Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Purport for Rumi

Out beyond ideas of
wrong-doing and right-doing
there is a field
I'll meet you there
when the soul lies down in that
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase,
each other
doesn't make any sense.

The other evening I attended a sanga amongst devotees of Ananda Mayi. As we sang together and I looked around, I felt utterly humbled. Here are devotees of the Lord, maybe wearing a different dress and singing different songs. The persons I encountered were - as Srila Prabhupad put it - ladies and gentlemen.

Although their philosophy may teach "all is one" - which is diametrically opposed to the teachings that I follow - I felt myself rise above judgment. How? Simply, I did not feel judged.

I felt a deep appreciation for their devotion to God and their teacher, Ananda Mayi. And my favorite moment in the evening was when the visiting Swami, Nirvananda Swami, sang the maha-mantra and in the interlude he sang, "And Krishna comes and plays flute.... on the banks... of my heart."

I closed my eyes. Krishna does not belong to ISKCON, Gaudiya Math, or to Ananda Mayi. Who am I to say that Krishna "prefers" anyone? But one day, maybe my heart shall be clean and simple enough that He does come and play His flute on the banks of my heart.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I can't help it...

I can't help it. I miss Radhe Shyam. Through my quiet, hermit-like adventures, I remember Them and how Their beauty rivals the ocean, or the clouds, or the mountains. Or when I'm singing by myself and I softly end the bhajan,

"Jaya Radhe Shyam.... Radhe Shyam.... Radhe Shyam...

"Jaya Sri Radheeeee Shyam...."

Temple of My Heart

on the road to Mauna Kea

The following is taken straight out of my journal as I headed up to the summit of Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in the world (vs. tallest, aka Mt. Everest)

I am ascending into heaven, right now.

The road is gravel. It's like traversing another planet. We're above the cloud line. I'm peering out into an ocean... oceans and oceans of pure milky clouds. They blush pink in the setting sun.

Truly, I don't think I have ever felt so breathtaken by nature's majesty in... years? My life?

Oceans and oceans... swirling and swirling... and aquamarine and pure pure white.... we climb higher and higher...

The world is going dark... hopefully we make it in time to catch the sun.

We're driving along the edge of the world.

We have arrived. I step out of the warm Jeep and gasp. Breath from an ice-god whips my hair and chadar up here.

There, an eyelash of a moon. The clouds are now rivers in the valleys, the sky blended magnificently in rich rose and royal blue. A star shimmers above me, the first. My racing blood calms as I stand in awe of this splendor. And then, I begin to sing...

"Mama mana mandire..."

Oh Krishna, may You always reside in the temple of my heart.

This is your temple.

Note: There was a point in Hawaii where I did not visit a temple of Srila Prabhupad's for a year and a half. For five years I lived with zero Krishna culture - no devotees, temples, festivals, bhajans, kirtans, feasts, and even classes - and no way to access any of it. I coped by finding Krishna's temple in nature... so thus I began to sing the bhajan Mama mana mandire when nature's beauty took my breath away... and reminded me that Krishna is everywhere... if only I seek Him out.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Views From Paradise

Srila Prabhupad once said that Hawaii is a remnant left over from the previous Yuga.

I believe he has a point.

The view from our house.

Sri Sri Radha Raman, my parent's Deities.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Poem of My Father's.

So Far Away

So far away
I am still so far away
I need to cross the ocean
walk millions of miles
and fly through the sky
until one day
tired of this body
I will lay down
and pray
and remember
who I am
where I came from
My body is dust
but my soul
is the light of the sun
the flame that burns incessantly
inside my heart
Only Your Name will be left
upon my lips, like a kiss
like a blossom

- Maheshvara Roberto
(written many years ago)

Tan Lejos

Tan lejos,
Estoy todavia tan lejos.
Necesito cruzar los oceanos
andar millones de millas
y volar por los cielos
Hasta que un dia
cansado de este cuerpo
Me tumbaro
y rezare
y recordare
quien soy
y de donde vengo.
Mi cuerpo es polvo
pero me alma
es la luz del sol
La llama que quema incesantemente
dentro de me corazon.
Solo tu nombre
quedare en mis labios,
como un beso,
como una flor

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Coolest Layover, Ever

Just a section of the mural I helped to restore.

Seven hours in-between flights? Usually nightmarish for me because I get incredibly antsy, I contrived a plan to get out of the airport.

So when my plane pulled into LAX, I dashed to baggage claim, and within minutes Dakshina and Kuva drove right up. With a giant hug and grin, I stashed my stuff in the Jeep and headed out into crazy LA traffic.

Aaaaah... can you feel that? Huh? Huh? It's freedom!

We wound our way to Venice. Driving over the canal bridges, I swallowed the fresh, cool air that blew off the water.

We parked at the mural we'd be restoring, and then Dakshina and I headed off to take lunch. We settled under a tree and conversed softly, reveling in our avocado sandwiches.

After lunch, we headed back to the mural, and for three hours I dove in to restoring it. I unearthed the history, learned about art restoration, and even worked with the original artist from 1975.

When finished, we dashed back to the airport in time for my next flight out. Now get this, can you drive a standard, talk on a cell phone, and then drink water (brahmin-style!) all at the same time... in LA traffic? Well, Kuva could. Ducky and I laughed hysterically.

I bid goodbye to Dakshina and Kuva, my fantastic hosts. I took a deep breath before plunging back into those airport doors. I smiled.

What an insane way to begin my summer.

To write is to dare the soul. So write.