HH The Dalai Lama & the art of balance


In India, I was invited by the Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) to speak at the launch of “Tawazun India” – The art of balance. The guest of honor was the, HH The Dalai Lama. The hall of the hotel ITC Windsor was at its height.

The program’s theme “Peace and Economy” and I prepared accordingly for a short 25 minutes. We talked peace, little of economy, more of religion, and lots, lots more on Islam. The Dalai Lama reminded everyone that jihad is a war against our own demons. You know this war? I have made several small jihads in my life to get to this program! It has been a daily little war of mine. I think I will have to attack patience a little again. Did not solve entirely the problem in my last attack.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Dalai Lama also spoke of secular ethics, which invites us not to deviate from laicism so dear to us in Quebec. He also talks to focus on similarities. I heard it. We agree on many points. He did not stay for my presentation, however. :))

I got a standing ovation and several business cards. There will be other conferences in India.

What I have intensely felt, is that the events in Paris did not have only the French nervous. The Indus here in south India, seem to be calmer, they have learned and continue to learn to live together, have a philosophy of life that is heading more towards the person and tolerance. However Muslims seemed more on edge looking for ways to convince us that Islam is a religion of peace. And again and again we talk about the interpretation of the Koran. I have not read the Koran but I wonder and am somewhat amazed about a book that leaves so much room to interpretation. There must be a certain art to that kind of writing that I am not aware of. To be able to make the interpretation that confirms you in killing those of different faith? Christians have split between Catholics and Protestants, I wonder if there could be two Koran one day. For a clearer reading maybe and to bring peace to those who now feel misunderstood. But I know little about all these important Books written by maybe not so important men. How can, the woman that I am, offer an acceptable solution?

Muslims are 13% of the population but we are many  to share with them in the anxiety. Twice already, I got woken up at night by dreams of terrorism. The events of Paris may have affected me more than I think. Or is it the shiver of fear that caresses the planet now?

Tawazun (the art of balance) was created to counter extremism and Asif Iqbal, executive director of the event made a brilliant speech and called on Muslims to monitor madrasas where imams feed extremism. He was clear on the fact to look within before accusing the west or the media.

I will practice this “living together” dear to Southern India and try to understand the North. I will try to understand how this country – which is in fact is a continent –  but is still a country. I am in a building of 250 families where I am told me that everything, everything, everything is different in each apartment. I will try to understand how living together with this love and pride of the difference. This is interesting to me when, what I have mostly enjoy in my journey on planet earth, are the similarities.


For the visit to the families, I will be back to you. I still have to face the word “impossible” when speaking of a family representing the majority in India. The majority does not exist. However, despite the differences, I find that on the road that they all seem to drive in the same manner and this is with no manners at all!  One of my first lessons comes on the road and it is that in India you have to be impolite and push your way through if you want to get somewhere! I need to reflect on that. I do not seem to have been very good at it.

To Montrealers, I just want to say that you do not know what a pothole is before coming to Bengalore! It might be a good idea to regroup de cities who need advises to fight their potholes!

The preparation of this conference has asked me to keep my mind focused on the world and my concentration is not yet fully in India.

I’ll be back soon on this journey whose beginnings are quite surprising. This is only the beginning of my second week and I feel to be there a long time. I do not feel disoriented. I have the impression to return to known grounds. I know the trees, the fruits, the sounds, the smells, the wind. I have been here before but it was somewhere else!

Now let me go on with the art of magic!