Sometimes the universe aligns and we don’t know why. Divine intervention? Karma? Dharma? Unbelievable accident? Whatever the cosmology, whether plausible or not, it really does happen occasionally.
In this picture I am standing next to my “host brother” (see the resemblance?) at a many centuries old Newari Buddhist temple. He insisted on showing me 6 ancient temples on the 5 minute walk to the Dragons house where we meet daily for cultural deep dives. On our first walk he led me on tiny labyrinths into a hidden courtyard to show me his ancestors “9000 Buddha temple”, an impressive tower and temple still shackled with scaffolding during earthquake repairs and where his wife and mother survived during the 2015 earthquake calamity. He brought me to hidden tears by lighting a yak butter lamp at the altar in offering and then lighting mine in turn. Passing on the light one to another with mutual prayers for good luck between newfound brothers standing side by side before the ancient Buddha statue and shrine.
Rajendra and I have many shared touchpoints: nearly same age, both business people, both married young 35 yrs ago, both have 2 daughters, both working on social impact enterprises, both traveled to Japan a lot on business. Our wives were both environmental educators, both trained to be principals, both knit avidly. I shared an afternoon today huddled along with his wife and son around a laptop looking to bridge his hand-made knit goods social enterprise in historic Patan with the outside new world using best practices in supply chain transparency from all over the world. We both humbly learned so much from each other.
At a time when the pursuit of “otherness” seems completely out of control in our world, synchronicity somehow paired Rajendra and Mark to forge rapid and heartfelt connection – an in your face existence proof that wildly diverse humans can thrive in short order on a diet of “we-ness” if they let that spirit dwell.