Personal

Appreciation

I attended a talk a few nights ago at Bhakti Center (bhakticenter.org) given by Vaisiseka Das. An exemplary, happy devotee of Krsna. It seems that his effusive happiness springs from an overflowing well of gratitude in his heart. Gratitude for what he’s received, gratitude for what he’s been gifted to share. I think this is a great key to happiness, to transformation.

I have a personal practice of collecting quotes about gratitude. Living it, dwelling in a childlike sense of wonder is quite another thing. A realized thing. I think we overlook the simple, looking always over its head for the abstract or complex. To remember Krsna as the taste of water each time we drink; to see Him in the light of the sun and moon. What did William Blake say about seeing infinity in a grain of sand?

Vaisiseka Prabhu quoted Voltaire who said that appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. He quoted Srila Prabhupada’s purport to a verse in Srimad Bhagavatam where he says that gratitude becomes more developed in the human form of life. What does that mean, really? Animals are just going on, eating grass, eating other animals, standing or pouncing on others in a field. When my consciousness becomes awakened that all that I have has come to me as a gift, that’s the beginning of my awakening, the beginning of human life. Taking everything for granted, living as though on automatic pilot, as though it will always be there, as though I will always be here, this is an unexamined life, a life that has not yet evolved to being an awakened human.


UPCOMING EVENTS

July

In July, our Urban Devi sanga at Bhakti Center will be on July 22nd.

August

In August, Urban Devi is on August 12th. Please mark your calendars.
On Wednesday evening, at August 15th, I’ll be leading the discussion at Bhakti Center’s  End of Life initiative. Our topic will be Pondering the Path Home.

September

In September, we’re having our second Urban Devi retreat at Supersoul Farm in Chatham, New York, September 28-30.

October

In northern California, there’ll be a Vaisnavi Retreat October 5th-8th.
On Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th in Del Ray, Florida, Mannabliss will be hosting a Bhakti Immersion weekend.
On Saturday, October 20th, Denise Mihalik with her Nepali singing bowls and I will be offering our Soundbath/ Mantra Mellows at Bhakti Center from 7-8:30 PM.

November

The World Parliament of Religion will be held this year in Toronto, November 1-7. I have a proposed workshop there, I’ll keep you posted on that.

January 2019 – India Adventure

I’ll be leaving for retreats and dialogues in India after that, but I hope you’ll join my son, Gaura Vani and I January 14-27 for our second India Kirtan Adventure. This year we will be traveling to Puri, in the state of Odissa, then four days for our Bhakti Immersion with Radhanath Swami at Govardhan Eco Village, then culminating at the renowned Flower Festival at Radha Gopinath Temple in Mumbai.
For our India Adventure, we are offering an early bird discount of $200 off if you sign up before September 30th. Last year was magical, please join us!
Please let me know if you’d like more information or to receive the fliers for any of these events. I look forward to seeing you there!
All the best,
Rukmini Walker