Week 3 Highlight
(>19 yrs age)
Arnold B Kanter
In 2009, on a mountaintop near Paro, Bhutan, I met His Eminence Neyphug Trulka, a 29-year old Rinpoche,
now in his tenth life.
Rinpoche’s smile is radiant, his manner calm, unhurried. The half hour he’d allotted for tea stretches
to five hours. Discussion topics include his discovery as a reincarnate, the school he’s established
for Bhutan’s orphan boys, and his studies with a master in India.
I pose one burning question. Since Buddhism teaches that life is suffering, what advice would Rinpoche
have for Chicago Cubs fans, who have not won a World Series in over a century? He pauses.
“Well…you should not be too sad. Think of the joy you have brought to other teams.”
This is decidedly not the wisdom I sought. Here on a mountaintop, thousands of miles from Wrigley Field,
should I take heart from the joy I’d brought the teams who had caused my suffering?
Way too Buddhist for me. I gave Rinpoche my Hebrew Cubs hat, converting him into a
Cubs fan. Now he would know true suffering.
Rinpoche comfortably inhabits two worlds, the monastic and the modern. His monastery houses
fifty-one disadvantaged boys. Rinpoche teaches them Buddhism, but also computer skills and
languages to prepare them for secular life, should they decide not to remain monks.
For me, he’s downloaded What’s App, so we can communicate more easily.
Back home, I accept Rinpoche’s request to friend him on Facebook, thus making him my only
openly-reincarnated friend. I have met with him twice more, once as his guest at his monastery’s
annual festival, once in Singapore, where he teaches.
As I’d hoped, this friendship ended my suffering with the Cubs. At my request, Rinpoche conducted
a puja (special prayer) for our team.
Attending the seventh game of the 2016 World Series, I What’s App-ed with Rinpoche,
as the Cubs finally won the championship.
Arnold B Kanter
My name is Arnold B. Kanter, I am 77 years old.
Arnie is an avid traveler and Cubs fan. In prior lives, he was a
partner in a large law firm and a management consultant.
Charity in thy Name
Ten bags of groceries have been distributed on behalf of Arnold amongst the migrant workers
stranded in Bangalore due to the COVID-19 lockdown.