Stayin’ Alive
→ Living in the Material World

I just realized that I haven't posted to my blog for about 6 weeks. So, here is a little update to keep my blog flame from dying out.

I was quite sick for most of the month of January. Mostly respiratory ills. The doctor finally said that I probably have adult onset episodic asthma. UGH! She said it means that I will be susceptible to the wheezing episodes whenever I get a cold or have seasonal allergies. I have never had breathing problems or wheezing in my entire life until now. It was very scary to lay down at night to sleep and start wheezing. I felt like i couldn't get enough air to my lungs and like i was breathing through a pillow :( My poor little Narada also had a bad cold with some very mild wheeziness (is that a word?). His doctor sent him home with a nebulizer for breathing treatments, which i also used on the doctor's advice.

My husband went to Japan for 10 days at the end of January. He didn't take any pictures...He says he had a great time and saw his family and many of the wonderful devotees there. And, by Krishna's arrangement he even saw his guru HH Kavicandra Swami, in Osaka. He brought us back some donuts from the Donut Plant in Tokyo. This is the same donut shop in NYC that makes pure vegetarian donuts and offers them to the Lord so that they are all prasadam when sold.

We had a wonderful celebration for Lord Nityananda's appearance day last week. I was so happy to not be sick anymore that i cooked a prep for the feast and went to the program at the temple. I hadn't been to the temple for a couple months due to illness.

Kapila is starting spring soccer in Mebane tomorrow. I'm so happy and relieved to find something close by for him. He's not interesting in playing any other sports so otherwise he would only have fall soccer.

I enrolled my baby for kindergarten this month. He will be five years old next month. I think I may cry when he starts school in August. I'm sure he won't cry.

Okay, I think that may be it for now. I will follow this post up with some recent pictures.

Stayin’ Alive
→ Living in the Material World

I just realized that I haven't posted to my blog for about 6 weeks. So, here is a little update to keep my blog flame from dying out.

I was quite sick for most of the month of January. Mostly respiratory ills. The doctor finally said that I probably have adult onset episodic asthma. UGH! She said it means that I will be susceptible to the wheezing episodes whenever I get a cold or have seasonal allergies. I have never had breathing problems or wheezing in my entire life until now. It was very scary to lay down at night to sleep and start wheezing. I felt like i couldn't get enough air to my lungs and like i was breathing through a pillow :( My poor little Narada also had a bad cold with some very mild wheeziness (is that a word?). His doctor sent him home with a nebulizer for breathing treatments, which i also used on the doctor's advice.

My husband went to Japan for 10 days at the end of January. He didn't take any pictures...He says he had a great time and saw his family and many of the wonderful devotees there. And, by Krishna's arrangement he even saw his guru HH Kavicandra Swami, in Osaka. He brought us back some donuts from the Donut Plant in Tokyo. This is the same donut shop in NYC that makes pure vegetarian donuts and offers them to the Lord so that they are all prasadam when sold.

We had a wonderful celebration for Lord Nityananda's appearance day last week. I was so happy to not be sick anymore that i cooked a prep for the feast and went to the program at the temple. I hadn't been to the temple for a couple months due to illness.

Kapila is starting spring soccer in Mebane tomorrow. I'm so happy and relieved to find something close by for him. He's not interesting in playing any other sports so otherwise he would only have fall soccer.

I enrolled my baby for kindergarten this month. He will be five years old next month. I think I may cry when he starts school in August. I'm sure he won't cry.

Okay, I think that may be it for now. I will follow this post up with some recent pictures.

Vedic System of Self-Development
→ blog

<p>I recently gave a talk at the Krishna Fest at Gaura Yoga on the "Vedic System of Self-Development". Thanks to Sivarama Swami for the <a href="http://www.sivaramaswami.com/?p=3929">inspiration</a> for this talk.</p><p><a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/wp-content/vedic system of self-development.m4a">You can view the talk synchronized with slides here</a>.</p><p>or download the source AAC file <a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/wp-content/vedic system of self-development.m4a">vedic system of self-development.m4a</a></p><p>or download the source MP3 file <a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/wp-content/vedic system of self-development.mp3">vedic system of self-development.mp3</a></p>

