Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Solstice

Govinda Govinda! Yesterday was Nirjal Ekadashi, we fasted normally, and broke our fast with blueberry pancakes with maple syrup this morning. I love blueberries! We usually have them raw or in smoothies, but I realised that Krishna Chandra hadn't had pancakes in a really long time. Today I was reading a letter from Gurudev and he mentioned that we should fast from brahma-muhurta to brahma-muhurta to get the full benefit of Ekadashi, but I only wake up around 7am these days. Does that mean my fast only counts for 95% or 90%? Anyhow... these and other ponderings cloud my mind these days. Today we planned a family outing to Trinity Audubon, but it turns out that they do not allow dogs on the property-- at all. Xóchitl was looking forward to her excursion outdoors, so we headed to our old neighborhood park. We hiked along the Trinity Forest levee dike, and trekked deep into the woods until we were met with a swarm of wasps. The forest is incredibly dense and overgrown since we last hiked, maybe a couple months! We hiked for an hour back and forth, then we settled down at Rochester park for a nice picnic near the lake at noon. We were so exhausted when we came back home, we needed a cool shower and a nap. I think Xóchitl itzcuintli was happy to get her paws into nature. We will have to do it again, perhaps next time my nephews will tag along too.

I can't believe we did the hike almost exactly on the summer solstice. It seems like we do some kind of outdoor excursion on every solstice/equinoxe/lunar months and sometimes participate in sacred rituals (coincidentally). Two weeks ago, during Amavasya, we were fortunate enough to participate in a Lakota fire ceremony during a trip to the lake. First, the boys collected sticks, twigs, tinder, and leaves for the fire and helped feed the fire. Meanwhile, the shaman explained the meanings or significance of the ceremony to us. He was intrigued by our names, as it turns out he is a linguist. Almost immediately, he knew the meanings of our Sanskrit names and appreciated themfully. Then, after thoughtful prayer and reflection, we tied symbolic colored strips on the sticks, and offered them into the sacred fire. The sticks were representative of our subconscious or current journey in life. The shaman, High Eagle, interpreted the meaning of our respective offering sticks, and he had some unnervingly insightful revelations about me. The boys got some 'stone people', gemstones, from High Eagle, and it was a great learning experience for all of us.

The other day I purchased a silky, golden fabric. I wanted to make a sexy, silky sundress with it, but I have quite a few Deity outfit projects which are still incomplete. Since I have plenty of leisure time during the summer, I want to spend it on more outfits for my personal Deities, as well as the gurukula Deities. Plus, I think I have enough skirts and sundresses to last this summer. Krishna Chandra is practicing his Bengali (writing) and is taking an interest in sewing as well. Mostly he enjoys folding new origami models. Thankfully, there are plenty of origami gurus on YouTube for him to explore. 
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