The Bhagavad-gita says unsuccessful yogis take birth in rich families. We've see some devotees who seem to fit that description. They're born in wealthy families. They don't have to scrape by. They have the leisure to inquire and to devote themselves entirely. Sometimes I think, "Well, they're renouncing and surrendering completely because they can afford to. Most of us have to make money."
Of all the things people look for on our beach, sharks' teeth are by far the most coveted. In all my time here, I think I've seen almost one shark's tooth. They're tiny and black, the way your teeth would probably be if all you ate was seafood and never brushed. It's a blessing that nature gives them multiple sets.
I've been bitten by dogs. Once in the butt, when I was a twelve-year-old paperboy, by a customer's loose German shepherd ex-police dog. Another time in the face by my cousin's Great Dane, Zander, whom I made the mistake of saying "Hey, Zander!" to as I walked too close to the car window he was looking out of.
"This is the best," I said. I was walking on the beach; it was quarter to eight in the morning, low tide, cool breeze—the low angle of sunrays lit the earth and sky into such rich, deep, otherworldly golden tones that I felt I had ascended to a higher realm. I half-expected to see luminous beings walking without touching the ground or riding unicorns and dolphins.
I was chanting japa around the fountain at the Alachua temple with Mahatma Prabhu. He told me a few things about chanting:
"This mantra is dangerous. It will make you want to renounce the world." And,
Sivarama Swami is absolutely right when he says chanting while sitting is best. Chanting while walking requires navigation, and that takes energy and focus away from the Holy Names.