“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay,” said the Dalai Lama, and the little group of devotees, including little ol’ me, wrote it all down in our notebooks.

I was so fortunate to have the chance to visit India last month to listen to the teachings of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The 10th Teachings for Southeast Asians was held at the Dalai Lama Temple in Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives.

The intimate encounter had just over a thousand participants from all over Asia. Arranged by Feng Shui expert Marites Allen, the Philippine delegation included Ernesto Villamor, Joseph and Calet Rapsig, Jean Bigornia, Ethel Ampil and Michelle Holopainen.

For four days, we had to be at the temple by 6 AM to be ready an hour later to listen to His Holiness, seated on his Meditation Throne, answering questions.

I was able to ask him: why is religion the reason behind the hatred, anger and even fear in so many incidents in the world today, even if religion is basically about love and compassion. The Dalai Lama answered that if one is truly practicing his religion, he would not be doing these evil acts.

I found the holy man so jolly and cool. He makes his teachings practical and accessible, and he has an infectious laugh to boot.

His thoughts on the need for “emotional hygiene” were particularly sobering. He said that throughout his 81 years of experience, he has seen tremendous technological developments but not so much development on moral values. Modern education should include values on love and compassion without siding with any religion.

“We should all keep our identity and religion aside and consider ourselves human first. At the fundamental level, we all seven billion human beings are the same, wishing for a happy life.”

Happiness is the highest form of health. Taking a cue from the Dalai Lama, I find happiness just attending auctions.

This weekend is “The Well Appointed Life: An Auction Weekend” at the Penthouse of 8 Rockwell, Hidalgo Drive, across Power Plant. The country’s largest auction event, Salcedo Auctions’ 500 lots go under the hammer in four sale categories over two days.

Today, Fine Jewelry & Timepieces consisting of estate pieces and top international watch and jewelry brands start the auction at 2 PM. The Rare Automobiles auction is top-billed by a highly collectible 1972 Rolls Royce Silver.

“The Well Appointed Life: An Auction Weekend” is presented by major partners Credit Suisse, Lexus and Globe Platinum, and media partner Philippine Tatler. Visit salcedoauctions.com for event details and to view the online catalogue.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”

The way to travel if there is no time or budget is to read books. This weekend, the Manila International Book Fair is open until 8 PM at Mall of Asia SMX.

Visit the Tahanan Books Booth between aisles I and J. Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing is a Filipino corporation dedicated to making quality books for Filipino families as well as supplementary curriculum materials for schools and libraries. It has two subsidiaries known to retail markets as Tahanan Books and Tahanan Books for Young Readers. Tahanan aims to nuture a passion for learning with books that celebrate Philippine culture and history.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

Hands on Manila Foundation, a non-government organization, has been working to promote volunteerism in the Philippines for 15 years. As it continues to provide everyday citizens with the resources they need to “get hands on” in their communities, HOM has a monthly calendar of services activities in Metro Manila so busy people can do volunteer work to complement their interests and schedules.

For its 15th anniversary, Hands On Manila has their annual volunteer event, “Servathon 2016: Celebrating the Volunteer in You!” on September 24 at the PICC Tent from 7 AM to 2 PM. Some of the activities include building mosquito traps that help prevent dengue, and assembling solar bottle bulbs and disaster relief kits for public school students. For more information, please contact HOM executive director Don Don Marquez at 843-7044.

“I believe that the only true religion consists in having a good heart.”

Francisfest is a celebration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, the order of our priests at Santuario de San Antonio. From its beginnings in 1986 as a simple celebration with food booths, Francisfest is now an annual fund-raising event for many outreach programs, poor Franciscan churches, seminarians in Our Lady of the Angels Seminary, and the repairs and improvement of the church.

Fr. Reu Jose C. Galoy, OFM, parish priest, and Edmund Lim, KHS, president of the Parish Pastoral Council, are joined by FrancisFest chairperson Menchu Bautista in planning this year’s event. The theme is “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” featuring the spectacular performance by the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth with 14-year-old Brian Berino under the baton of multi-awarded musical director Maestro Olivier Ochanine.

FrancisFest will be on October 3 at 7 PM at the Santuario de San Antonio, McKinley Road, Makati City. Call 843-8831 for tickets.

“Be gentle with the earth.”

Just back from the Himalayas, Kundalini yogi Rosan Cruz is glowing with inner peace. She joined 60 yogis from all over the world in a yoga fest in Uttarakhand, India last month.

The intrepid Rosan trekked up to Hemkund Sahib at 15,000 feet, the spiritual nerve center of Mother Earth. She also meditated in the Valley of Flowers, a land of endless meadows where 520 different species of flowers carpet the entire valley. She also visited Mana, on the Tibetan border, where Vishnu received the first yogic teachings and Rishi Ved Vyasa transmitted the entire Vedic texts from his memory.

To Rosan, the purpose of the Himalayas trip was to dissolve. The ancients believed that one had to meditate there to become eligible for Nirvana. I guess I will have to plan for this sometime.

 

@seaprincess888 is on Instagram.

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