Friday, October 9, 2009

i've learned a lot these last two days

i know you're waiting with baited breath for the details of my time with my new BFF (His Holiness, the Dalai Lama).... and i'm eager to share.

but i'm also quite knackered... it's surprising how exhausting it can be to sit and pay attention and think about new things all day.

so i'll give you a little teaser... a preview, so to speak.

  1. HH the Dalai Lama laughs at his own jokes... a lot. And he tells a lot of jokes.
  2. Recent research has shown that structural changes in the brain can be seen with as little as three months of consistent meditation practice.
  3. The most basic element necessary for humans to flourish is happiness... this raises the question as to whether current measurement of national success are even relevant... ie what does Gross National Product really say about our success? We'd be better off measuring Gross National Happiness. (how do you think we'd score on that survey??)
  4. By age 2, the children of bad parenting suffer irrevocable damage to their cognitive development, even if their home life situation is altered and their physical development recovers.
  5. The tradition of giving white silk scarves is a fairly recent one, and HH the Dalai Lama explained it thus: the tradition of a host giving scarves to honour his/her guests comes from India... the softness of the silk represents kindness, the white represents purity of heart... the silk comes from China... the length of the scarf represents longevity... and I can't remember all the rest of the details.
more soon...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

scenes from last night

young girl wonders aloud where my husband is, as they were quite taken with each other when they met last time... about 6 months ago. she tells me she is studying explorers at school and she was reminded of my husband when she started to learn about Francisco Coronado. i tell her he still has the glow-in-the-dark gift that she made for him last time and she blushes with pleasure.


young boy makes all his Halloween-themed finger puppets Elvis. Elvis Frankenstein, Elvis Witch, Elvis Devil, Elvis Ghost, Elvis Pumpkinhead... then he had them sing "return to sender" ... awesome.


first time volunteer starts doing sketches of witches and werewolves on sheets of construction paper.... kids clamor for them, and proceed to colour them with markers, dab them with glitter glue, bejewel them with sparkly stickers and google eyes... and he goes home with an armful of their "collaborative art."


young boy who was extremely difficult to manage at last visit is happy to see me this time around, makes sure we sit together, and tells me jokes all evening, poking me with marker and glue stained fingers to get my attention should it stray from him and him alone...


young sisters in pretty dresses with ribbons in their hair turn their finger puppets into creatures from the house of gore with gobs of red glitter glue... and then put on a puppet show of massacre. complete with tissue paper curtains in front of the stage, music before the opening of the performance, and elaborate dying and revival scenes. Pumpkinhead was particularly resilient, and Frankenstein was particularly sensitive and prone to sobbing.


there's nothing quite like spending time with children at the Life With Cancer Family Center

back to finding bliss..

i'm going to a two day conference this week, hosted by the Mind Life Institute and featuring the His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.... a conference called Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century.

i'm going for many reasons.... one, because how times in my life will i have the chance to be in the same room as the Dalai Lama?? two, because educating world citizens is kind of what my recently completed degree was all about.... and three, because i'm still looking for my bliss and i'm hoping these two days of mental stimulation might fire some neurons in the direction of bliss, and also maybe i'll meet some interesting people who are looking for interesting (and interested) people to hire...

wish me luck?

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~ Howard Thurman