Reinventing the Sunday Feast
→ blog

<p>I was listening to the following podcast:</p><p><a href="http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail4002.html">Darrel Rhea: Marking During an Economic Meltdown</a></p><p>The title is deceptive. It is more about analyzing a market or activity holistically and reinventing it to taking into account the complete picture. With a complete view of all the factors, motivations, desires, side-effects and intentions, one can transform into a truly customer focused organization.</p><p>Darrel Rhea gives example how he helped do this for Apple Retail Stores, Electrolux Kitchen Appliances, the Australian Tax System and Hospital Stroke Treatment.</p><p>How about we think about the classic Sunday Feast in this way? In New Zealand the Sunday Feast has already been adapted and reinvented to a certain extent to make it more accessible to newcomers, but without changing any of the core values of Krishna Consciousness. But more can always be done to improve it even further.</p><p>(Learn more about the "Krishna Fest" as it is in Wellington, New Zealand: <a href="http://gaurayoga.co.nz/festivals/">Gaura Yoga - Festivals</a>)</p><p>Think of the usual kind of person that might attend a Krishna Conscious center: curious, wary, ignorant of any kind of philosophy, averse to ritual, averse to religion, proud, attached to the opposite sex, not able to sit on the floor for long periods of time, short attention span, self-conscious (unless intoxicated), concerned about spending too much money and concerned about the environment (although not actually doing much about it).</p><p>So, using that picture of the typical guest, how would you reinvent the Sunday Feast with a fresh outlook, unencumbered by past traditions? Things that might be changed: name, time, music, types of events, sequence of events, physical layout of the room(s), decoration of the room(s), devotee numbers, devotee dress &amp; accessories and devotee language &amp; attitude.</p><p>Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.</p>

Reinventing the Sunday Feast
→ Home

I was listening to the following podcast:

Darrel Rhea: Marking During an Economic Meltdown

The title is deceptive. It is more about analyzing a market or activity holistically and reinventing it to taking into account the complete picture. With a complete view of all the factors, motivations, desires, side-effects and intentions, one can transform into a truly customer focused organization.

Darrel Rhea gives example how he helped do this for Apple Retail Stores, Electrolux Kitchen Appliances, the Australian Tax System and Hospital Stroke Treatment.

How about we think about the classic Sunday Feast in this way? In New Zealand the Sunday Feast has already been adapted and reinvented to a certain extent to make it more accessible to newcomers, but without changing any of the core values of Krishna Consciousness. But more can always be done to improve it even further.

(Learn more about the "Krishna Fest" as it is in Wellington, New Zealand: Gaura Yoga - Festivals)

Think of the usual kind of person that might attend a Krishna Conscious center: curious, wary, ignorant of any kind of philosophy, averse to ritual, averse to religion, proud, attached to the opposite sex, not able to sit on the floor for long periods of time, short attention span, self-conscious (unless intoxicated), concerned about spending too much money and concerned about the environment (although not actually doing much about it).

So, using that picture of the typical guest, how would you reinvent the Sunday Feast with a fresh outlook, unencumbered by past traditions? Things that might be changed: name, time, music, types of events, sequence of events, physical layout of the room(s), decoration of the room(s), devotee numbers, devotee dress & accessories and devotee language & attitude.

Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 3
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Multi-tier Necklaces
These necklaces are easy to make and the technique can be modified to add or subtract tiers. This style creates the look of multiple necklaces but because it is a single piece you don’t need to worry about different necklaces getting tangled, making dressing really simple.

Supplies:

  1. Polyester Sewing Thread
  2. Extra Fine Beading Needle
  3. Seed Beads
  4. Decorative Beads (5 crystal bi-cones and 6 glass beads)
  5. Scissors
    Step 1: Begin by double stringing a generous length of the sewing thread on to your needle and tying a stop bead (simply tie a knot around a seed bead) towards the end, leaving a 3-4 inch tail.

    Step 2: String on 8-10 seed beads followed by a crystal bi-cone, then string on more seed beads to the desired length of the first necklace.

    Step 3: Next, string on one glass bead, a crystal bi-cone and three seed beads. To create the pendant, pass the needle back through the crystal bi-cone and pull the thread all the way through.

    Step 4: Complete the second side of the necklace with the glass bead, seed beads, crystal bi-cone and the seed beads. Then securely tie the ends of the string together.

    Step 5: Now to create the second tier pass the needle back through the seed beads and crystal bi-cone. Then you can begin stringing on your seed beads adding a few more than you did for the first tier to ensure this necklace will sit below the first one. Continue with the pattern as you did for the first necklace and securely tying off the thread.

