Sunday, March 15, 2015


One morning when I was 21, I was in Mumbai, India, listening to Radhanath Swami give a spiritual discourse to several hundred people all packed tightly into a temple. At the end of the discourse, he asked if there were any questions. Being me, I shot my hand up, and when Radhanath Swami called upon me, I stumbled through a rather complicated question.

Radhanath Swami then asked, "Do you all know Bhakti devi?" Several hundred pairs of eyes swiveled to look at me. Heads shook. He proceeded to glorify me in a rather sweet and embarrassing way, and one thing he said kind of shot to my heart. He pronounced that I was the most enthusiastic second generation devotee he had ever known. 

Finally he said, "Could you repeat the question? I was too busy glorifying you." 

This morning I was reflecting on how my enthusiasm has waned. Over the past seven years or so I feel that I have put my heart out, put my heart out, put my heart out. I've allowed myself to get excited, to make plans, to venture forth, venture forth! Time and again, because I've opened up my heart so wide, I have experienced pain that has gone straight into the heart. 

Today at 28, I find myself sore and somewhat jaded. I find myself disconnected from that enthusiasm for spiritual life and for life, especially in relationships. I am blessed and grateful for a significant other in my life, Ghanashyam, who is a deep, compassionate, loving man who keeps me connected to Krishna. At the same time, I am realizing how the hurt I have felt in so many relationships in life has lead to a point of deadness and sadness. An apathy. A continual asking of, "What's the point?"

Maybe that's the next question to ask Radhanath Swami. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weathering the Weather

Serenity Series: February

Ice falls from the sky. The road and the sidewalks are smothered in ice, puddles, and blackish snow. All is dark, and headlights from oncoming cars rush towards me in big SWISH SWISHes.

I'm on my way to work at 6:30am. I tightly grip my umbrella. If I don't hurry, I'll be late. Walking through the sidewalks is near impossible, as they are nearly impassable with ice and water. So I walk on the road, but it's frightening to be sharing space with cars in the near-dark.

When I reach the subway station at last, I hurry down the steps, holding to the rails. But there it is - just as I'm descending I hear the giant rumbling of my train speed away.

I wait and wait in the subway station cave, checking my phone every several minutes. Come on, come on...

Finally, a train arrives in a roar, screeching to a stop. When I get out at my stop, the nightmare of walking through the streets replays all over again. I step into a sheet of ice that disguises a pool of icy water beneath.

When I get to work, I feel harrowed. Exhausted.

This is my reality. What can I do about it?

Well, nothing. I can't control the weather. I can't. I never will.

The thought and realization runs through my head: "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." The weather is definitely one of those things. I immediately feel reconciled with the strange ways of the universe. There's no need to even talk about the crazy journey to work. It is what it is.

Maybe I can't change the weather but I can get get rain boots. A better coat. That's my responsibility. Otherwise, if I'm caught out in the dark and the rain again, who am I to complain? I might as well start singing and stomping in the puddles. 

To write is to dare the soul. So write.