In the last 20 years of my life, I've met lots of interesting people, so much so that best friend thinks my life is very colourful. Indeed, when I look back, I'm thankful for the rich tapestry of experience.
Just to give you an idea of what I mean, I shall introduce you to my Tibetan friend Tenzin. When I first met him 12 years ago, he was a monk. Rather, specifically, he was the monk attending to my Buddhist teacher Venerable Kangyurwa Khensur Lobsang Thubten Rinpoche.
Tenzin was born in India and grew up in the monastery in 'Little Lhasa' after his parents followed Dalai Lama into exile in India in1959 through the Himalayas.
It was his good karma to be selected as Rinpoche's attendant. Rinpoche is one of the most respected and eminent lamas in the Gelug tradition, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the head. As his attendant, Tenzin was always by Rinpoche's side. They eventually reside at the Tibetan Buddhist Institude in South Australia.
I met Tenzin for tea during his brief stopover in Singapore last weekend. He is no longer a monk but I'm still not very used to seeing him without the deep maroon and yellow robe. About five years ago, he fell in love with a Tibetan woman. It isn't exactly the best thing for a monk to be in love. At first Rinpoche chided him, then conselled him. But love knows no bounderies. After waiting for several years, Tenzin finally received Rinpoche's blessings to leave monkhood.
He is excited about becoming a father soon. He looked at SK who is now as tall as him and said to me, "We may be the same age but you're 20 years ahead of me. My kid is not even born yet."