    Step 6: At this point you could finish your necklace with two tiers, or you can repeat step five with more seed beads to create a third tier.

Some examples of these Multi-tier necklaces: Laddu Gopal’s and Radharani’s three tier necklaces were made using different patterns and beads for each tier. I really like these simple two tier necklaces as they make dressing my Gaura Nitai really easy.

DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 3
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Multi-tier Necklaces
These necklaces are easy to make and the technique can be modified to add or subtract tiers. This style creates the look of multiple necklaces but because it is a single piece you don’t need to worry about different necklaces getting tangled, making dressing really simple.

Supplies:

  1. Polyester Sewing Thread
  2. Extra Fine Beading Needle
  3. Seed Beads
  4. Decorative Beads (5 crystal bi-cones and 6 glass beads)
  5. Scissors
    Step 1: Begin by double stringing a generous length of the sewing thread on to your needle and tying a stop bead (simply tie a knot around a seed bead) towards the end, leaving a 3-4 inch tail.

    Step 2: String on 8-10 seed beads followed by a crystal bi-cone, then string on more seed beads to the desired length of the first necklace.

    Step 3: Next, string on one glass bead, a crystal bi-cone and three seed beads. To create the pendant, pass the needle back through the crystal bi-cone and pull the thread all the way through.

    Step 4: Complete the second side of the necklace with the glass bead, seed beads, crystal bi-cone and the seed beads. Then securely tie the ends of the string together.

    Step 5: Now to create the second tier pass the needle back through the seed beads and crystal bi-cone. Then you can begin stringing on your seed beads adding a few more than you did for the first tier to ensure this necklace will sit below the first one. Continue with the pattern as you did for the first necklace and securely tying off the thread.

    Step 6: At this point you could finish your necklace with two tiers, or you can repeat step five with more seed beads to create a third tier.

Some examples of these Multi-tier necklaces: Laddu Gopal’s and Radharani’s three tier necklaces were made using different patterns and beads for each tier. I really like these simple two tier necklaces as they make dressing my Gaura Nitai really easy.

Dhamvasi or spiritual warrior?
→ Clouds.

Question: I feel that sometimes staying in the dham is like spiritual sense gratification. You can hear the holy name 24/7, see devotees everywhere, get to do so much service, get wonderful association all the time. So I sometimes feel a little selfish if I have this desire to stay in the dham. Preaching in the material world is such an austerity. It is so hard to live outside the dham, deal with karmis all the time and preach. So how do we follow the mission of prabhupad while dealing with this desire to stay in the dham?


Answer by H.G Pankajhangri Prabhu: (paraphrased)

Well, staying in the dham is definitely spiritual sense gratification. It is wonderful to stay in the dham. But this sense gratification is the true sense gratification. The gratification we get in the material world is not real. But if we sacrifice this pleasure and go out and preach taking up this austerity, we become very very dear to Lord Chaitanya.

At the same time, it is very important to visit the dham to recharge. Which is why Prahbupad organized the Gaura Purnima festival and other festivals. We have to come to the dham once a year and recharge our batteries and go back out in the battlefield to preach.

Those who are really weak, then Krishna says, "Ok you can stay back here" I'm exposing my own weakness here :) I'm not personally so strong to go out and preach in the material world. So we get to stay back here :)


So I have been in the spiritual world for the last 12 days. Every moment was memorable but not every moment can be described by words unfortunately. I have written down a few beautiful moments such as the one above which I'll post as soon as I get a chance to.


Dhamvasi or spiritual warrior?
→ Clouds.

Question: I feel that sometimes staying in the dham is like spiritual sense gratification. You can hear the holy name 24/7, see devotees everywhere, get to do so much service, get wonderful association all the time. So I sometimes feel a little selfish if I have this desire to stay in the dham. Preaching in the material world is such an austerity. It is so hard to live outside the dham, deal with karmis all the time and preach. So how do we follow the mission of prabhupad while dealing with this desire to stay in the dham?


Answer by H.G Pankajhangri Prabhu: (paraphrased)

Well, staying in the dham is definitely spiritual sense gratification. It is wonderful to stay in the dham. But this sense gratification is the true sense gratification. The gratification we get in the material world is not real. But if we sacrifice this pleasure and go out and preach taking up this austerity, we become very very dear to Lord Chaitanya.

