Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

 Early Risers
Montreal, Quebec
Early risers can be appreciated. They have what it takes to live long. Recall the saying, “early to bed early to rise…”
After a full one hour of sadhana at which time ten of us stalwarts attended, Raul and I took to Pie Neuf Blvd, and then a side street. Our whimsical navigation had our feet vie for this side street where we came to a place of early risers. The building that was teeming with energy, of human movement, was a massive building called “Pro Gym”. The massive place with its expansive window panes made our temple room look like the size of a match box. The key to the door of Pro Gym must have opened at 5 AM because by the time we walked by at 5:30, tread mills and such were in full swing. The place had outnumbered our temple attendance by double and club members were continually trickling in. I could see clearly inside with the sidewalk right next to the building.
It’s my habit to at least nod to everyone I see and I made a point to make eye contact with all those that were inside. Sadly, 90% of those persons I wished to connect with were non responsive, although they noticed us walking. I know that my robes may tell that I’m not an athlete and that it’s a giveaway appearance of alien status, but hey, let’s just be a little human. What are you pumping that heart for anyways? Show you have one, or is it just biceps building that counts?
Anyways, here I go, I’m being critical. I’ll go to the reverse and think, “good work out, guys, at least you’re up and enthusiastic about something (early bird gets his worm)” and all that. According to Vedic philosophy, you have lots of rajas, passion, it’s a sign of life. One day you may be able to strike a balance in your schedule and give some attention to the spirit. I believe the ancient Greeks had it right. They balanced their time with philosophizing with time at the gymnasium.
In India, the great Avatar, Prince Ram rose early and did a workout with weapons, but only after a bath, prayers, ablutions and mantras. He set a good standard for the physically fit.
In any event, on my next visit to Montreal I’ll likely trek to Pro Gym again and try to ‘connect’. As a sanyassi (monk) in a mission oriented community, it is an obligation to make contact with people, even in a meagre way on a daily basis. I did by some good fortune meet with the nicest couple who came to visit our ashram. The Varmas are a sweet couple that own a gallery for Inuit and Native art in posh Old Montreal and they came to visit us on their wedding anniversary. They were keen to hear of my devotional life and pilgrimage culture. It really makes your day when you meet fine human beings; not that the folks at Pro Gym were not, I’ll just give myself another chance with them in the future.
6 KM
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