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Day 6 – May 7

:30 – Breakfast @ BB

8:15-ish departure

Ramakrishna Vedanta Society, dialogue with Swami Tagyananda

Burritos in Charlesgate Park 

Muddy River Walk w/ Lisa Kumf

Society of Saint John the Evangelist, dialogue Brother Jack and Brother Lane

Dinner @ Harvard Square

8:30 – 9:00 Compline @ Saint John the Evangelist

Retire to BB

I really liked how honest Swami Tyagananda was when he was talking about how God is such an unimaginable and hard to describe thing, but also that who are we to limit what God can manifest in. I really appreciated this because I have been thinking a lot about what God is to me, and I’ve realized it is that unthinkable force, but also this unknown guardian.


I think today I learned a lot about appreciation. All the people we met had such an appreciative view on life. Meeting Swami Tyagananda was very refreshing because all or most of the places we’ve been have been large in stature, but where we met with the Swami felt comfortable and quaint. 


At the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society I felt a strong sense of humbleness. It seemed to lack the same religious intensity that was at Sri Lakshmi and represented other beliefs and traditions. Swami Tyagananda was very kind and gentle.


Walking with Lisa at the Muddy River was much sadder than I thought it would be. But seeing the resilience of her and her organization and the river itself made me feel hopeful. It reminded me that there are so many good people, and we can make drastic changes when we come together.


One thing I found that was incredibly surprising was the fish that we saw [in the Muddy River]. It was living in such polluted, dirty water, and it was so resilient. I don’t know if this can happen, but I’ve never seen a fish cry. This made me think of how strong and resilient wildlife can be. And the goslings! They were just like pedestrians crossing the street, like they knew when the cars would stop. It’s amazing how you can look at something like the goslings and see resilience and spirit in that.


Compline was really relaxing. I got the vibe of, “OK God, we love you, but we’re tired, so let’s make it quick.”


One of my favorite parts throughout Compline was probably getting holy water kind of tossed on me. I don’t know how, really, but it felt like a little reset.


The Society of Saint John the Evangelist wasn’t my favorite place so far, but it was still meaningful to visit. I kind of wish I believed in some kind of religion just so I can have a community like the ones we have been visiting. They seem so full of life.


Just the Way It Is

The people we’ve met with are all so comfortable in their religions. I ask them if it’s hard to live by rules to pray, to love our enemies, and they say, “No, it’s not hard. This is the way I live, and the way I pray, and the way I love, and I like it. It’s just the way it is. I chose this path.” I hope one day I can feel this secure in my own skin.


My God
No power controls it all.
No one can know
Personality gives individuality
Individuality gives power
She is life. He is death.
He is rageful killing. She is strategic war.
She is devotion. He is always running off.
He is the light of music and healing.
She is the moon guiding the archer’s arrow.
He controls them. She scares him.
She is the one who brings ruin to her own creation. 
He is the one with the least control.
She is the one who didn’t deserve it.
He is the one who didn’t deserve to do it.
She is the rainbow. He flies through the sky.
She is the ground we stand on. 
They are the power to control it all.
They are the ones who can know.
Personality gives individuality.
Individuality gives power.