At the same time, it is very important to visit the dham to recharge. Which is why Prahbupad organized the Gaura Purnima festival and other festivals. We have to come to the dham once a year and recharge our batteries and go back out in the battlefield to preach.

Those who are really weak, then Krishna says, "Ok you can stay back here" I'm exposing my own weakness here :) I'm not personally so strong to go out and preach in the material world. So we get to stay back here :)


So I have been in the spiritual world for the last 12 days. Every moment was memorable but not every moment can be described by words unfortunately. I have written down a few beautiful moments such as the one above which I'll post as soon as I get a chance to.


Sri Krsna Pushya Abhisheka!
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Shri Govinda after his ghee and flower petal abhisheka on
Sri Krsna Pushya Abhisheka!
The Hari Bhakti Vilasa says that on this day one should rub ghee on the deity of Sri Krishna. Pusya of course means nourishing, and this act of devotion, with ghee, which is very nourishing is equivalent to the results of an asvamedha sacrifice. Srila Prabhupada once explained the festival in the following way: "Krishna was just a toy in the hands of the Gopis, so one day the Gopis decided that we shall decorate Him. Pushya Abhiseka means a ceremony to decorate the deity profusely with flowers, ornaments, cloths. After there should be lavish feasting and a procession through the streets, so that all the citizens should see how beautiful Krishna appears."

Sri Krsna Pushya Abhisheka!
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Shri Govinda after his ghee and flower petal abhisheka on
Sri Krsna Pushya Abhisheka!
The Hari Bhakti Vilasa says that on this day one should rub ghee on the deity of Sri Krishna. Pusya of course means nourishing, and this act of devotion, with ghee, which is very nourishing is equivalent to the results of an asvamedha sacrifice. Srila Prabhupada once explained the festival in the following way: "Krishna was just a toy in the hands of the Gopis, so one day the Gopis decided that we shall decorate Him. Pushya Abhiseka means a ceremony to decorate the deity profusely with flowers, ornaments, cloths. After there should be lavish feasting and a procession through the streets, so that all the citizens should see how beautiful Krishna appears."

End of Year Retreat 2008
→ blog

<p>I just got back from a 10-day Christmas retreat. Most of the Hare Krishna devotees in New Zealand attended this festival of inspiration, rejuvenation and association. Over 100 devotees were there, in total.</p><p>The retreat was held in the Otaki region of New Zealand (1 hour North of Wellington). We rented out two retreat centers: <a href="http://riverslearetreat.co.nz/">Riverslea</a> and <a href="http://www.waihoanga.co.nz/">Waihoanga</a>; and also used our own retreat center <a href="http://gaurahaven.co.nz/">Gaura Haven</a> for accommodation.</p><p>The 10-day passed quickly. There were so many brilliant talks, inspiring presentations, delicious spiritual food (prasadam), and nice people to talk to. A slight downer was that everyone (and I do mean everyone) got sick. A nasty flu virus managed to infect everyone's bodies. It lasted about four days in most people. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant time.</p><p>I took about 900 photos over the course of the retreat. A <a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/pictures/v/retreat2008/">selection of images</a> is available in my picture gallery.</p><p><a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/pictures/v/retreat2008/"><img src="http://www.deltaflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/imgp4401.jpg" width="300" height="199" alt="IMGP4401.jpg"/></a></p>

End of Year Retreat 2008
→ Home

I just got back from a 10-day Christmas retreat. Most of the Hare Krishna devotees in New Zealand attended this festival of inspiration, rejuvenation and association. Over 100 devotees were there, in total.

The retreat was held in the Otaki region of New Zealand (1 hour North of Wellington). We rented out two retreat centers: Riverslea and Waihoanga; and also used our own retreat center Gaura Haven for accommodation.

The 10-day passed quickly. There were so many brilliant talks, inspiring presentations, delicious spiritual food (prasadam), and nice people to talk to. A slight downer was that everyone (and I do mean everyone) got sick. A nasty flu virus managed to infect everyone's bodies. It lasted about four days in most people. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant time.

I took about 900 photos over the course of the retreat. A selection of images is available in my picture gallery.

