As my inward journey takes me to neverland where one is all and all is one, my earthy self this year is still struck by the outside world. Here are the top 5’s:
1. Most admired person of the year: my brother Patrick Patrick called me one evening in May 2013 and told me that he’s found the answer. The next day he quit his job as a regional marketing team leader, and his comfort life to pursue his quest to help himself and others.
2. Most influencing book of the year: 金刚经 – The Diamond Sutra Through this sutra I’ve learned to erase all forms, expect nothing, and no longer hold on to anything….
“Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream; Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream. “So is all conditioned existence to be seen.”
3. Most confronting situation: seeing homeless kids in India Like any other global convention, everything was planned to be spectacular, and there has been zero tolerance to mediocrity. As such, we were once on a chartered train from Dehli to Agra to visit the iconic Taj Mahal in India. Along both sides of the railroad live millions of homeless families in nylon-covered, garbage-filled huts under the destroying heat of the Indian sun. I could never, for the rest of my life, erase shadowy eyes of countless bony, life-beaten babies & kids, passing by like a cinematic illusion. Sometimes, it only takes half a meter in between 2 drastically different worlds.
4. Most challenging conversations: a lost soul Whether it’s 2AM, 11PM or midday, this lost soul keeps on calling me irrespective of time nor my whereabouts. He is growing worse every day, tortured by loneliness and his so-called misery, which has nothing to do with his abundance of wealth.
“I need this…, and that… to be happy.”
“You will never be happy if you still need this and that, and the other….”
“I know, but I still need it….”
The conversations go no where most of the time with me trying to explain the concept of impermanence and the art of happiness, in theory…. I must have done a poor job or he is not at at all ready. Either way, those are the most challenging conversations ever this year….
5. Most bugging issue:
“What’s your definition of success?” “Wealth, fame, and a gorgeous-looking partner.”
And people step on each other just to get on a train…
And some loaded hot shots have the rights to insult people to boost their egos…
And people cheat…
And patience runs dry on petty things…
Across the different nations I’ve been to this year, life turns dramatically materialistic. There seems to be no room for compassion, loving kindness, or plain human interaction. As we move forward at a lighting speed on science and technology, we seem to dig a graveyard for humanity, for nature, and the art of the middle way….