the walking monk (173)

Two Prong by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I’m rather regulated with my walk through Rosedale and having that balance to the day.  There are dead ends for cars but for pedestrians you can transcend those barriers.  Let me draw a simple analogy.  Spiritualist have a capacity to go beyond, to do the extraordinary, to defy what laws of nature impose.  Spiritualist tread a trail that knows no barrier.
 
For me, well I’m a novice in my practice.  I have a long journey yet to make and that’s alright.  I believe that I have two rods to hang on
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“Love thy neighbour as much as thyself,” is a biblical foundational statement which basically can be considered to have universal application.  It was our decision, the small group of monks in the ashram, to join our neighbours on Roxborough St. in the noise-making at 7:30 pm.  It has become routine for a dozen or more households to engage the pots and pans, whistles and shakers in making music in order to rattle the cage of the corona virus.  You can call it a war-cry machine.
 
At 7:25 our “mo
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I Put In My Seven by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I put in my 7 kilometres for the day, which was a productive day considering I’m locked down like almost everyone else.  I am to understand that not all places are tight on restrictions like much of the world.  I spoke to someone from Guyana and who has connections with Trinidad where life is fairly “normal.” In touch with Cuba, as I go there annually, and right now there are no tourists which Cuba’s economy depends upon.  One of my friends from Cuba said it plain and simple, “It’s dead.”
 
But
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Be Grounded by Bhaktimarga Swami

Yes, I’m still in T.O. or what rapper, Drake, calls “The Six” (six boroughs), however, my mind is all over the place.  Yes, today it gravitated to San Diego, Calgary, Ottawa, Miami, Australia, Russia, Spain—just about everywhere that a dream leads to—oh, and even the sun.
 
I thought of Hanuman who flew to the sun.  You might as well say I traveled ethereally to all under the sun and in one sense, to the sun as a passenger with the powerful monkey himself.   Today there was no presence of the su
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A doctor friend from Florida amicably suggested I hear “Nature’s Way of Telling You Something’s Wrong,“ by the band “Spirit,“ not that it would act as a panacea but perhaps to ponder on an obvious element of truth given the pandemic we are in.  So, I looked them up, listened to the song and it’s fine.  For my medical friend it’s nostalgic.
 
Oops!  But I had to rush downstairs for another broadcast of Dwarkanath, Corrado and I chanted.  We chose this song, “Bhajahu Re Mana” by Govinda Dasa Kavi
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A Cyclist by Bhaktimarga Swami

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Let’s call him Bill.  I met Bill now for two consecutive days in a row—yesterday and today—at nightfall actually.  It was just after our neighbors banged pots and banged whistles outside their doors, an indication that we are battling King Corona.
 
The weather the last two days has been brisk but Bill was out on his bicycle doing what I’m doing, a ritual of sorts.  I’m moving my legs a step at a time and he’s moving his, but off the ground and in a cyclical fashion.  I’m chanting while walking
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Then and Now by Bhaktimarga Swami

4429252168?profile=RESIZE_400xI managed a walk through Midland’s downtown which is under siege by a construction crew. A big dig. Perhaps water pipelines need to be replaced.
 
In the 1600s this place was also under siege by a certain kind of way.  At that time Jesuits from France came to the New World (North America) and to this region with the intent to preach their sermon to the local indigenous people, the Wyndad, also known as Hurons.  Unfortunately or fortunately the mission failed.  Many of the Hurons were favourable
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Nimai allowed me to take the lead and direction for the early evening stroll. “Let’s head for Casa Loma, the castle that’s in our neighbourhood,“ I suggested. So we did and Nimai was so surprised that this treasure of a building is so close by. We took that very street to the west of the edifice and then viola! There it was an all its splendour. 
 
In 1914, financier Sir Henry Pellatt built the landmark for his first wife, Mary, the first chief commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada. The Got
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Questions! by Bhaktimarga Swami

4391364481?profile=RESIZE_710xI make a point of taking a walk every afternoon. Reasons? I need the good Spring air. I need to connect with others who are feeling the same need, and I do it at a solid distance with a glance and a smile.
 
With temperatures above 0°C,  I find it quite pleasant; no coat required. With just my kurta and dhoti (upper and lower garments), I fair fine. I pull my beads out from the bead bag, not only to chant on them—uttering the maha mantra—but to let other pedestrians there in the park know that I
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Now I was raised on a small farm. We had—on this ten acre piece of land—a house, barn, sizeable front yard, a garage for two vehicles, and an orchard to accommodate some apple, peach, plum, pear and mulberry trees, and in stock—some animals. Oh, and I forgot the chicken coop in the barnyard. There was a family milk cow, chickens, pigs, a goat, a pony, pheasants and peacocks.
 