IMGP4401.jpg

Happy New Year
→ Living in the Material World

Just wanted to update since it's been nearly a month. My family spent the better part of December coughing and blowing noses. I had the flu, followed immediately by the cough from hell that quickly turned to bronchitis. The boys all had a cough but fortunately no flu. We are now dealing with pink eye/conjunctivitis making the rounds through the house. My husband seems to be the toughest of all of us. He had neither the cough or the pink eye...yet.


I'm looking forward to what 2009 will bring. My husband is taking a much needed trip to Japan at the end of this month. Kapila will start middle school (!!!) in August...fortunately he won't be changing school as his school is K-8. Narada Muni will start kindergarten, which is very bittersweet for me. Rasaraj will make the jump to hyperspeed and finally go into 2nd grade :) As for me, I'm still thinking about what to do with myself...


Here's some sekihan to celebrate the new year-YUM!~


Happy New Year
→ Living in the Material World

Just wanted to update since it's been nearly a month. My family spent the better part of December coughing and blowing noses. I had the flu, followed immediately by the cough from hell that quickly turned to bronchitis. The boys all had a cough but fortunately no flu. We are now dealing with pink eye/conjunctivitis making the rounds through the house. My husband seems to be the toughest of all of us. He had neither the cough or the pink eye...yet.


I'm looking forward to what 2009 will bring. My husband is taking a much needed trip to Japan at the end of this month. Kapila will start middle school (!!!) in August...fortunately he won't be changing school as his school is K-8. Narada Muni will start kindergarten, which is very bittersweet for me. Rasaraj will make the jump to hyperspeed and finally go into 2nd grade :) As for me, I'm still thinking about what to do with myself...


Here's some sekihan to celebrate the new year-YUM!~


DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 2
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Chokers or Belts

I first came up with this technique making belts for my Radha Govindaji. One day I was dressing them I tried one of the belts as a choker and it looked great, so I recently made some more specifically designed as chokers. This design is for chokers for my Jagannatha and Baladeva, but the technique is so versatile it would make excellent belts or could be modified slightly to make chokers for smaller deities. Supplies:
1. Sewing Thread (I find polyester thread works best)
2. Extra Fine Beading Needles
3. Cord (I used heavy cotton string from my garland making kit, but you can also use embroidery floss in a matching colour)
4-6. Beads: For this design I used pearls, seed beads and glass bi-cones
7. Scissors

Step 1: Cut two lengths of the cord and tie 2-3 knots in the center of each length, thread each of the beading needles (make sure you have a generous amount of thread on each needle) and poke each needle through the knot in one piece of the cord and tie the ends of the thread securely together leaving a 2-3 inch tail (you will need this later).

Step 2: String 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles. Then on each needle string a seed bead a pearl and another seed bead then another pearl through both needles. Repeat this pattern to the desired length, keep in mind that you want an even number of segments as you want an odd number of the hanging segments. In this case for five hanging segments there are six of these “base” segments.

Step 3: After you have completed the required number of base segments, string 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles and poke each needle through the knot in the second piece of cord and tie the thread securely together.

Step 4: For this design there is only have one set of the hanging segments so one of the needles can be cut off at this point (if you wanted more hanging segments you would keep the second needle and just repeat the procedure for the hanging segments). Next, pass the remaining needle through the 4-5 pearls and the seed bead and pearl of the first base segment.

Step 5: To make the first hanging segment string on three seed beads and a glass bi-cone and another seed bead, then pass the needle back through the glass bi-cone and string on another three seed beads.

Step 6: Now pass the needle through the pearl of the next base segment, and continue with the base segments for the length of the necklace/belt. When you have completed your last hanging segment pas your needle through the 4-5 pearls at the end and securely tie off your thread using the tail you left earlier and trim off any excess thread.

Here is some of the jewellery I’ve made using this technique.
Photo 1: Radharani’s orange choker was made by varying the length of the hanging segments and overlapping the second set of hanging segments.
Photo 2: Baladeva wearing the choker described in this post.
Photo 3: Govindaji’s belt is one of my favourite pieces made with this technique, here the hanging segments were done slightly different by weaving the needle through the base segments.

