I was invited to ‘Kirtan Toronto’ in location—Richmond and Spadina—at the residence of host Rikin (aka Rasheshvara Madhava) to conduct a chant-and-chat session. He told me it would be a small gathering, I guess with corona consciousness in the atmosphere. I took Corrado with me. We volunteered to walk from the ashram. Outdoors is a relatively safe way to go.
It just so happens that Chinatown is in between these two points. What did we see? Well, not the crowds you normally would see. Restaurants were relatively empty. A popular bakery we passed by was quiet. The two shop owners were leaning on the service counter talking. All those shops that carry knick-knacks had very few customers in the aisles. I would say it wasn't exactly a Ghost Town on Spadina Avenue, but it sure was not its usual bustling self.
We arrived at Rikin's and had a meaningful kirtan along with a vegan meal. Pierogis were on the menu. When we talked, we spoke about the power of community, and how important it is for we humans, who are social animals, to bond together for strength, in times that are good and in times of trouble. We identified that togetherness is essential for our well-being, even if it is recommended that, in the current situation, we stay two metres away from each other.
The scare of corona is really a call for karuna, which literally translates as mercy or compassion. Let's take the corona challenge as an opportunity to value each other more and show some more RESPECT.