My dad was good with the animals like he was with the veggies (oh and we also had a plentiful garden).  But there came
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I only did some pacing in our temple room today, and chanted on my beads during that time. I kept myself grounded. The wet, gray weather of the outdoors didn’t necessarily beckon me. Besides, I was at the mercy of my service which required indoor attention.

Most importantly was the broadcast on “Zoom” (Zoom Cloud App-free from your App Store) delivering my message, and answering questions to members of the KCS (Krishna Consciousness Society)who are all young men starting off their careers. I w
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A man of experience—meaning middle-aged—and dressed very finely, spotted me on the park bench where I was alone chanting on my beads. He came toward me, stopped at a healthy distance and asked, “So you a man of faith; what do you make of all of this?“
 
“You mean corona?“
 
“Yes.“
 
“It’s an opportunity to slow down our pace, enjoy more of the quiet, enhance our gratitude for what we have, become introspective and hold onto our patience.“

The gentleman smiled approvingly. He mentioned that he
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If I didn’t get to the outside for that daily walk, I would feel utter cabin fever. In a prison. So, while the sun is at optimum power, I feel I must burst out the door.
 
I observed interesting behaviour from fellow pedestrians. Well, some are really kind and offer a greeting of some kind, others are, IMHO (in my humble opinion), a bit over the top with caution. For instance, at one point when Corrado and I were moving on foot on the sidewalk, the oncoming pedestrian left the sidewalk to take
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I walked to the old house, 187 Gerrard Street, which was a temple at one time. Forty of us lived there in that three-storey building with a basement; the first place I lived in the city. I came here specifically to get my monastic training.  We were a vibrant bunch of Hare Krishnas, getting up at 3:30 a.m. to chant, study, do community service, eat, sleep, and teach. Memories!
 
On Jarvis Street, I came upon the mansion the two Massey brothers lived in—Vincent who became a Governor General, and
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To Go Inside by Bhaktimarga Swami

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It is on 20:2020. And it is not an ordinary day.
 
I announced to our small crew of monks that as of tomorrow, there will be a shutdown of the temple, due to the coronavirus. “Oh yes, the duty service will go on, the cooking and business as usual, but we will not be able to welcome people, even the regular pujari’s (priests).
 
These words did not meet ears with surprise. Our resident monks saw something like this coming, what with all that’s around us shutting down. “The Ford auto plant in Oak
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In the Annex by Bhaktimarga Swami

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 In the Annex I’m walking
Moving and not docking
Row upon row a Victorian home
With cars lined just like a comb.
 
As I stroll here Bro
I see the status is “pro“
Got it made for sure
They are far from poor.

Wish I could meet them
The ladies, the gentlemen
They are very much nestled
With maya they’ve wrestled.
 
Want to give a higher taste
Joy is truly above the waist
Or do they care to dance?
In a different circumstance.
 
The dancing avatar has come
Bengal is where He’s from
Telling us we’re
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I Love St by Bhaktimarga Swami

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It was nippy but nice.  The sun was strong and people were cheery going down, or up, Yonge Street.  I took to the west side of the street, going north, because that's where the sun was angled.  I was doing my usual routine with Bhativinode from Scarborough.  He would pick me up as soon as he spotted me in my standout saffron.  Off we went to the ISKCON Centre for one of those rituals, a devotional spectacle called abhishek, a bathing of deities using pure substances, including honey, which are
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How We React by Bhaktimarga Swami

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I was enjoying the food (prasadam) in Govinda's Restaurant, and at a time when there were several other people also pleasing their palates and soul.  I was just coming to a closure of my meal.  Everyone was quite meditative, reflective and quiet, and then I let out a cough.  It was sudden, as coughs usually are, but I quickly responded and defended myself saying audibly, "I don't have it" (referring to the coronavirus).  The room erupted into laughter, knowing exactly where my remark came from.
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Stretch and Walk by Bhaktimarga Swami

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One way to address the dreaded coronavirus is to build up your strength and resistance.  I hear that many of the victims of the disease are travel related.  I believe that if you put your “pedal to the metal” through walking in some good air, you are being very proactive.  Frankly, I do not hear much about boosting the health in these diseased times.  The virus might be contracted more indoors.  Maybe we are not spending enough time in nature’s security—the out-of-doors.

I actually started my
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Brahmana’s Tales by Bhaktimarga Swami

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It was a blessed day in a simple kind of way.  By morning, we opened up a new chapter from the book Bhagavatam, Canto 10, on how Krishna gave special mercy to His old classmate, Sudhama the brahman.  It just has to be one of the best stories ever.  In short, Sudhama, the poor brahman, came to see Krishna in His palatial home with the hope of asking for some improvement in the living condition of he and his wife.  But Sudhama was just too embarrassed to ask when he saw the opulence that Krishna
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