I was finishing my studies in Pakistan. I'd not made it to flight school in the Air Force, and now University was almost over. I knew it was time to leave. Sitting on a mountain top in the foothills of the Himalayas, I meditated, and ask to know what my next step would be. Within a month, my father decided we would all move to Canada.
First he checked out the U.S. He could have been posted to the Washington Embassy earlier in 1958 but the Ambassador, a friend, just died. We applied to immigrate there, which would have required I be drafted for the Vietnam War. I didn't care one way or the other (still believed that all communists were bad) but then he called his friend in Toronto and decided to move here.
The prophecy said Maitreya would come down from the Himalayas, board a plane in Pakistan, and fly to London. I did, but went on to Toronto, because my karma was there.
First job: Street cleaner. Let go the first day, even though in typical immigrant manner, I'd knocked myself out doing a great job. Noticed the only other person let go was a black man (None of the 'pink folk' were let go :) but after that, I got great jobs, and never had to face that problem again.
That is the beauty of Canada.. It has welcomed people from a hundred different countries and become stronger as a result. People of different faiths get along. Gay people can get married if they want. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is a national treasure. Kids for Khadr, an Ontario school group, protests the inhumane treatment given to Canadian child soldier Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Prison, while the government hides behind rhetoric.
You go to a place, and you know you've been there before.. and here I rediscovered my native, shamanistic past. Here I started meditation classes that combined Spirit and Earth energy, for Canada is strong in earth energy. Wherever the native people gather, it is strong in energy, even though the earth itself has sadly, been weakened over the years and Canada's treatment of its native peoples is a karmic shame.
Canadians see themselves as a force for good in the world. Even with the present government, there is a fundamental decency. We care and invest in social causes. Every one has health care. Education is pretty good. Yes, Canada is fighting an unjust war in Afghanistan. Yes it's got a corporate fascist government and political parties (but not as bad as the U.S. we say-they on the other hand call us 'socialists' as though that's a Bad Thing)
Why, then, do I love this country? Because it's a place of refuge. There will come a time when the world will need it, and that is why I cherish it. Its vastness. Arrive in Northern Quebec, and you see the Aurora Borealis shimmering in magical light.
Great things will happen here.