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16437prairie winter, and how I came to the path

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  • purnakama2000
    Jan 21, 2006
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      As I was looking at my winter photos again, it really got me
      thinking about my life, how I ended up in this strange flat place ,
      and how much I have come to love and cherish it.

      I was not born on the prairies. I grew up in Kitchener (originally
      called Little Berlin), a fairly large city close to Toronto which
      was the hub of industry.Our house was situated somewhere between a
      brewery and a rubber tire factory. The stench in the summer was
      something to behold.

      We used to make fun of the "flatlanders". In fact when I was about
      15, my brother's friend moved to Winnipeg, and I remember saying
      something like "Why in heaven would anyone choose to move to such a
      God forsaken place with mosquitoes in the summer, and winter so cold
      that you can't leave your house for 6 months of the year!"
      I have certainly had to eat my words on more than one occasion,
      along with a few mosquitoes I'm sure.

      I may have mentioned this before, so forgive me if I'm repeating
      myself, but I started my journey to Winnipeg with a teaching job in
      a town called Flin Flon, 9 hours north of Winnipeg.
      I spent 5 happy years there, but in my last year I began to grow
      restless. I had been spiritually seeking for quite some time, but
      now I felt that things were coming to a head, and I felt that a huge
      change was imminent, but I did not know what.

      I was content, but I began to realize that I was not really happy. I
      had a great job, great friends,and time and money to travel, but I
      could not get rid of this feeling that there had to be something
      more;some piece of the puzzle that I was missing.
      It often left me feeling empty and confused.

      My one solace was taking trips to Saskatoon, the nearest city, to
      scour the bookstores for anything spiritual. I was starving, and
      those trips managed to stave off my hunger for awhile.

      I remember my last trip to Saskatoon very well. It was about 3 weeks
      before I moved to Winnipeg. Just prior to my making that trip, I had
      an inner crisis, and I remeber lying on my living room floor,
      crying, begging the Supreme to show me the way. I felt scared and
      alone, but I had a deep inner knowing that the answer was out
      there,so close I could almost touch it. I just had to find it.

      While in Saskatoon on that last trip, I went into a bookstore,
      desperately looking for anything that would heal my inner pain.
      After much searching I found a book that appealed to me. I chose it
      because it had nice title, and I liked the picture of the author.It
      sounds like a crazy way to choose a book, but it called to me.

      It was Garden of the Soul by Sri Chinmoy. I remember looking for
      more books by him in the store, but there were none.Of course at
      that time, I had never heard of Sri Chinmoy or what he was about,
      and I also had no idea how soon I would find out just exactly who he

      I had been living in Winnipeg for about 2 weeks when I saw a poster
      for a free meditation course. One of my goals when I moved to
      Winnipeg was to learn to meditate, and this course was within my
      budget, so I went. I realized quickly at the course that the book I
      had bought 5 weeks earlier was by the same man that the person who
      was teaching the class had been telling us about. I knew that this
      was no coincidence, and the rest, as they say is history.
      8 years later, I am now giving classes in the very room that I found
      my freedom.
      A room in the middle of the prairies where I never dreamed I'd be.

      I have come to love the prairies.
      Their vastness feeds me.
      They allow me to be empty;silent; still.
      Nothing obstructs the free flow of light and space.
      All anxieties get tossed into the prairie gales, on infinity's wing.
      I am free to sit in the midst of the silence,and be.

      All gratitude to Sri Chinmoy, for being the lighthouse that called
      to me, and brought me safely home.

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