My day of thrills began at the front door in the morning. I was poised to go for a stroll with visitor/monk, Bhakti Prabhava Swami, when an exploring raccoon shimmered his way up the cedar out front. I got close, stroked his back, and then he posed for that perfect picture. He didn’t snarl at me. Thanks young fella!
At 9:00 a.m., Ananda and I started a rehearsal with some of our female dancers using dandiya, decorated sticks that make a click-clack when the dancer makes a twirl. The sticks meet to the beat, and it is Ananda who provides the rhythm with her djembe. It went well.
I was then whisked away to attend a funeral at the Lotus Cremation Centre. A pious Hindu and devotee, Ramlagum, lived a full life and left this world at a ripe mature age. Ananda and Kishor accompanied me for the singing of bhajans. I gave several messages from the Gita. “We are spirits—not these bodies.” “We advance through service to others.” I believe the family was content to hear our mantras as a voice-over to the last rites. Bless Ram’s soul!
Evening came, as it always does, and Jai, Connor and I walked down some streets in a city whose team won the game in basketball playoffs. The Toronto Raptors were winning so far. We also went park-hopping, sitting on benches, chanting a round of Japa in each of those green spaces, from Taddle Creek Park to St. Alban’s Square, to Jean Sibelius Square, Toronto Archives, Sergeant Ryan Russell, to Jay McPherson Green.