a blade of grass

… he told me that perfection could be learned from nature. be more humble than a blade of grass; more tolerant than a tree. give respect to others freely, without expectation or motive. in such a state of mind, stripped bare of your false pretenses, call out to your Lord eternally.

i’m still working on it …


back... from beyond the grave?

What could possibly bring me -- perhaps the world's most inconsistent blogger, arguably the slackest slacker in all of ISKCON -- back to the blog? How about staying at a haunted hotel?

Okay, allow me to back up and catch all my regular BOG readers up to speed. After Italy (which was amazing), I returned to a pile of things to do on my desk higher than the leaning tower of pisa (which, by the way, we didn't see). So, back to the ISKCON Communications tour circuit for me.

Which brings me here... In San Antonio, Texas for the Religion Newswriters Association's annual convention. Anuttama Prabhu and I usually enjoy these events (this will be my third) because they provide an invaluable insight into what religion reporters are looking for in a story. Great contacts, fun people, and some nice opportunities to help others better understand and present Krishna consciousness. This year, however, Anuttama had some other obligations so I'm flying solo. That wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that my hotel is said to be inhabited by the disembodied.

The Menger Hotel, a landmark historical structure, was built in 1859 -- 20 years after the bloody battle at the nearby Alamo, and boasts a bunch of ghost sightings. In fact, when I was checking in the helpful receptionist mentioned that my room came equipped with cable TV, high speed internet, oh and by the way -- a history of ghost sightings. You know, the usual.

Having experienced ghostly entities before (at least one of which was bilingual), I'm a believer. At the same time, though, I'm not too sure about this place. Is the whole thing just a big gimmick? Is it just a way to put a charming twist on the fact that this rambling piece of Texan history is actually pretty dumpy compared to the shiny new Sheraton down the block? The peeling wallpaper, musty smell, ancient furniture, cracked bathroom tiles, creaky floorboards.... oh, that just adds to the allure of the haunted hotel. I'm not quite convinced.

Still just to play it safe, I've brought a conch shell and my traveling Nrsimhadeva picture. Oh, and did I mention that I slept withe the lights and the TV on?

Me? I aint 'fraid of no ghosts.