Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snapshots and Huge Pictures

Have you ever noticed that I tend to write on my blog about "snapshot" experiences that somehow impact my heart?

Have you ever noticed that I rarely write about the "huge picture" experiences that impact my heart?

Maybe it's because the "snapshot" experiences can be shared simply enough as a full, complete picture.

Invariably, every time I want to write about a "huge picture" experience, I feel like I'm gushing: "Oh my god, it was unbelievable, amazing, I'm speechless, so profound and beautiful and amaaaaaaazing. Life transformative. Wow."

Seriously. That's pretty much how I want to describe Bus Tours, Satvatove seminars, festivals in Alachua, visiting Mayapur, Vrindavan, Mumbai, or South India, an encounter with Radhanath Swami, studying in India, the Mayapur Academy, attending a kirtan festival in Brazil, 24 Hour Kirtans...

All of these experiences are unbelievable, profound, life transformative, amaaaaaazing. They feel so vast though, I wonder where to begin, how I could possibly encompass such a powerful experience in a little blog post. It's as if I'm trying to fit all of those sky-wide emotions into a 300-word post with maybe a couple grainy cell phone pictures.

I'm sure you've had this experience, too - you'll have gone on a vacation and when you return people ask you, "So, how was it?"

What do you say? "It was great." And maybe, if you're like me, you'll say, "It was amaaaaaaazing. Beyond words."

I am having this dilemma in trying to describe the experience of teaching these two Kirtan Connection courses that just concluded. There were 15 people total in 2 levels, and we just had our epic graduation on Sunday. It wasn't a neat experience that I could describe in a couple hundred words.

But I will try. My next blog post I will dedicate to the experience in teaching Kirtan Connection, to honor those who saw me through - Ghanashyam, Dhira Govinda Prabhu, and Badahari Prabhu; those who graduated, and Srila Prabhupad.

Yes, it was a profound experience. Beyond words. At the same time, the service of the writer is to put the un-wordable experiences into words so that others may share in the beauty. That is what Srila Prabhupad did.

I'll do my humble best to share the "huge picture." 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bhakti lata At A Glance

This was my homework assignment today for one of my English classes:

Draft your own autobiographical poem and follow this structure:

The first line is your first name, followed by a line of three words that describe you to yourself. The next line is something you love, then something you hate, something you fear, and something you wish for. The last line is your last name.

Bhakti lata
Searching, committed, deep
I love to listen to the murmurs and sing like a tiger
        the Lord's holy name
I hate my own crippling weaknesses
I fear that I am unlovable
I wish to love unconditionally

P.S. So, dear reader, what's YOUR poem?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Every Day Just Write

On August 1st, 2014, I began a 30 day x-ray (30dayxray.blogspot.com). This is a challenge to write every single day for one month. 

I took it to 60 days.

Then 90 days.

This Friday, I concluded the 90 day x-ray.

90 days, a blog post every single day. I believe that the single most powerful experience for me in publishing a post every day was to surrender. Let go. Share. A picture, some words, a full-on story, poetry, little things, big things, realizations about money, love, time, the holy name. Random thoughts, cohesive thoughts. Whatever. Just post. 

I posted.

I surrendered to the powerful current of this commitment to post something every day. Often I found myself at a loss and just lost. But because of my commitment, being lost was no excuse. So what if I'm lost?

Get found.


"Whenever you find time, you write. Never mind, two lines, four lines, but you write your realization."

- Srila Prabhupada
Los Angeles, August 14th, 1972

To write is to dare the soul. So write.