creatures with peanut prasadam.  They went squirrely, both my assistants and the animals.

Now, all three of us are from the east.  We’ve never seen dust storms like they have here, where the sky turns brown and tumbleweeds and corn stalks are hurled through the air.  Visibility was poor.  It’s actually dangerous.

When the term “the wild, wild west” is used, it just can’t only refer to tough cowboys with spurs and the roping and lassoing of cattle and horses.  It just might have something to do with the concept of weather.  It was beastly.

May the Source be with you!

1.5 miles

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Salt Lake City, Utah

To Salt Lake

It is our first day of travel back to the east—a long twelve hour drive on Interstate 80.  No walking for me today.  The boys and I were on a tight deadline to make it to Salt Lake City.

The two-consecutive-no-walking-day program has me a little worried.  If it keeps up, I’ll gain weight again.  Currently my kurta (upper cloth) hangs loose on my torso and I'm kind of glad about that.  Future tailoring means a tighter knit with the kurta, if I stay thin.  Just a bit of discipline is required in the form of walking to keep pounds (karma) at bay.

While in the passenger’s seat, I get the chance to keep up with reading Chasing the Rhinos With the Swami, authored by Shyamasundar.  I'm in the episode where he met and spent quality time with George Harrison.  Marshall was in the driver's seat and reminded me of a song by Geroge—“Any Road.”  So I played it from the phone.  Here are some of the lyrics:

“Oh I've been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there and traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With a spin of a wheel, with the roll of a dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there.

And I've been traveling through the dirt and the grime
From the past to the future through the space and the time
Traveling deep beneath the waves
In watery grottoes and mountainous caves.

But oh Lord we've got to fight
With the thoughts in the head, with the dark and the light.
No use to stop and stare
And if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there

You may not know where you came from
May not know who you are
May not even wondered how
You got this far.

I've been traveling on a wing and a prayer
By the skin of my teeth by the breadth of a hair
Traveling where the four winds blow
With the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow.”

The song goes on.  It’s sweet.

The program in Salt Lake was sweet, too.  We chanted and gave a report of our walking travels up to San Francisco.  I asked if anyone knew about Tumbleweed, the kitten we found on the side of the highway, in the middle of nowhere and in the middle of the night.  We left her at Spanish Fork amidst the llamas back in August.

Thanks to the Sharma’s who opened their home for the program and Rasavilas for the accommodation.

May the Source be with you!

0 mi

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Berkley, California

Don’t Mix

Bhagavad-gita, 13.22 states, “The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature.  This is due to his association with that material nature.  Thus he meets with good and evil amongst various species.”

The above divine verse is what I spoke about at the Berkley ISKCON temple, this evening.  It’s a favourite.  We have there another one of those endorsements for reincarnation and the subject of duality.  The superior energy, purusha, mixes with the inferior energy, prakriti, and then something happens—good and bad—through various life forms.

What does this mean, simply?  To stop the mixing we must extricate ourselves from such strong identification with this inferior energy which always changes and cannot be trusted.  One scholar, Chanakhya, said, “Don’t trust in asat, the temporary.  Trust in sat, the permanent.”  Krishna, the Source, is permanent.

I was happy to see Guru Das join us for the program in Berkley.  He is a genuine kind-hearted person.  Also Dilip Patel has been a real sweet soul to our party of cross-country travellers, giving us rooms in Pacifica.  Mandala is with us for the weekend and he accompanied me in the walk in 2015 and 2016.  I consider them all my “honey chiles.”

When I think about it, the Divine Intervener, Krishna, surrounds me with such amiable people.  I feel blessed.  Maybe one day I’ll identify less with the prakriti.

May the Source be with you!

0 mi