Note written earlier this morning: I’m running late today. I think I pulled my rotator cuff carrying the equipment cases because my shoulder hurts like hell. A mosquito kept buzzing in my ear last night, waking me up over and over and over. So I’m exhausted and in pain and hoping for the best for our private audience with HHDL today. But in the meantime I’m in the dining hall giving myself permission to enjoy an unhurried breakfast. The warm breeze through the curtains and the young monks playing super chill Bhangra beats; I feel almost like I might as well still be on the beach in Goa. Why rush to sit in a hot room watching distinguished scientists puff their feathers for the Dalai Lama? I’ve been thinking a lot about my own career path. There was a young Geshe at the exhibition the other night who fluently explained the Buddhist account of the senses, then fluently explained the scientific account, too. A Geshe degree is like 3 Ph.D.s in terms of time and effort, but he said he had also been studying science for seven years… Not because he wants to be a scientist, but because he wants to be able to communicate across the divide. I felt a kinship with him; my big realization on this trip is that my personal motivation is the dialogue, rather than merely success within the American academic system. And yet as far as I can tell, academic success is the primary gateway to the dialogue. (Being rich is the other big one; being a longtime monk is another, with Matthieu being a real shining star in all the best senses.) I’ve been advised to sit and savor this insight about my own priorities and situation rather diving into strategizing, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

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