In the 1980s the Dalai Lama identified a Spanish kid as the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama who had died a few years before in California. The boy was placed in a monastery in India with other children believed to be reincarnations and trained to the spiritual life. He thought it sucked. Once he turned 18 he hit the road, lived next door to Richard Gere for a while, then became a film student in Madrid. He made it very clear in press conferences that he’d rather be slathered in honey and tied to an ant pile than assume the spiritual leader mantle.
So the next time the Dalai Lama thought he found a reincarnation of a spiritual leader in a Spanish-speaking country like, say, Mexico, it’s not difficult to conjecture that he took pity on the kid – compassion being pretty much rule number one in the Dalai Lama handbook – and just let him grow up with his family and make his own way to his destiny. What would that life look like? What would that destiny look like? Well, to start, it is said that lamas do have some say in who they will be reincarnated as so it’s likely that that the Mexican kid would have been born to vegetarians, the type who practice yoga and meditation, the kind of people who would have helped him understand the strong connection between mind and body by giving him a massage every Sunday night before the start of the school week.
So of course he would be very strong in mind and body, probably winning Athlete of the Year during all four years of high school and being captain of the Mexican team in the 13th annual International Young Physicists Tournament in Budapest. For example.
In college, given the volatile state of the environment, the resulting stress on our oceans and the implications for all the life that depends on it, he naturally would be drawn to marine biology. And, having decided on marine biology, he would of course go to the best school in the land for such studies, UABCS in La Paz. Likely a proponent of Think Globally, Act Locally, his BS thesis would be something like Environmental Diagnoses for the East Cape Coastal Zone, Los Cabos, Mexico.
Now that family he chose to reincarnate into would of course be helping with his spiritual education, but in the subtle, roundabout way that some effective families have. For example, a beloved uncle might give him a book about someone he found inspiring, someone who dedicated his life to helping mankind. Someone like Sri Aurobindo, the founder of Auroville, India, a place recognized by UNESCO since 1968 as a project for the good of mankind, where people from all over the world go to engage in an ongoing “experiment in human unity, transformation of consciousness, focus on sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.” This book would really speak to him and he would finally (and the Dalai Lama might say inevitably) go to India. Unlike the Spanish kid who was forced to go, the Mexican kid would think India was da bomb.
The Mexican kid would probably go on that first trip to India just as a tourist, but it would confirm and further define his path in life. Upon returning home he might try a Vipassana, or Insight Meditation retreat, and learn the power of meditation to bring together mind, body and spirit. This might then prompt him to organize a series of conferences entitled something like “Que es la Vida” or “What is Life?”, using science to explore new ways of defining life. Always questing for knowledge, he’d likely continue his studies by pursuing a Masters of Science in Marine and Coastal Sciences, with a thesis on something like Management Program of the Corridor Los Frailes-La Ribera, Municipio de Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, México; Using a Model of Environmental Indicators. And when he got his Masters he’d continue to Think Globally, Act Locally, working with organizations like the World Wildlife Federation to organize and implement a series of local workshops around a worldwide event like “Earth Hour”, in which populations across 135 countries switch off essential lights for one hour in celebration of the world’s largest voluntary environmental action, while also developing a management plan for the fishing community in Magdalena Bay.
And, without a doubt, he would find his way to a pueblo magico, to a place called All Saints, where he would continue his integration of mind, body and spirit by learning to surf. And doing more yoga. And more meditation. And embarking on a career in massage. In fact, even when his Master’s thesis gets (some would say inevitably) published as a book by Editorial Académica Española in Spain, he’d likely decide to take his budding practice to the next level of therapeutic massage, helping others to experience the healing benefits of mind, body and spirit integration. Naturally he will do his training in Auroville, India. The Dalai Lama couldn’t have planned it better!
And that Mexican kid – now a young man – could be one of your neighbors. He could be one of those surfer dudes that you see at Los Cerritos, or one of the massage therapists that you see working with guests at Los Colibris Casitas while on a Todos Santos Eco Adventures trip, or maybe even one of the baristas at Baja Beans. In fact, he could be all of those people. And of course he doesn’t have to be the actual reincarnation of a lama to set a great example of a life lived in joy and focused on helping others. Even the Dalai Lama said that we can live without religion and meditation but we can’t live without friends. Hesed does mean “friend” in Hebrew. And sometimes – although we will miss them – we have to rejoice in our friends going far away to places like India to pursue their destinies and fulfill their dreams. We just hope that the lure of our magic village brings them back to us.
What’s in a tattoo?
Hesed’s back tattoo is actually two tattoos working together as one. The first one is the circle in the middle which he got in Indonesia. “It’s a mandala of who I am, radiating light out from a circle in the middle.” The three spirals within the circle stand for the elements of earth, water and fire. The second one is, most obviously, a snake, which in prehispanic culture represents Mother Earth. Hesed has two other tattoos on his chest and is working on the design for a new one to go down his left arm.
© Copyright Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Casa Payaso S de RL de CV, 2012