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Wednesday, April 17th 2024

Etobicoke, Ontario

The chairs were comfortable and the floor, padded with carpet. One box of Kleenex tissue was placed at the arm of each front row chairs. All was fairly quiet when Nityananda and I walked in. The initial rites had just been completed and the attendees who occupied half of those chairs, were solemn and waiting for the next procedure. A master of ceremonies, a member of the family, had a Nityananda and I place down our instruments, a drum and harmonium, for using after the short speeches.

The place is a funeral home and all present were paying homage to a marvellous lady of devotion who just passed away. All who spoke delivered the tender words and warm memories. She was elderly and lived a good pious life, including Japa meditation of 16 rounds each day.

Emotions of grief were there, but minimal. It appeared to be a happy occasion, a celebration of life. Dark clothes dominated but that's common, whether a funeral or not. Hearts were bright and even warmer when we chanted.

I was also asked to say something. My baseline was 2.20 from the Bhagavad-Gita. “ The soul is not slain when the body fails. " I explained that we leave behind the body like a snake sheds its skin. We persist. We improve. We tweak. That tweaking is for the humans. We must make the best of this golden opportunity.

2 km

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