Our very last stop on the twenty-six day adventure is the fine city of San Francisco. Before we get into the trip, we begin with our exciting landing into the city.
We had a warm welcome in Portland and Paramacharya was greeted in the traditional manner.
Our journey is coming to an end and the second to last stop brings us to Portland, Oregon, or as the locals say "Orgen." It was a short but delightful sojourn in one of America's fastest growing cities, driven in part by the IT companies who are centered there, and the migration of millennials to this food-aware haven.We are greeted lovingly at the airport and after a little rest are off to a special outing in America's second largest city park. The satsang at the Regade home was a special one, with great questions from the group, talks of SBNR, a story by Paramacharya that brought laughs and lofty thoughts to all present and quiet blessings afterwards. Follow the slideshow for the details.
Part of Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami and Natyam Rajanatha's recently-completed whirlwind travels across the US and Canada landed them in the lovely home of the Pillay family. Located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, the family consists of father and mother Nagarajan and Shamini along with their three children, Archana, Divyesh, and little Dishanna.
Archana is the eldest and has quite a gifted grasp on artfully using the English language. Her poem expresses her personal insights and experience while on pilgrimage at Kauai Aadheenam with her family. Enjoy her heartfelt sharings.
"As we approached the fortress
Steeped in the veils of blue,
The pungency of love
From the house built for three
Sparked droplets of briny water
From these almond-cut eyes.
"After hearts laid helpless
From the Dancer's valiant display,
And sanguine scents
From the bewildering beginnings
Roamed unbeknownst to fear,
The gelatinous path of aloe
Crept to stage right
"And it was at that end,
In the room of mosaics,
Where this hibiscus transcended
From the silky crescent's peak,
Its petals of unmarred red
Floating atop of an oasis
In the rooster's mellow island.
"Here we stand, hands-cupped,
For a swab of sapient nectar
From nature's five-faced boon,
Whose presence farewells
Ten thousand paper stacks of woes.
"These humble palms will never
Let loose such a silhouette
Of the azure cosmic plains,
Our slumbering serpents
Tickled too sweetly
By this flower, made to
Brighten the sapphire kingdom. "
-- Archana Pillay
Today is the last day of our "mini innersearch" with the traveling monks and a grand tour of the Butchart Gardens. This is the story of an amazing woman, named Jeannie Butchart - married to an enterprising concrete manufacturer. Basically he purchased the land to extricate lime stone deposits for his concrete plant and what was left after the quarry was a huge (and ugly) hole in the ground.
Usually patrons to the gardens simply walk through on their own but that wasn't enough for our incredible hosts - Nagarajan and Shamini who arranged for the director of the gardens to host Sadasivanathaswami (don't try this from home – it took a superhuman effort to arrange this special tour). According to our most amazing guide– Jeannie Butchart (also the plant chemist) was given a few seeds from a friend to start a vegetable garden. Something magical must have happened as she watched those seeds sprout and looked out over this huge empty pit. She immediately expanded a large vegetable garden. The sides of the pit were lined with exposed rock so she had ropes strung along the sides of the cliff and from a hanging chair started planting ivy. She then sent for Japanese garden masters to come and develop the beginnings of what was to become a massive world renowned English style garden of incredible beauty with 65 full time gardeners that host over 800,000 people each year.
It was quite amazing and humorous, listening to Sadasivanathaswami and Susan Wright (our additional guide) talking Latin back and forth throughout most of the tour!
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