DIY Deity Jewellery: Necklaces- Part 2
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Chokers or Belts

I first came up with this technique making belts for my Radha Govindaji. One day I was dressing them I tried one of the belts as a choker and it looked great, so I recently made some more specifically designed as chokers. This design is for chokers for my Jagannatha and Baladeva, but the technique is so versatile it would make excellent belts or could be modified slightly to make chokers for smaller deities. Supplies:
1. Sewing Thread (I find polyester thread works best)
2. Extra Fine Beading Needles
3. Cord (I used heavy cotton string from my garland making kit, but you can also use embroidery floss in a matching colour)
4-6. Beads: For this design I used pearls, seed beads and glass bi-cones
7. Scissors

Step 1: Cut two lengths of the cord and tie 2-3 knots in the center of each length, thread each of the beading needles (make sure you have a generous amount of thread on each needle) and poke each needle through the knot in one piece of the cord and tie the ends of the thread securely together leaving a 2-3 inch tail (you will need this later).

Step 2: String 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles. Then on each needle string a seed bead a pearl and another seed bead then another pearl through both needles. Repeat this pattern to the desired length, keep in mind that you want an even number of segments as you want an odd number of the hanging segments. In this case for five hanging segments there are six of these “base” segments.

Step 3: After you have completed the required number of base segments, string 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles and poke each needle through the knot in the second piece of cord and tie the thread securely together.

Step 4: For this design there is only have one set of the hanging segments so one of the needles can be cut off at this point (if you wanted more hanging segments you would keep the second needle and just repeat the procedure for the hanging segments). Next, pass the remaining needle through the 4-5 pearls and the seed bead and pearl of the first base segment.

Step 5: To make the first hanging segment string on three seed beads and a glass bi-cone and another seed bead, then pass the needle back through the glass bi-cone and string on another three seed beads.

Step 6: Now pass the needle through the pearl of the next base segment, and continue with the base segments for the length of the necklace/belt. When you have completed your last hanging segment pas your needle through the 4-5 pearls at the end and securely tie off your thread using the tail you left earlier and trim off any excess thread.

Here is some of the jewellery I’ve made using this technique.
Photo 1: Radharani’s orange choker was made by varying the length of the hanging segments and overlapping the second set of hanging segments.
Photo 2: Baladeva wearing the choker described in this post.
Photo 3: Govindaji’s belt is one of my favourite pieces made with this technique, here the hanging segments were done slightly different by weaving the needle through the base segments.

The Cult
→ Unplugged Ice

Modern day academia is like an organized religion. It has its hierarchy, its dogmatic teachings, its rituals, its rites of passage, and its cosmology. It reacts to criticism from outside in the same way religious fanatics defend their faith -- with no consideration of logic or objectivity. It upholds its own values and, even though it abhors cultural relativity, it considers itself the sole guardian of truth. Actually, "truth" is not allowed. It has been banned. And so has "potential truth." Nothing has value. The greatest achievement that humanity can claim is a "valuableness" unto it's own particular culture or tradition. Thus nothing is of absolute value and, for the sake of "scholarship," everything is open to interpretation (speculation). What is left? A monistic, atheistic, undefinable mixed-up pile of human excreta that allows individuals the right to become mini-gods on the basis of how much well-articulated nonsense they can regurgitate in one sitting. This, my friends, is academia. This is the elite. This is what society looks up to as its teachers, mentors, and advisers. This is how the innocent are fooled. This is the battle.

All is not lost for as time waits for no man, and as Krsna is time,-- a change is underway.

The Cult
→ Unplugged Ice

Modern day academia is like an organized religion. It has its hierarchy, its dogmatic teachings, its rituals, its rites of passage, and its cosmology. It reacts to criticism from outside in the same way religious fanatics defend their faith -- with no consideration of logic or objectivity. It upholds its own values and, even though it abhors cultural relativity, it considers itself the sole guardian of truth. Actually, "truth" is not allowed. It has been banned. And so has "potential truth." Nothing has value. The greatest achievement that humanity can claim is a "valuableness" unto it's own particular culture or tradition. Thus nothing is of absolute value and, for the sake of "scholarship," everything is open to interpretation (speculation). What is left? A monistic, atheistic, undefinable mixed-up pile of human excreta that allows individuals the right to become mini-gods on the basis of how much well-articulated nonsense they can regurgitate in one sitting. This, my friends, is academia. This is the elite. This is what society looks up to as its teachers, mentors, and advisers. This is how the innocent are fooled. This is the battle.

All is not lost for as time waits for no man, and as Krsna is time,-- a change is underway.

