Making it to Montreal is always a good venture for me. Like all visits to various communities, it is special being in the company of old friends, newcomers, and those growing toward new devotional potentials.
Jay and I and a group of local devotees, including a father and daughter from New Brunswick, took to the sidewalks east of the centreville, to catch some good but cool air, and accompany ourselves with the maha mantra, and chanting on beads. The walk was in the prime of the afternoon, but with daylight being so brief during these winter months, you wonder, sometimes, if there even is an afternoon.
Five-thirty p.m. is the time for the Sunday Open House. I was invited to lead the kirtan, singing mantras in appreciation of the saintly monk, Chaitanya. Class followed. Our dedicated monastic in Montreal is Prana Gauranga, who showed me "the famous verse" (as he put it) from Chapter 2:41 of the Bhagavad-gita to speak from. It goes like this.
"Those who are in this spiritual path are resolute in purpose and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many branched."
From the above verse, we can appreciate the message of the value of focus. In the world in which we live, the experience is one of mass distractions, and a sense of concentration on primary functions in life is amiss.
One great aspect of the Sunday Open House is the emphasis on what the soul likes. The components are mantra, message and meal.