Monday, March 03, 2008
I'm outside right now relishing the warm weather and looking at the stars. They feel like old friends. I remember in Arizona sitting on the roof of our house, or driving to the desert, or camping on a mountain. The stars would blanket the sky and the more you stared into the sky which seemed to curve above you more and more stars would appear almost making it impossible to make out the major constellations. I sat on Mt Graham once at Geronimo Hot springs. It was a place where Geronimo would take his men to recover after a long scouting trip or a battle of some kind. It was probably exactly the same time of the year as now but 8 years ago or so. I sat with my hand in a hot steam of water meditating and praying for inner guidance. I peered out into the mysterious universe. I heard, "you have been wandering from planet to planet for so many lifetimes, fighting for this cause and that cause. Why don't you dedicate this one life to Me?" The Great Mystery had spoken. I really contemplated the Lords message and agreed to his direction. There is more to the story but you may think I am crazier than you already do if I explain further.
I stayed in Athens this weekend rather than returning to New Vrindaban. Our Yoga studio opens Monday and I start teaching at the studio on Tuesday. We had our final wrap up meeting today working out all the business details, paying the bills, and scheduling. During the meeting I had the chance to actually look at my schedule of events for this month. It's packed! Tuesday through Friday we are busy morning to night. The weekends are open for travel, New Vrindaban, continuing education and catching up. I feel very fortunate to be serving all day everyday. I always wanted to live a life where my work is what brings joy and inner fulfillment. I can honestly say that right now I see how that has been arranged. There is much work to be done, especially on myself. A number of weeks back I spoke with Acharyadeva about life and he told me to perform the Bhakti Check, a series of personal questions....
The Bhakti check:
Do I really want to do this service as an offering for Srila Prabhupada?
Do I feel Krishna’s presence in my life?
Am I reasonably attached to Krsna? Are my materialistic desires increasing?
Adjust. Make small adjustments to find balance.
I think i answered no no no yes. ouch. now i think i am answering, yes yes no yes. All of them I am working on. What I am appreciating most is that I have been gifted with a steady service to be able to notice and work on these points. On Tuesday we celebrate our 5th year anniversary of New Vrindaban College outreach. Just after we started my Gurumaharaja stopped me in the hallway behind the pujari room in New V and embraced me saying, "this is such a wonderful service. It is the best service you can do for the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." Hearing this I just put it in my head that i should try to stick with this and try my best. We have made unlimited mistakes and still do but steadiness is allowing us to make natural progress. The analogy is like the water dripping on a rock. Outreach and everything which is involved with it is like water which is dripping on my wicked heart.
Friday, February 29, 2008
I don't like saying the word gun anymore. In yoga class today I told the students to interlace their fingers above their heads and leave their index fingers pointed upward. I was about to explain that they can imagine they are holding a gun in their hands shooting upwards. I didn't use this visualization but I did take note of my hesitation to reference a gun for any purpose. When I saw this photo of me walking with this facemask on I reminisced of my former desires to be a follower of Sub Comadante Marcos in Chiapas. I used to imagine myself dedicated to a vision of social change and armed with sub machine guns and bullets draped across my chest. In Highschool my friends started carrying guns after they got bored of beating each other up with fists, box cutters, mace and tazers. In Arizona you are allowed to carry concealed weapons. When I was in college I was going to start carrying a gun in my back pack to protect myself when I was out in the streets doing graffiti. One time I was in Las Vegas at a party sitting on a couch. My friend started a big fight with the main group of people who's party it was. A few friends ran inside and grabbed me assuring me it was time to go. We ran to our car with a number of people chasing us. We jumped into the car just as someone began to shoot at our vehicle multiple times with a hand gun. Just before I moved into the ashram in Arizona I went on a hike with one senior devotee on Mt Lemon. We had a wonderful day of hiking through dry river beds and reaching the top of the mountain. We were immersed in chanting japa and I asked many questions about living a saintly devoted life to Krsna. I was so happy to be in the company of such a senior personality who was obviously very advanced. We finally returned to the vehicle we drove. I sat in the passenger seat and as this devotee took off his water pack and jacket he also removed a gun from underneath his tshirt and put it in the glove compartment. I blinked for a second and did not believe my eyes. I was definitely confused for some time.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
WITH THAT MOON LANGUAGE
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in
this world is
Monday, February 25, 2008
I don't know if my ear hurts right now from talking on the cell phone so much this evening or from the painful crunching sound of the deer smashing into the car that I haven't really processed yet.