Storing Deity Jewelery
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Over the years I’ve tried a number of different options for storing my deities' jewellery and have found a system that works best for me. I've tried small plastic zip lock bags to store the jewelery sets that were then placed into larger zip lock bags with the matching outfit. However, the problem with this system is if you want to mix and match different jewellery you have to go searching through all the sets. As such, the system I currently use keeps all the jewellery easily on hand so it’s easy to find a specific item when you're dressing your deities. The system basically uses storage boxes you can find at any craft store. I use one with large compartments (designed to hold spools of thread) to hold the larger crowns and mukut pieces. This container also has some larger compartments (I believe designed to hold sewing scissors) that come in handy for storing flutes and other accessories. I also use similar containers with smaller adjustable compartments to store the necklaces, bracelets, and smaller crowns. When selecting your storage container look for one that has a lid that closes tightly, this will help keep the jari (metallic thread) work on the crowns and mukut pieces form tarnishing over time. Additionally, I find the inside of the lid comes in handy for storing peacock feathers. I just use blutack to stick them to the inside of the lid so when I need them they're ready to use.

Even with this system I’ve found it difficult to keep track of the small bracelets. This can be a bit annoying when you're dressing and you can't find the other piece of a pair of bracelets. This is especially a problem with the elastic ones, with the bracelets that open and close the two pieces can be linked together to keep the pair from getting separated. To solve this problem I've recently begun storing the bracelets on safety pins to keep the matching pairs together.


Stay tuned I’ll be posting more techniques for necklaces in the coming weeks. A few readers have requested instructions for belts and turbans and I will be working on those as well. If you have any requests feel free to email me

Storing Deity Jewelery
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Over the years I’ve tried a number of different options for storing my deities' jewellery and have found a system that works best for me. I've tried small plastic zip lock bags to store the jewelery sets that were then placed into larger zip lock bags with the matching outfit. However, the problem with this system is if you want to mix and match different jewellery you have to go searching through all the sets. As such, the system I currently use keeps all the jewellery easily on hand so it’s easy to find a specific item when you're dressing your deities. The system basically uses storage boxes you can find at any craft store. I use one with large compartments (designed to hold spools of thread) to hold the larger crowns and mukut pieces. This container also has some larger compartments (I believe designed to hold sewing scissors) that come in handy for storing flutes and other accessories. I also use similar containers with smaller adjustable compartments to store the necklaces, bracelets, and smaller crowns. When selecting your storage container look for one that has a lid that closes tightly, this will help keep the jari (metallic thread) work on the crowns and mukut pieces form tarnishing over time. Additionally, I find the inside of the lid comes in handy for storing peacock feathers. I just use blutack to stick them to the inside of the lid so when I need them they're ready to use.

Even with this system I’ve found it difficult to keep track of the small bracelets. This can be a bit annoying when you're dressing and you can't find the other piece of a pair of bracelets. This is especially a problem with the elastic ones, with the bracelets that open and close the two pieces can be linked together to keep the pair from getting separated. To solve this problem I've recently begun storing the bracelets on safety pins to keep the matching pairs together.


Stay tuned I’ll be posting more techniques for necklaces in the coming weeks. A few readers have requested instructions for belts and turbans and I will be working on those as well. If you have any requests feel free to email me

Humilty against despair.
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humilityagainstdespair

Some people have thought i have been dead-close to it no lie. An internal life of devotion is always a struggle. Winter hits me so hard. My pineal gland is covered by the grey shade of Ohio days and I receive no light. This absence of light brings depression. This lack of light tethered with the lack of intense engagement leaves me to myself-the thoughts of the mind and weakness of heart. Japa stretches throughout the day with little to no taste. What has brought encouragement and life is the blessed book New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton. Actually it has saved me. If you know me, that means alot. We have spent hours reading aloud in the house, on the subway, in the car, at the theatre and at restaurants. Everywhere it stands as inspiration to live and serve.

I am on the threshold of new. India is one week away. It will be a nice restart button.

The quote above is what is driving my purpose for ’09.

