After spending one full year in India, travelling and meeting sages, spending times in different places of prayer and meditation and sharing with pilgrims along the way, I now find myself back in the city of Montreal.
When I asked to go on the trip, I particularly asked my superiors that on my return I will be able to live in a fraternity in the city and so it was accepted.
I was sent to a small fraternity of about seven friars who lived in a house with close access to downtown and yet at a reasonable distance to have moments of quiet away from the full noise and activity of the city.
If there was one thing I learnt in India was something which comes from the philosophy of Shaivism and expressed in this teaching:
“The dancer in this field of universal dance is his
Self of universal consciousness.” – Shiva Sutra 3.9
What is this universal dance? It is everything that you experience in your life. It may be coming. It may be going. It may be birth, death, joy, sadness, depression, happiness, enjoyment.
All of this forms part of the universal dance, and this dance is a drama. In this field of drama, the actor is your own nature, your own Self of universal consciousness.
This Self of universal consciousness is the one who is aware, he is the actor in this universal drama.
Those who are not aware are not actors, they are played in this drama.
They experience sadness, they experience enjoyment, they become joyful, they become depressed. But those who are aware, they are always elevated; they are the real players in this drama.”
And thus, it really does not matter whether I live in the city or in the country. I have to be aware constantly that God is everywhere. Something we were even taught in the Catholic Catechism.
Living in the city will give me a chance to practice this.