Book distribution is sometimes like meeting old friends
The other day I had time between services to go out. Managing to scrambling out the door I was Inspired by how Lord Krishna would sometimes dress as a commoner and walk amongst His citizens in cities like Mathura or Dvaraka. Taking note of the peoples opinion and curious of their concerns, the Lord surveyed the scene. I too like to people watch, walk and talk, stroll and drop. When conversations call my attention I swoop in ready to turn something mundane into a transcendental opportunity with Srila Prabhupada’s books. But on this particular day, it struck me to speak to everyone in my path instead, meeting them like old friends.
“Hey there, where are you off to today?” I ask, while sweeping past an interesting hippy. I tell him that our yoga and meditation centre is calling his name, and ask if he’s ever been to Bhakti Lounge. He says, “No.” But looks interested. Turns out he does kung fu and has interest in meditation. I invite him and show him a few books, but he’s got nothing to spare. Still, he has a friendly invitation to our centre and an Enough Magazine. Maybe he will come:)
Keep going, there’s a sweet young woman quickly walking through the bustling corner of Vivian and Cuba. Luckily, I’m on foot and keeping pace, “HEY! Have you ever been to Bhakti Lounge?” I ask, placing a flyer in her hand. She says, “No!” And we start talking. Her name is Ruby. I tell her that I was JUST reading a book about how out of all jewels the Divine manifests in the form of the ruby in this world. (11.16.30) And then said, “so you have a special name; you must be a jewel.” She bashfully looks at a few books but is in a bit of a rush. “It’s okay, Ruby- I’ll see you at Bhakti Lounge.” She makes plans to attend a meditation event, and is hopefully going to come to Gurudeva’s talk when he comes Nov 15th.
Scanning the terrain I see a man at an open bar taking down a beer while enjoying the warm sun seeping in through the open store front. He’s on his computer, sternly looking at the screen as if masterminding some great scheme! “Excuse me sir, you look like someone who works too hard, he’s a card, come join us for a yoga or meditation class sometime.” He extends his hand smiling and I introduce myself. thinking of how responsive he is. He says he will see us there.
Crossing the street, there is a guy with a backpack just settling into a picnic table with a tray of french fries. I sit down next to him and ask where he’s from.. He is from Texas. “Texas! Wow, my friend Erica just left Wellington to go back home to Texas today.” He’s from Dallas, so I ask if he’s ever been to their world famous Govinda’s restaurant. After a bit of small talk, I show him Hiding in Unnatural Happiness, and ask what he thinks about the selfish way we think about happiness and how to obtain it. He said, “Our bias (based on what we desire or are attached to) steers us, even in ways that can lead to pain rather than pleasure.” He asks if I’d like a fry, and I ask him if he’d like the book. He takes the book. I politely decline the french fry..
These experiences of meeting and connecting with people over transcendental literature are addictive. It was hard to restrain myself and go to my next service engagement— the streets are like home to me now. It feels like the only constant in my life lately. Circumstances are always changing, relationships, services, etc. but this book distribution is like a thread and everyone in the world a pearl, or a ruby 🙂
Your grateful servant,
Kathamrita Devi Dasi