DIY Deity Jewelery: Necklaces- Part 1
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Multi-Stranded Necklaces

These necklaces are easy to make and the technique can be modified to accommodate multiple strands, I have tried up to five strands simply add more needles. Additionally different beads can be used to create endless patterns.
Supplies:
1. Scissors
2. Sewing Thread (I find polyester thread works best for this technique as nylon beading thread is too stiff for this style)
3. Big Beads
4. Seed Beads
5. Extra Fine Beading Needles

Step 1: Cut two lengths of the sewing thread approximately 1m each, then String on one of he beading needles (the beading needles can be a bit difficult to thread, they often come with a ‘threader’ that makes the task a lot easier)onto each piece of thread. Next position the needle in the center of each thread. And tie all the ends together, resulting in two strands of double thread.

Step 2: Now we begin beading. First string on a few of your larger beads passing each bead through both needles. To begin the pattern string on the large bead through both needles followed by your desired pattern on each needle. For my pattern this means passing the large bead through both needles and two seed beds one big bead and two more seed beads on each needle followed by passing another big bead through both needles.
Step 3: Continue with the pattern until the desired length. In this case I had to modify the pattern a bit in the last link to create the length I required. Now you can make the pendant. For this string a big bead through both needles and then on each needle string two seed beads a big bed and another seed bead. Then pass you needles back through the pendant beads except the last seed bead (see step 3a above).

Step 4: Continue the pattern to make the second half of the necklace finishing off with the same number of big beads you began with and tie the two ends of the necklace together. Cut away the excess thread, optionally you can keep a little extra and use an incense stick to burn the ends of the tread to help keep your necklace together however be careful as if you burn too much your necklace will fall apart.
Here are some necklaces I made using this technique the pink and white one for my Govindaji was made using three needles and the green set for Chota Radha Gopinatha was made using four needles. Experiment with different strands and beads and you can create lots of different looks.

DIY Deity Jewelery: Necklaces- Part 1
→ Arcanam: Worship of the Deity...

Multi-Stranded Necklaces

These necklaces are easy to make and the technique can be modified to accommodate multiple strands, I have tried up to five strands simply add more needles. Additionally different beads can be used to create endless patterns.
Supplies:
1. Scissors
2. Sewing Thread (I find polyester thread works best for this technique as nylon beading thread is too stiff for this style)
3. Big Beads
4. Seed Beads
5. Extra Fine Beading Needles

Step 1: Cut two lengths of the sewing thread approximately 1m each, then String on one of he beading needles (the beading needles can be a bit difficult to thread, they often come with a ‘threader’ that makes the task a lot easier)onto each piece of thread. Next position the needle in the center of each thread. And tie all the ends together, resulting in two strands of double thread.

Step 2: Now we begin beading. First string on a few of your larger beads passing each bead through both needles. To begin the pattern string on the large bead through both needles followed by your desired pattern on each needle. For my pattern this means passing the large bead through both needles and two seed beds one big bead and two more seed beads on each needle followed by passing another big bead through both needles.
Step 3: Continue with the pattern until the desired length. In this case I had to modify the pattern a bit in the last link to create the length I required. Now you can make the pendant. For this string a big bead through both needles and then on each needle string two seed beads a big bed and another seed bead. Then pass you needles back through the pendant beads except the last seed bead (see step 3a above).

Step 4: Continue the pattern to make the second half of the necklace finishing off with the same number of big beads you began with and tie the two ends of the necklace together. Cut away the excess thread, optionally you can keep a little extra and use an incense stick to burn the ends of the tread to help keep your necklace together however be careful as if you burn too much your necklace will fall apart.
Here are some necklaces I made using this technique the pink and white one for my Govindaji was made using three needles and the green set for Chota Radha Gopinatha was made using four needles. Experiment with different strands and beads and you can create lots of different looks.

Gaura Haven: landscape photographs and photo presentation
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<p>I have been taking some pictures in and around Gaura Haven / New Gupta Vraja, located in Otaki (about an hour's drive outside of Wellington). Here is a <a href="http://deltaflow.com/pictures/v/gaurahaven-landscapes/">gallery</a> the best photographs, the so-called "glory shots".</p><p>I'm relatively new to landscape photography. So, advice and suggestions are welcome.</p><p><a href="http://deltaflow.com/pictures/v/gaurahaven-landscapes/"><img src="http://www.deltaflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/gaurahaven-landscapes.jpg" width="300" height="210" alt="gaurahaven-landscapes.jpg"/></a></p><p>Additionally, I gave a photo presentation about Gaura Haven at our recent <a href="http://www.deltaflow.com/pictures/v/album_001/">Vyasa-Puja festival</a> in honor of Devamrita Swami. </p>