Sandy Ridge, North Carolina
We arrived by bus at this country side community called Prabhupada Village. It was 10AM and the sun was blazing, making it totally unappealing for even a stroll. After all you don’t want to turn into a
samosa under the 100 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. A one minute walk from our parked bus to the home of Sivananda and Madan Mohan Mohini convinced me that even the sun must linger as it will before I dare to be under its power for any serious length of time.
There in the cozy quarters of a marvelous couple, I had the pleasure to meet Rev. David of the Methodist Church. To my recollection, he’s the first minister I ever met who hails from that denomination. I could tell from his cordial nature and openness to our brand of spirituality, that he was a progressive thinker. Why should one spiritualist feel threatened by another? We are all in the same struggle together, in the same quest, wanting the same result.
Amongst the qualities that Methodists strive for, David explained that they cultivated kindness, patience, generosity, love, discipline, joy, etc. Because I asked, he felt in reciprocation he would answer. I did not sense that he was airing any pride. I was curious how the founder, John Wesley had molded this version of what people call Protestantism.
Reverend David was keen to know how we manage our youth program and, in particular, the road show. Basically, how do we engage our young folks? To that question I offered to say that our culture in the West began with austere living, suggested by sleeping on floors and functioning with little heat in the winter. Our sharing of Krishna’s message began with traveling all over the continent in vans and buses. Our summer program of youth traveling for a spiritual experience is not much different from those days in the 70′s when young men and women saw the country and met the people.
What a lift it was for me to meet this gentle soul who has so much to give. With Christ as his central figure and Krishna being ours, I see little difference in the values we are both trying to project.
One more thing that I told David; I live in a building in Toronto which is now a temple but which was constructed by the Methodists in 1897. So there is a little piece of Methodism in me.