In giving, we receive
We can’t change the world, but we can change the way we experience it. This gentle but powerful insight abides at the heart of the Buddha’s teachings.
It’s a wisdom that has always resonated with me, especially the paradoxical notion that the surest way to find happiness is to give it to others.
During the past twenty years I have tried to share such inspiration through The Dalai Lama’s Cat series of books, The Magician of Lhasa series, Instant Karma: The day it happened, and a number of non-fiction books, now in over 30 languages and 50 countries.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat & Other Intrigues
I launched my Substack newsletter to share this same inspiration in a different format.
As a free subscriber, you receive an email once or twice a month when I share a public post or news update.
As a paying subscriber, you receive a fresh story or article every Saturday. These include full, chapter length stories and mouse-size musings ‘by’ the Dalai Lama’s Cat which you won’t find anywhere else, as well as favourite teachings, weekend contemplations and book recommendations.
Sharing the practices, insights and hope inspired by my lamas each week is an important part of my work. By becoming a paying subscriber you will be supporting me in this, and enabling me to reach a wider audience with the Buddha’s transforming wisdom.
Importantly, you will also be joining a community of readers helping fundraise for Himalayan Buddhist causes and endangered African wildlife centers. Last year, around 40% of income was donated to the charities below.
The cost of a paid subscription is just US$7 a month, or is 16% lower if you choose the annual rate of US$70.
I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Africa, lived in London for ten years and have resided in Perth, Australia since 1998. I always felt a closeneness to animals and when I was young I read every book I could find by Gerald Durrell and James Herriot.
Most of my professional life was spent doing communications work for financial services companies. I began meditating for stress management reasons in my 30s. Without knowing it at the time, this started me on a journey which connected me to Tibetan Buddhism.
As a communicator, I wanted to share my wonder at all the insights I was learning from my teachers. This led to my first book in the genre: Buddhism for Busy People. While promoting it, and subsequent books like Hurry Up and Meditate I found that many people interested in these subjects often don’t read non-fiction in their spare time.
Hence the novels which I so enjoy writing: The Dalai Lama’s Cat series, thrillers like The Magician of Lhasa, and most recently Instant Karma: The day it happened. I believe that fiction is an ideal medium to engage readers’ hearts and imaginations as well as their intellects. What’s more, storytelling is part of a long tradition of spiritual teaching, where inner, subtle process become easier to understand when externalised in metaphors and parables.
Since 2015, I have been returning home to Africa with groups on Mindful Safaris, combining my love of animals, meditation and the extraordinary natural vistas of my homeland, including Victoria Falls.
In circling back to where I started, the fundraising I am able to do through Substack helps contribute to the animal rescue charities back home, as well as the wonderful Buddhist charities in the Himalayas, who make every dollar we give them stretch a very long way.
About 40% of subscriber funds goes to support the following four charities:
Wild is Life - home to the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery, which rescues and rewilds baby elephants who have been orphaned, often in the most traumatic circumstances.
Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary - supporting indigenous animals as well as free food and vet care to over 600 dogs living in extremely disadvantaged communities.
Dongyu Gyatsal Ling Initiatives - supporting Buddhist nuns in the Himalaya regions, who traditionally receive far less financial help than their monastic brothers.
Gaden Relief - supporting Buddhist communities in need personally known to my lama, Zasep Tulku Rinpoche. Active in India, Nepal, Mongolia and Tibet.
If you’d dearly love to become a paid subscriber but can’t afford to, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consider becoming part of our community at The Dalai Lama’s Cat & Other Intrigues.
Together, readers around the world are building something that really matters. I hope you’ll join us in our journey to extraordinary places, outer and inner.
May all beings have happiness and the true causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the true causes of suffering.
May all beings never be parted from the happiness that is beyond suffering.
May all beings abide in peace and equanimity, their minds free from attachment, aversion and free from indifference.
May love, compassion, joy and equanimity pervade the hearts and minds of all limitless beings throughout universal space.