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By Dieter, Michel Plessix

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They nursed their cones all the way home. I was in the back seat between them again, and every now and then they would exchange licks – across my lap. ” Then I reminded myself that from their point of view, ice cream is much more important than clothes. We made it home without incident, with the girls and my mother laughing happily about a perfect day. We learn patience by practicing it, the Buddha says. What better way than by sharing time with children at their own pace and seeing life through their eyes?

Destructive thoughts like fear and anger tend to be fast. If we could see the mind when it is caught in such thoughts, we would see thoughts tumbling over each other so fast that we don’t know what we are thinking. That is why anger has such a dramatic effect on the body. The next time you get angry, check your vital signs; you will notice your breathing in a race with your heart. You breathe faster and faster, the heart beats faster and faster; stress hormones get pumped into your system to prepare you for fight or flight.

South Indian classical music and dance have been perfected over thousands of years, and my father was a patron; we regularly enjoyed plays and concerts by some of the best performers in India. In those days, too, men who had left the village for professional careers often returned after retirement to make a contribution to the next generation, so two or three of my uncles taught subjects like Shakespeare and Sanskrit in our little school. I received an excellent education there, and a different kind of education from the land itself.

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