Monday Morning Greetings 2017 #29 – Now!

July 17th, 2017

I hate country walks! While walking briskly for my health, I plan a class, write an article in my mind, meditate on practical problems, and sometimes even make a call. Anything but nature! I grew up in Brooklyn. The action, the accents, the variety of people—I could walk all day there.
Today on my walk I ran out of things to occupy my mind. That’s strange. Chant? I could, but my walking is too rapid for good concentration. I prefer to sit for hours quite early in the morning. What to do?
An idea came: Why not just try to be in the moment? I slowed my mind and peacefully concentrated. I could see the lush forest, feel the cool morning breeze, smell the fragrant flowers, and hear the songs of nature. I stay in the moment. I see and feel God.
“How can they deny God?!” I never forgot the strong, angry words of Sannyāsa dāsa as beautiful full-bloomed peacocks repeatedly danced before us spreading their colorful plumes as we walked the then forest path around Vṛndāvana. His anger was directed at the Russian government. The God denying communists imprisoned and tortured him as one of the early pioneers of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. Yes, the beauty of peacock is proof of a designer. How can they deny God?!
My mind was still a bit restless, but I was determined to stay in the moment. The lush greenery to my right inspired thoughts of the spiritual world. I could easily imagine Kṛṣṇa. Through the trees I also saw our powerful waterfall, Stuyvesant Falls, the namesake of the hamlet where I live. I listened to its powerful force, a sound that creates harmony. Yes, nature soothes, no matter how loud, while the sirens, horns, and screeching cars of my youth—the man-made sounds—go against nature. They disturb. Śrīla Prabhupāda’s quote of the famous British poet Cowper suddenly came to mind: “The country is made by God, and the city is made by man.”
I consciously remained in the moment. As I absorbed myself in the sights and sounds around me, my country walk was suddenly finished. I was back at my place. Where had time gone?
My final thought on my country walk: Time does not exist now. If you stay present you will see Kṛṣṇa and you will never be bored, especially if now is the holy name, or a stroll on a country road.

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