Today on our weekly public tour we hosted Maureen Murphy of NTBG bringing a special group on the tour. Maureen is the president of The Kauai Outdoor Circle--the original environmental organization in Hawaii, started in 1912, and dedicated to keeping Hawaii clean, green and beautiful.
They are the ones who got billboards outlawed in 1926, and started the recycling projects in the ’70′s as well as anti-litter campaigns. They do lots of tree plantings; including the creation of the Exceptional Tree Protection program. They also participate in the annual Arbor Day tree giveaway; and offer several free tree care workshops. She wanted to bring members of the hard-working steering committee to show them how much they are appreciated.
It is easy to talk about all pervasive divinity and a few beliefs of Hinduism when standing in a jungle of flowers and trees.
Included in this weeks tour was a new stop overlooking Rishi Valley which has seen a complete transformation in the past several months with hundreds of new plantings and new irrigation system. This photo does not include the spectacular view of Iraivan Temple just above and across the water. This is the perfect place to introduce the idea of Parampara, the passing down, the lineage of teachers, and coronation in the Natha tradition.
Little Romesh waves hi, with his mother, and grandparents. Originally from North India, they now reside in San Diego.
Here we are at the foot of the flag pole hearing about the festive and celebratory way Hindus approach life. I am in desperate need of a wide angle lens -- this is probably 50% of the actual group. We know there were 60 cars checked in by the parking staff.
Inspired by the work of the Kauai Open Circle, we had a rare and special guest today when out of the jungle appeared Paramacharya Palaniswami. After hearing so many things about monks it was very uplifting for the group to actually see a swami. During public tour day, which is always a phase day, all the monks are busy at their work stations Once in a great while Yoginathaswami is out at Iraivan directing the silpis or Ceyonswami comes out briefly after the puja in Kadavul, but for the most part guests are lucky to even get a glimpse of a monk.
Palaniswami is asked about a number of palms and plants in the immediate vicinity by Maureen. The proper latin botanical names stream out effortlessly usually with a fascinating history of that particular palm and how it was acquired.
The initial reaction after being overwhelmed with a seemly endless variety of trees, palms, exotic bamboo, heliconia, ginger, Ti, medicinal plants, flowers and vines, is: how do they do it? How can a handful of monks with so many other duties keep all these acres of plants looking like a masterfully tended arboretum and botanical garden? It is a question that defies an answer.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "Not Getting Upset, Viewing Reaction from Higher Faculties" (September 14, 2014)
A measure of how serious we are in making spiritual progress is that we've learned the lesson from experience. Develop the ability to watch the mind think, understand the patterns of emotional action and reaction. Have the sense that you are a divine being to root out imperfections. Becoming upset is a temporary suspension of our higher faculties; transmute the energy into the third eye.
Master Course, Living with Siva, Lesson 149;
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 152;
Yogaswami, Words of our Master
"Eight Features of the Natha Sampradaya" (September 17, 2014)
We have to discover that part of us that is the Self. One of the important benefits of temple worship is it softens the ego. Recognize and love a Being greater than us, building humility. Go to Lord Murugan; His worship strengthens the kundalini. There's a power in learning through listening, shruti, that which is heard. Tradition, sadhana and tapas, informs, inspires, awakens potential.