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

Withering Heart

Image

What can move one? It is simply so random and yet sometimes so poignant that it becomes like  an inexplicable exercise to attempt to explain the inexplicable. Yet we do it, we attempt to understand the logic of it all, we attempt to understand the process of life, the world, the universe, the body, the mind, and some even the soul.

Yet, having, searched for so much, I am quite amazed by the fact that what brings you total joy, which is different than chemical pleasure originated by chemical release, that joy I am wondering about is of of another kind.  We could attempt to map it in the brain what happens there, and yet it is almost completely futile.

For me, my brain returning to its past capacities gives me some kind of joy.  Yet it is not even that. It is impossible to write about it . The fact that I took my guitar to compose something was a bigger expression of life, than any chemical exam. Those processes are so complex, and yet simple. So what brings me joy is to be in place. It is not simply to be in place, but to be understood, to feel my soul is here as well as it is my body. So rare had it been for me these moments, yet, they are back to me. The beginning of it, is here for me.

So I realise that what gives me joy is to share what I find is so beautiful. It is not to work, it is not to travel, it is a true encounter with the other. Sometimes, what brings total presence is the totally unexpected message of a friend from another world with a poem. And I seat here, to share that, as it was written in his language, I value it more. Since it was translated, it makes me understand it. And I write simply because I must share that poem. It brings me back to Asia, a place where I almost died, yet a place where I love very much.  It gives me joy to share this here, and imagine than other people will like me feel it to.

一棵開花的樹

席慕蓉

如何讓你遇見我

在我最美麗的時刻 為這

我已在佛前 求了五百年

求祂讓我們結一段塵緣

佛於是把我化作一棵樹

長在你必經的路旁

陽光下慎重地開滿了花

朵朵都是我前世的盼望

當你走近 請你細聽

那顫抖的葉是我等待的熱情

而當你終於無視地走過

在你身後落了一地的 

朋友啊 那不是花瓣

是我凋零的心

A blooming tree Xi Murong

“How to make you meet me

at my most beautiful moment.

For this,

I had prayed to Buddha for five hundred years

for making us an earthen fate.

Thus, Buddha turned me into a tree

growing on where you would pass by everyday.

I carefully bloomed fully under the sunshine.

Each flower was the looking forward of my previous life.

When you got closer, please listen carefully,

those trembling leaves were my waiting passions.

When you passed by without noticing,

what had fallen on the full ground behind you,

my friend, those were not leaves

but my withering heart.”

I shared these poem with friends and loved ones I thought I should. And strangely people from all over  the world in spite of their religion were moved as well. So I decided to write. And as I wrote, I realised once again, that just like in the brothers Karamazov I took the path of joy and not truth. Because truth is so unattainable.  More importantly, this path is the path of compassion. Well, my friend comes from Taiwan so I guess it is Tao, it is simply the path…..