Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Dalai Lama's Little Brother

This interview with the youngest brother of the Dalai Lama, Tendzin Choegyal, comes via BoingBoing. Apparently Choegyal is bipolar and a recovering alcoholic -- a "rebellious soul" who dropped out of college and was once a paratrooper in the Tibetan contingency of the Indian army. A slice of the conversation below:

GR: What are your hobbies?

TC: I used to take photographs, and I used to like editing movies. But right now, my hobby is reading. I’m reading a book in English right now on Buddhism and world history. I don’t read fiction—my time is mostly spent reading about Buddhism and inner transformation. I also read The New York Times, The Herald Tribune, and the BBC on the Internet. Oh, and People’s Daily. I want to know what the Chinese are saying!

GR: Anything else you’re really into?

TC: I like useful tools. Until a few years ago, I used to fix my own car—I was a good mechanic. I used to drive an old Land Rover; now I drive a Suzuki station wagon. I used to wash my car every day, and my friends used to say, “Don’t do that, the paint’s going to come off.” When I’m doing something, I do it whole-heartedly. And then when I leave it, I just leave it. Just this evening my son called me an eccentric. I think he’s right. We all have our extreme sides. I used to take an interest in anything that was mechanical, but now, I don’t think these material things are all that important. I’m interested in human beings now.

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