By Jonker, Netherlands
In March 2005, my wife and I paid a dear friend and her family in Kenya a visit. It was our first time in Kenya. When my friend married four years earlier, I was her best man. Although we are not related, she called me Abang, which means brother in the Malay language.
While visiting her, we took a three-day safari to the Maasai Mara wildlife reserve. Although I’d never been there before, I felt a strong bond with the endless African plains and the animals that roamed there, and also with the red-robed Maasai people who live in parts of Tanzania and Kenya. Wild beasts—lions, elephants, Thomson’s gazelles, wildebeests, buffalo, and giraffes—roamed the expansive dry grassland as far as the eye could see. Read More
By Thomas, Spain
Throughout my life, I’ve always managed to find work that is fulfilling. I’ve been an author, artist, and poet, and I have spoken at many cultural institutions on a variety of academic topics.
These jobs give me a lot of freedom, satisfaction, and contentment. But although I am able to support myself, my work hasn’t brought me a lot of financial success. Occasionally, I’ve still had to take a job that was less inspiring to me so I could make ends meet.
When these times came, I found myself facing a nagging fear: What if I lost the good fortune of earning my living in a creative way and was no longer able to do the things I loved to do? I was afraid of losing my freedom, afraid that life would become nothing but drudgery and routine work.
This fear haunted me. I couldn’t get rid of it, no matter how hard I tried. Often, I asked the Mahanta to help me understand where this fear came from. But I didn’t get any insights, and nothing seemed to change. Read More
By Peter, Japan
Some years ago, I was teaching in a vocational massage school. In my class there was a trio of students, all males, with whom I felt a greater-than-usual friendliness. We always held to our teacher-student roles, but somehow there was a sense of camaraderie behind our interactions.
As a teacher, I couldn’t show favoritism. But when I checked on their work in class or during a treatment in the student clinic, I noticed an ease and warmth among us.
Then something else began to happen. All three of them started giving me little salutes when we passed in the halls or on the stairs, always with a slightly ironic but friendly smile. I would nod back or give a little salute of my own. Read More