Discover more from The Dalai Lama's Cat & Other Intrigues by David Michie
Update from my Writer's Hut: August 2023
A lot of us have idealised notions of writers retreating from the world to log cabins deep in the woods, to think profound thoughts, sit at their keyboards, and weave the straw of 26 characters into the gold of sublime prose.
Well, I don’t have the log cabin in the heart of the forest, but I do have this hut in my homeland of Zimbabwe, Africa, which suits me wonderfully! Downstairs there’s a table from which I can look out at the musasa trees. Upstairs is a bed directly under the thatched roof – for me, there’s nothing quite so reassuring as going to sleep under the golden softness of straw.
As it’s been a while, I thought I should offer a quick update.
Mindful Safari 2023
Our Mindful Safaris this year were most enjoyable and uplifting. We had two groups join us - after the hiatus during Covid, it was wonderful to be back with the animals, the landscapes and the people of this very special part of the world.
We and our guests took lots of photos and I look forward to sharing these with you in a week or two once we’ve all had time to draw breath.
Time in Harare
Post-safari, I am here in my Writer’s Hut, not entirely secluded as I’ve been visiting friends and animal sanctuaries nearby. I have been both to Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary as well as to Wild is Life/Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery – both very special. As Substack subscribers, you directly fund both of these places, and they deserve more than a couple of paragraphs in an update, so I’ll be sharing news of them in greater detail during the weeks to come. For the moment, I hope the following photos give you a sense of the joy of both these oases of loving kindness.
With Rhonda the night ape (Galago) at Twala Trust Animal Sanctuary
Feeding Kadiki blueberries - elephant chocolate - at Wild is Life/Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery
Claw of Attraction – 10 November
The Claw of Attraction, the sixth book in my Dalai Lama’s Cat series, has now been edited, designed, and submitted to various printing presses and digital retailers for launch on 10th November this year. Hard to believe that’s only two and a half months away!
As I’ve said in the past, because most of the chapters of this book were once a Substack post, I will be making an electronic version of the book available free to all my paying Substack subscribers when it comes out in November.
The book contains several chapters of new content, so I hope there will be something fresh and of value to all of my readers.
Donation milestone – hurrah!
I’ve kept the main - and best - news of this update till last. I’m delighted to let you know that we have just surpassed last year’s donation total of $25,000. As of August this year, thanks to your continued loyalty, I have given away as much as I did in the whole of last year. So, in total during the past two years, thanks to your kindness, we have donated $50,000 to charities who I know will make every single one of those dollars stretch.
I have already shared the impact of your support in articles about our four main charities – Twala Trust, Wild is Life, Dongyu Gyatsal Ling, and Gaden Relief. There will be more to follow.
Right now, I just want to say a deep and heartfelt “thank you” to each and every one of you, my paying subscribers, for enabling me to raise the funds to pass onto charities on our collective behalf.
I also want to thank my free subscribers for your continuing interest in this newsletter and for helping spread the word about it.
This milestone is one we can all celebrate – if only with a few, deep breaths to settle the mind and cultivate gratitude – because we are not only helping very many beings in need, in undertaking this virtue we are also creating the cause for our own happiness. A virtuous act is defined, in Buddhism, as a cause of happiness, and the specific happiness that comes from giving is receiving and the experience of abundance. How lucky are we?!
Of course, I am encouraged to do ever more to make this a big donor year. So if any of you are willing to “Share” my posts with friends who may subscribe – on whatever basis – I would be very grateful. You may also like to consider gifting a subscription to someone who you feel may benefit from my weekly posts.
I will be back in touch this Saturday with a special post about my recent visit to Twala Trust. In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks to each of you again.