Tibetans Compassion and Laughter

dalai lama

“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much; as a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.”  HH Dalai Lama

Sometimes I wonder why, I need to write. I no longer play, I no longer have the craving of the world to keep going without an end. I no longer am afraid of death. But I write, because inexplicably the people I have encountered in my journey have kept me going, have kept me living, have kept me believing and they wrote back.

I even wonder why I start with HH Dalai Lama, and without a question it is because HH touches my soul. I once did not believe in anything,  and even thought HH was a simple  political  figure that was  in the middle of the west and the east. The Us X China figure.

That what, before I sat in front of HH Dalai Lama. I was taken aback by his presence. Yet I thought that that was natural. He was  a political figure.

HH Dalai Lama started his speech by asking people to remain believing in what they did, He was a simple monk, a Tibetan Buddhist monk simply because he had been born in Tibet. Had he been anywhere else, he would have been raised believing in other gods.

“Keep what you believe in, it is too much work to change, keep from Buddhism what makes sense to you.”

How could one, not admire such a religious leader?  That was the first time I had been in front of a lama, and it was HH Dalai Lama. After that, in my path I encountered several Tulkus and Lamas. They always spoke of compassion. That really resonated with me. Simply because I loved Alyosha, the religious son of Fyodor Karamzov.  Till this day I take that book,  Dostoyevski’s last book as a sacred one.

And so my path followed, I searched so much. My father used to say I was in the quest of the Holy grail. And in that quest I got sick several times without much explanation. The last one,  I was taken into a coma, and I almost died. I did not remember much of anything once I woke up.

Dr. Getulio Rabello, my neurologist,  told me to write. And I worked so hard to attempt to do the impossible. To translated my thoughts so trapped in my mind into words. In the beginning it was a daily battle aggravated by the fact that I understood my brain, all that was said, and that I trusted someone very much that I shouldn’t.

For a while, all I could do was play music. Listen to music. Hallucinating  with songs I no longer knew the name of. It was a daily battle not knowing who I could trust or not.

HH Dalai Lama once said  ““The enemy is a very good teacher”

And it took me a while to fully understand that. So first I felt pain, then hatred, till nothing really mattered anymore.

And little by little came another sentence by HH

““Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.”

And I did, I learned all rules, yet I broke them wrongly feeling inexplicably sad. The fact that I understood the rules helped me in understanding that my brain was healed. Yet there was so much pain. What can you do, when you understand, when your brain is capable but the pain does not stop existing?

Time went by and HH came to me one more time

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”  HH Dalai Lama

I knew that. I have always known that. Yet, I could not feel it. I sincerely thought I was somehow dad inside. Without any possibility to recovering.

And I went once again to Dr. Getulio, and he was once again amazed that I was well. He insisted that I should have a project. I told him I had none, and about all that I had found out about my brain. About music. About meditation. He told me to go back to music, to study psychology. And I asked him whether I could finally climb.

climbing

He was shocked at first, but I explained how safe it would be. And he let me climb indoors. He let me drive in Sao Paulo. And I was happy beyond belief. I was almost back.

I drove under the rain listening to Choro, I saw my friends who remembered me and all that had happened to me. I explained though I had great equipment I did not remember really well how to go about it. They helped me. I climbed slowly after having done an hour of yoga just before…  and having had pain in my whole body for months. And as I was going up I remembered why mountains were sacred. They are grounded and they reached to the sky. I remembered Ladak, the cold air in my face, the stupas, how happy I was then, and now  how happy I was again.

ladakah

I drove away under the rain. I hugged my fellow friends from climbing. I cried. I knew them. And I drove to a place where the most amazing musicians of choro meet every week to play. Not a bar, just a studio.

