Skip to main content


Slow train coming

  The space is pervaded with green, with the chirping of birds and the sweet smell of pollen. We are in the countryside of Dordogne, and it would be difficult for anyone to find a more idyllic setting. In general, I try not to read the news, especially here, but whenever I do, that idyllic image is replaced by another one: the slow train, picking up speed downhill. The machine engineers are incompetent and instead of stopping it and repairing the faults with care, they keep on loading it with coal. Its lights are on in the darkness; they illuminate only the small patch in front, so the passengers could see the end, but only in a fashion.  Why are we in a such a hurry to destroy our civilisation? Do we have so much that we are bored with it? There was this boredom in the air before the epidemic in 2020. I had the feeling that people, especially the young ones, were waiting eagerly for something to happen. Anything. Just not that day after day boredom. They were trying to shake it off –

Faith and renunciation are impermanent, so make a resolute promise to exert yourself

དད་པ་ དང་ངེས་འབྱུང་མི་རྟག་པས་དམ་བཅའ་བརྟན་པོ་ལ་བརྩོན།

'Faith and renunciation are impermanent, so make a resolute promise to exert yourself'

Exerting myself is not a distinctive feature of my character. Yesterday, however, while trying (yet again!) to get back to my Tibetan studies, I stumbled at this short sentence from the great 19th century Buddhist master, Patrul Rinpoche and it was a some kind of revelation. As revelations usually go, the thing to be discovered have been right in front of me all the time but I just never payed attention to it.

So, with that revelation in mind, I decided to revive my journal and treat it like a diary. I will write in it whatever comes my way. Inspiration comes and goes but for sure it never materialises unless the person takes the pen and writes the words down. This reminds me of the recent interview of Bob Dylan for Wall Street Journal. He is talking about computers and how they could help with creativity. They can ‘get you over the hump’, he says, ‘but you have to get up early’. 

Of course, the exertion Patrul Rinpoche talks about concerns matters, much more important that writing useless thoughts on paper, but who knows: even small things like that can make a difference for someone. Even if that person is just me.


Popular Posts