Lessons from Temple Service, Writing and Snow

Wondering writer
This poem has been
waiting for weeks
O help me Lord
will it ever be complete?
or adequately convey
what I truly want to say
as a kind of snapshot
of my life’s experience
or a particular perception?

Managing Time, or Being Managed By Time?

Rain cloudsAs I sit here darkness grows and the temperature drops. When the wind blows my face feels the brisk sharpness of the cold. As the trees bend I look straight up to see them moving back and forth far above my head. It’s an amazing feeling—like being one with the trees.

Why Write?

The blogger
I write because I must, something like an addict must have drink, or a smoke. It is more gentle, not as often or as externally demanding, but more an inner prompting to contribute, to create.

It began over 30 years ago with a gift I received of a journal. After I began writing I discovered that when I wrote, uncovered, buried or forgotten parts of me emerged. Not trivial things, but important aspects of myself that needed to see the light of consciousness to be either acted upon, purified, or purged. Writing became like a love affair with my hidden self, the self I had missed and was looking for externally. It was the self I had to repress in childhood to try to avoid the disapproval and anger of an emotionally wounded father—and instrument of my karma to give me much to write about.

Reflections in the Woodshed

The path to the shed
Wondering in the woodshed
scratching my head
a roof with 4 air sides
mostly dry wood mixed
with sprinkled melting snow.

Meditating on experience
wondering how to convey it
meaningfully—does it matter?—
well, it does to me
otherwise, why write?

The Appearance and Disappearance of Saintly Persons

BSST 2Prabhupada gives the same analogy that he has shared regarding the Lord’s appearance and disappearance, namely, the sunrise, sunset or the appearance of light and darkness to describe saintly persons. The Sun never dies but is only goes beyond our vision—we are in darkness. When the sun reappears, primitive cultures consider that the sun was born after its death the previous night. Even we consider the appearance of the sun as a “new day”, but to the sun none of these perspectives apply. He is always existing and moving in his own way on the path given to him by the Supreme Lord. The Lord or his pure devotees only appear to disappear or die, but they are ever-existing.

The Blessing or Curse of the Writer: Sharing Experience

Surprize reaction
The desire to share experience is equally true of photographers, artists and the like—people who try to share their perceptions, feelings and thoughts with others through some type of different medium of one or two dimensions. Yet sometimes thinking of an experience (or extracting the creative angle) as it is happening makes one less present in the moment. I have taken photos and videos at some Temple functions, and felt like I missed the whole thing!

Who is Shri Nityananda Rama--and Should You Be Interested?

Shri NitaiWe just celebrated Shri Nityananda Rama’s holy appearance day, and I thought of the question, “Who is Sri Nityananda Rama, and why should you be interested?” This is a great question for a devotee of Lord Krishna or Shri Chaitanya, and one would hope to share this knowledge with others. But which persons might want to know the answer? If we went up to someone on the street and told them that today was the appearance of Shri Nityananda Rama we might get ignored, or told they didn’t care. Perhaps a few might actually ask ok, who is he and so on, but not with much real interest. And without interest, what will a person really hear, and how much will they be benefited? Pure souls can actually attract others to bhakti. However, though we may not be such an advanced devotee, if we are personally very attracted and excited our words will have power.

TEXAS FAITH 23: Why is the political pendulum swinging so much?

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

Acceptance of the Day

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player is needed; works best with Firefox or Explorer; if you are using Google Chrome it will automatically play, so if you don't want to listen, mute your speakers.)
Reality Check
Any day will be
only what it is
whether we have a plan
or not;
a practice is learning to work
with what we’re given,
as try as we might
we can’t force results—
not complacency here
but confident endeavor
with spiritual acceptance,

Appearance Day of Shri Advaita Acharya

Advaita Acharya Mayapur DeityAs the life of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very confidential and full of meaning so is the appearance and life of Shri Advaita Acharya whose appearance day is Friday, January 22. He is considered to be the principle reason for Shri Chaitanya’s advent. Whenever Krishna incarnates, so do his expansions, energies and confidential devotees. Since Lord Chaitanya is considered to be Krishna himself (in the mood of the greatest devotee, Shri Radha) we find that preceding him, as well as during and after his manifest “lila” or divine pastimes, his whole entourage of eternal associates came to facilitate his mission of spreading the “yuga-dharma” or the process of self-realization for this age--the congregational chanting of the holy names in joyous celebration.

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