I came with tape in my hands, blisters in my fingers, climbing shoes hanging from my bag, and I sat right in front of the musicians, next to Dona Inah and I felt pure joy. From yoga, to climbing, to Choro. I was for a whole day in a total meditative state.

choro

It lingered while I drove, when I fell asleep till today. It broke sometimes, when I remembered the injustices inflicted on me, and others. But I decided to listen to HH Dalai Lama, since he has been present supporting in silence my struggle against myself.

It came to my mind, the voices of people of all over the world, asking me to come back to believing in humanity.

 

And as I just heard him laughing, after listening to HH Karmapa. After talking to Denise I knew I had to write to share this. I don’t know what is the path that Dr. Getulio wants me to walk, but I know, I must write, I know I need music, I need yoga, I need mountains. And finally, I feel totally in peace.

karmapa

“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”

14th Dalai Lama

Wanderings about Art.

BULLFIGHT_n3_Savador_Dali

Art is such an intriguing thing. Sometimes it feels like it is one of the most subversive things there is. In others it feels like an example of force of those who already have it.

I just came home from watching a beautiful exposition of works by Picasso, Goya and Dali. The exposition was put out by my cousin and her colleagues. The public opening to the world is tomorrow. Today I was lucky to be invited to go to, and was accompanied by my almost 90 years old  grandmother.

The topic was the Tauromaquia, in other words the bullfight. It is far from being something that I admire, though I must say I have never seen one, nor do I have the desire to see it. My grandmother, whose brother was years ago the Ambassador of Brazil in Spain took her to see it. So I watched those powerful paintings with mixed feelings. My grandmother told me she was very afraid to go to see the bullfight, but that it was one of the most impressive rituals that she had ever seen.

 

I heard it, still was convinced I still did not want to see it, but was wandering why three important painters would have painted it. Without a question it is part of their culture, but there was more to it. You could feel it was also a political act. Sometimes, a protest against Guernica itself.  I could feel it, even before reading it.

I was brought back to England when I was taken to see an exposition of modern Art. I rarely like modern art because it is so plain obvious that one must be educated to accept that language, that I find it itself unfair and discriminating. In fact, in a sense, I find it less like art. Today, very few things had to be read, or explained for you to understand the power of these works. Had they had no names probably would make no difference to me.

But I was brought back to England to that exposition where nothing really looked like anything at all, unless you would read the titles, or hear the explanation of an “art specialist”. I was brought  back to that moment when I saw this painting that looked nothing and decided to listen to the explanation. According to the that specialist that painting ( loads of nothingness with some colours) represented the pain of the victims of the conflict between Hutus and Tutsis. I simply could not believe it. I looked around to see if there was any african that would have the same feeling that I had, there wasn’t any and I asked a question.

“Who painted this? Where is this painter from?  ”

“Germany.”

“Has this person ever been to Rwanda or Uganda? ”

Obviously not. The expert was without words for a second and then gave me a lecture on the importance of modern art.

I was happy there was not a single African there. They were all mainly Europeans and I felt it would have been quite offensive to anyone who had been in a war to have seen that as the representation of their pain.

I thought so much about this after. How much do we have the right to portray that which we have not experienced? Probably all, after all in a sense we are all human beings who are survivors, and inheritors of every single massacre that takes place every single day.

However the brutality of that painting is not in portraying pain that is not yours. It is to expect that the other, even the direct victim of something will need to be educated into understanding it. That is quite violent.

So, as I walked around seeing paintings I wondered how can one know a true exposition from one made to be put in the media.

And as I was left to talk with a professor from an university in Milan who works with processes of peace through art , as well as with a diplomat and they spoke about the power of Art I could think of nothing but that art that IS art needs no explanation. Art in whatever shape that it is will always be subversive.

Even art that is just simply perfect, and beautiful is subversive. And with that thought I remembered that for instance, in Palestine one of the first movements towards radicalisation was to kill art.

Art does not need to be explained, it just needs to be allowed to bloom in whatever place and shape that feels it suits.

I still do not want to see a bullfight, yet I now could feel in my body the power that comes from it. Even without any explanation.