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Thursday, November 16th, 2023

Rideau River, Ottawa

If I didn’t wheel my suitcase down the city streets to Union Station from the ashram, a distance just shy of a 5 kilometre mark, I might not have put any walking in for the day. I felt to almost be in Vaikuntha, the spiritual world. Traffic was not nil, but quiet. For a good part, I stuck to the bike lane where you don’t have these cuts in the concrete. I arrived just after 6 am, and in a nice way, tuckered out, ready to plop down on the comfy train seat. With my japa meditation complete and prepared for the usual train ride, I relished in a good slumber.

My destination, Ottawa, was a plan for having the company of the sweet devotees there and to have the evening to honour the anniversary of the passing of our Spiritual Father, Prabhupada. It was in 1977 that he passed away and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in the middle of mopping the floor in the temple when I heard a devotee by the name of Stithi Karta say to another, “Did you hear that Prabhupada’s gone?”

I didn’t respond verbally or even let the informant know that I overheard. I just took it in internally and kept cleaning, feeling that keeping busy alleviates some of the pain.

After a good meal at “Govinda’s Ottawa,” I took that walk to the Rideau River, which is a body of water that always calms. It speaks as the current ripples over rocks.

There was a nice gathering of devotees at the ISKCON Centre on Somerset. It was s mix of graveness and happiness.

7 km

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