Mondays are just not my days I guess. Each of my past three Mondays have been marked with dangerous experiences. February 11th I drove alone to Southern West Virginia for a lecture at a University. On my way home my car spun out of control. First it started swerving to the left then to the right then to the left then it just hit ice again and
started spinning out of control. I closed my eyes and remembered my dear Lord Govinda. The car got spun 270 degrees and got stuck on the edge of a ten foot embankment. It was a total blizzard. I got out of the car and some one got out of their car running towards me asking if I was ok and said they were calling a wrecker. I was really confused not understanding the term wrecker. It is the Appalachia term for Tow Truck. Not wanting to pay the 50 bucks for a tow I waved down a large truck and asked him to pull me out. With out much hesitation he took out his tow strap and easily pulled me off the embankment. A police officer who was present gave me a panthlet inviting me to his church if I was ever around town again. He said everyone needs Jesus in their life. I asked the man who pulled me out for his contact info so I could send him a thank you card but he stopped half way through writing his address and said, "you know what, just do something nice for someone else some day." I drove the rest of the way to Athens in great anxiety about slipping on the ice again. I made it home safely but in about three times as long as it normally would have.
On February 18 I drove from Athens to Columbus. The weather was great all day long. I stoppped into the Accra African market to buy plantains. palm nut cream and fufu for our African lunch later in the week. I then went to the temple for Darshan where I ended up doing kirtan and speaking for half an hour to a weekly meeting of new devotees about Bhagavad Gita and Lord Nityananda. When I left the temple at 7:30pm four inches of snow had covered everything and it was still snowing. Out of nowhere a blizard hit! I drove over to Mother Kamagiri's home to see the family and have dinner. We talked for about two hours and I had to hit the road. It was horrible! Because the storm hit so late and unexpectedly the snow just packed down and turned to ice. There were no snow plows out. Literally every hundred feet there were cars off the road. We were driving about 20 miles per hour. I had another 70 miles to drive at night, after a huge gluten feast, and in a blizzard. The weather got worse and worse so I pulled over into a shopping center and read for about an hour hoping the storm would stop. It was about 11 pm so I decided to sleep some. I woke up to the sensation in my toes of frost bite. I got back on the road and drove the rest of the way home where i made it in bed by 1:30am.
Today I stayed at New V until all the festivities were over. After the huge paneer subji had entered my body I needed to rest for about two hours. Around 4:30 I packed up the car and jumped in. Chris and Devanada Pandit Prabhus were wishing me off when I started the car and removed the emergency break. It was then that we heard a huge SNAP!I tried to back up but the car would not move an inch. The rear wheels locked up. No mechanics were around so Devananda Pandit Prabhu and I jacked up the car to see what we could find out even though both of us knew nothing about cars. Chris Prabhu chanted next to us for spiritual support. We had to removed each wheel and then bang on the break drums to loosen the brake pads from the drum. We think that the freezing weather kept them locked. Maybe the emergency cable broke too. We now know that I need new break pads. So it worked and I got off to the road. I made it to Athens safely.
When I got to the house one of the high school boys who comes to our program was sleeping in the living room. I woke him up and asked him if everything was ok and if he needed a ride home. His mother called at that time to see if he was ok then we drove home. On our way to his house a deer jumped out on to the road. I was driving about 40 miles per hour. I cringed and slightly swerved. The deer smashed into the side of the car breaking the side view mirror. We stopped to look for the deer. We could not find it anywhere and there was no blood on the car. It was a very loud sound which instantly reminded me of a story a close friend was retelling a month back as he picked me up form the airport in Albany.
He was a bit reserved for some time when we were driving. After about an hour of talking he shared what was on his mind. He told me that just three hours previous he had remembered hitting and killing a woman when he was a teenager. He forgot about the whole incident that morning. After it had happened his father told him to forget all about it because he had taken care of everything. So he did that. He went on with his football playing and high school partying. He went through college, He worked for 20 years, had got married and had two kids. This day while sitting having breakfast with his father in law and wife, his father in law told him a recent headline. A woman took her two daughters out to a highway removed everyones clothes and walked out in front sick. He excused himself from breakfast table and went to another room where he laid on the floor in great pain. He felt like vomiting. He was bewildered why he felt so much pain. All the remembrances of his own experiences entered his memory after so many years. He was driving home one night when a woman jumped out onto the highway. He hit her and she flew into the windshield. He clearly remembers the striking sound of her bones crushing against the windshield. It was present again, the whole experience. The whole traumatizing experience which he was told to forget. That experience didn't disappear it was hidden deep within and some how it was time to come out.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Lord Nityananda used to travel with me for three years or so. Now He and His brother Lord Chaitanya are residing in a little wooden box for various reasons. I miss them. Actually I miss everything about Krsna Consciousness. Oh Nitai! emana nirghrna more keba krpa kare, eka nityanada vinu jagat bhitare. Maybe I have a chance, if only I meant it.