“Material” Life is Material Life, that’s fine.

In my life I have a material existence and a spiritual existence. They both proceed, and they overlap, but they are distinct. I don’t anymore feel the need to sing “Hare Krishna to you” instead of “Happy birthday to you.” Or say, “Ho ho ho, haribol to all and to all a good night.” =) Or “We wish you a merry Krishna.” =) I’m fine with birthday cake and christmas presents having nothing obvious to do with Krishna. These are part of material existence, which goes on by its own momentum, by its own destiny, its own fate, its own karma. I am just along for the ride, as a passenger waiting for the vehicle to stop so I can get off.

Meanwhile I try to chant japa and look for opportunities to have kīrtan. That is the essence of spiritual life. If I can chant even one mantra attentively, the whole rest of the day can be spent in nonsense, and still I will not have another material birth. Though actually what I find is that by chanting attentively even slightly, I see the inherent, natural spiritual substance and presence of Krishna within “material” things, within each smile from my wife, children, etc. within each toy under the tree and each candle on the cake. So, without effort, the material life reveals its spiritual essence, as an automatic side effect of my spiritual life, as weak as it honestly is.

Unfortunately, often I am so distracted by false-ego that I fail to even chant one mantra attentively. But even on those days I console myself that at least I continue to chant inattentively, keeping the hope alive of chanting attentively now and then.

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