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Best Laid Plans


Bees teach us to seek the nectar

After contemplating a verse
for morning scripture preparation
I give Shrimad Bhagavatam class
returning home late to worship
honor breakfast Prasadam
attend to Internet and calls
time has evaporated
so plan B to make opportunity
escaping in seclusion
casual clothes, walking stick
heading outside for better focus
less chanting distractions.

At my favorite getaway spot
down the hill from our home
amidst simple eloquence
Nature’s spectacular esthetic
more than the sum of its parts
earth, creek, insects, plants and trees
light filtering through leaf canopy
creating a welcome, peaceful feeling
on a beautiful fall-like day
sitting to chant on beads.
My chanting retreat seat
Sitting here represents
turning difficulty into opportunity—
my evening preparation shattered
by unexpected discovery of no water
a two hour service call where I assisted
turning off and on breakers
making small talk
from a Krishna Road resident
as they brought up the pump
checking on it till they found
a broken cord which they fixed
as darkness fell showing the hourglass:
my study time gone—not my spirits.
Pulling the pump out
“Expect the best.
Plan for the worst.
Be ready for a big surprise.”
(for us Krishna’s mercy)
a motivational speaker’s wisdom
to be applied in real life
where we can practice
in the unpredictable life field
since no results are certain
but positive expectancy’s
a powerful attitude
which can find lemonade
in lemon experiences
or an Eskimo
to buy ice
a devotee to
take a Gita.
nectar seekers
It’s easy to be pessimistic
or sarcastic in a hypocritical world
which is why Mr. Peale—
the Father of Positive Thinking—
wrote a book titled
“The Tough Minded Optimist”
to counter the idea
that optimists are weak
out of touch “Pollyanna’s”
when in fact it takes
Godly belief, strength, intelligence
to rise above calamity
or depression to see
God’s positive hand
and loving intent for us.
Rev. Norman Vincent Peale
was a minister
who believed in helpful Power
coming from a Godly life—
so we can adapt his perspective
(i.e., swanning or taking the essence)
for a Krishna Conscious life
seeing that Godless materialism
is never auspicious or useful
whereas offering our life to Krishna
transforms matter into spirit
or bondage from actions
into liberated devotional service
since motivation/intent for action
determines spiritual benefit
as good or bad view determined
by our interpretation of reality
while remembering Krishna—or not--
the choice is ours!
Seeing Krishna in Nature

Combined comments from old site

09/10/2010 - 22:51 — bhaktincarol
Nature's beauty, and exercise

Hare Krsna!

You referred to the beauty of nature. I like to walk and chant. There is a route I take, the first part is on a paved road, but it is hilly and banked by fields and wildflowers. The second half of the trip has some foot paths (it seems nicer when it is only a dirt path) even though it's near a busy road. I like it because it is away from people and built-up areas. I also usually like the weather, whether it is hot, or cool, raining or dry. My husband points out that this is enjoying the material world (he says it as an accusation, and I guess I am guilty).

I feel grateful when I am walking. I like to get away from things and chant and walk where it is more peaceful. And to me it feels good to move the body and get exercise.

Another devotee told me that enjoying exercise is the mode of passion.

So, how do we know whether we are enjoying our senses materially and in the mode of passion, or are we appreciating Krishna in some way, and taking care of our body?


09/11/2010 - 15:02 — Karnamrita.das

Thanks for bring up such interesting points. Spiritual life is very individual. It is not just about dos and don'ts, but about devotion to Krishna and working toward being absorbed in remembering Krishna with love. You have to be the judge of what is helpful for your spiritual life. Most devotees don't begin being perfectly pure, so we have to acknowledge our human needs and listen to our body. We have requirements for personal space and personal time. We also need to be peaceful and often we can easily be in touch with this quality in a calm, beautiful, peaceful place like a country environment.

If we see the beauty of Nature as coming from Krishna that is a good practice. Being in Nature is considered in the mode or quality of goodness, though not spiritual in itself, it can be very favorable to our personal and spiritual lives. Anyone who spends time in a secluded scenic place knows its value. When the Gosvamis of Vrindavana built their places of worship or bhajana and Temples, they were not in garbage heaps but in very beautiful scenic places--though it is difficult to tell that now.

We are by spiritual constitution pleasure seekers and we shouldn't deny that but find Krishna conscious ways to feel enjoyment. Ideally our priority is service and from that we find our fulfillment. It is true that conditioned souls are trying to exploit and enjoy matter, but no one can live without some enjoyment and sense gratification. Prabhupada compared sense gratification to salt--so we have to find just enough to live peacefully and happily while dimishing our conception of being the supreme enjoyer. We are all servants.

Rupa Goswami advises us to accept every enjoyable thing in relationship to Krishna. There are different stages of devotion and we need to understand where we are on the spiritual map, not be artificial, and do the needful without attachment. Especially as we age, most of us need to have some type of exercise program. I don't advise that you hate to do it--or you won't continue. You have to find exercise that you like doing and do that and every thing else you do as an offering to Krishna. Krishna has given you your body, and it is your duty to take care of it so you can continue to serve Krishna and his devotees. Otherwise you may die untimely.

Krishna consciousness is very practical and common sense, though sometimes devotees complicate it artificially by a superficial understanding of spiritual advancement. Our life in Krishna consciousness is meant to be joyful, not a constant struggle and burden. Sure we all have difficult duties and sometime we extend ourself in our service, but our basic nature should be happiness. If not something is wrong and we have to search out what that is.

So see Krishna in Nature, and have fun exercising, doing it as service to your bodily Temple and its Lord, Shri Krishna! Be practical; be honest; be real. This is one of the keys to our life long devotional life. We don't want to be a shooting star from self denial or artificial renunciation.

Your friend in Krishna,