Saturday night I went to the Himalayan Fest at the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah.

I’ve never actually been around devotees such as these, so I was not sure what to expect. I remember being at The Ohio State University back in the early 80’s and seeing some devotees in orange robes, and as I recall they did not say much but were known to chant mantras. In any case, I was kind of anticipating a quiet, austere atmosphere.

To my surprise I discovered kids running around in the temple, climbing on the seats, poking each other and giggling as kids do.

There were many like me not acting particularly worshipful as we snapped pictures of the deities, furnishings, and what not.

Downstairs I found Fest-goers on their iPods and cell phones, talking and texting and so forth.

In the gift store there were well-meaning but not well trained cashiers who were trying to find prices and run the register, and impatient shoppers waiting to check out.

On the outdoor stage, one of the featured dancers had just completed a beautiful and sacred religious dance, and while she waited side-stage for the announcer to describe her next dance, she was chastising her daughter for coming up to the stage and distracting her.

The temple was in need of a good paint job.

There were plenty of llamas on site too, and I expect that they did not always poop in the right spots.

So perhaps I went there looking for a bunch of holy people living on holy grounds, and what I found were a bunch of normal people in a unique, but very normal place.

Thank God.

I found a bunch of normal people just like us, albeit from a different background with different experiences and different traditions.

Normal people living normal lives, yet on an extraordinary journey seeking to dwell in The Love and Light at The Center.

Just like us.