Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter to Aftab

Yo, Aftab, how's life up there, buddy? Hey, Sunshine, in earth years you would be 30 tomorrow – all grown up and even more adult-like than the last time we met, in Jan 2001. We're having a family lunch for you down here tomorrow, complete with tehri and all. I'm planning a surprise dish – broccoli!! Ha ha ha ha ha. You laughing too?

Been thinking about you – then and now. In a sense, energy then and energy now. Warm and cuddly, then and now. Fun and laughing – same. When I think of you, I find myself feeling fuzzy-wuzzy warm and smiling to myself. And to you. Love you, my Affykins.

One of my abiding memories of you as a baby is you snuggled up against me in that baby harness – whatever it's called. Warm and fuzzy, usually asleep. Taking you on the bus like that and eating my salad with a fork and knife with you still asleep. And an old man walking up to us and saying, "Pas coupez la tete!" Funny. But what I meant to say was, you were always this warm, loving and fun energy to me – and you still are.

Another memory is rocking you to sleep at night to the music of The Police. And then you phoning me 15 years later from Montreux to say you had just listened to my favourite singer (Sting). Your voice smiling all the way down the line to Jakarta or wherever it was I was. Life moves in circles, doesn't it? Let's see where this loop takes us.




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dalai Lama is 75

July 6, 2010.

Some recent teachings by His Holiness:

The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities – warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful – happier.

Although the world's religions may differ fundamentally from one other in their metaphysical views, when it comes to their teachings on the actual practice of ethics, there is great convergence. All the faith traditions emphasize a virtuous way of being, the purification of the mind from negative thoughts and impulses, the doing of good deeds, and living a meaningful life.

Peace does not mean no more conflict among humanity. Conflict is bound to happen, so in order to keep peace in spite of conflict, the only realistic method is the spirit of dialogue, respecting the other side and understanding their viewpoint. We need to try and solve problems in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, in a spirit of reconciliation and compromise.