This past week I had the opportunity to enjoy the Shiwa Tour, a Tibetan Buddhist cultural awareness presentation that has been hitting colleges, universities, community centers, and churches around the East Coast. Id recommend that, if you get a chance at all, you go see this moving and fascinating peek into the life and cultural traditions of this community of monks. Ive known and befriended a few Buddhists in my time, and theyve always made me feel that humanity may not be totally screwed up in every instance just by the nature of our biology. Well, after meeting these four gentlemen, I am even more encouraged. Ive been reassured by the serenity and kindness they exude. I pride myself on being grounded and carrying a degree of peaceful, loving tranquility, but THESE guys? They are the real thing. Though it may be unrealistic given the nature of human interaction and the complexity of the world, I find myself wishing that we all could display a larger share of these values. They chanted, prayed, played music, demonstrated their debate process, performed a dance or two, and answered questions (in endearingly broken English). Plus they spent three days assembling this incredible sand mandalabreathtaking. All in all, a real highlight of the week for me. Anyway, I feel like Im late to the party here because the tour is almost over now, but there are several dates left in NC, a few in Louisville, KY, and one in Charlottesville, VA, so if you get a chance, go meet these fellows and realize, just for a moment, that life has dimensions outside our aggressive, selfish, consumerist norm. Details can be found HERE. "May all beings be well and happy always."