Saturday, March 31, 2012

James Heinritz, Interview #172

Name: James Heinritz

Where you live: Singapore

What is your vocation or avocation: 
Commodities trader by vocation, 
TCM doctor by avocation and training

Your two favorite books: 
     The only book I read on a regular basis is the Bible. After 19 years of dedicated Buddhist practice, I had an epiphany while attending my (now) wife’s church.  In that moment, I realized the Dalai Lama was right when he said in 2001 at a talk in Salt Lake City : “I do not encourage you to become Buddhist. In fact, I suggest against it.  Instead, you should follow the religion you grew up with.  I am Buddhist because that is the religion I grew up with.” I have studied with many great masters in the Far East, and to my amazement, I found my resting place back in the church. 
     For me, there is no conflict switching from one religion to another.  It’s like switching languages in a conversation; or climbing the same spiritual mountian, taking different paths to reach the same summit.  Each path has its own challenges and rewards.  The point is to be on the path that is right for you.

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
My book of the moment, and a great read on the power and value of ensuring the most essential steps are performed in times of danger, confusion and absent-mindedness.  The author is a surgeon who has spent the last 3 decades championing the use of checklists in surgical wards with remarkable results.  I’m studying this for application to rural clinics supported by the non-profit I run in China called Dorje Association.

Your favorite songs: 
Don’t Worry, Be Happy – The Secret of Life.  Spiritual masters the world over say the same thing. 
Somewhere Over the Rainbow – sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’
Amazing Grace

Why are you interested in spirituality: 
How else to make sense of life on planet earth?  We are spiritual beings inside physical bodies.  Accepting this unlocks our minds to understand that we are not of this world, but in this world.  We are not our bodies, we are not our minds, we are not our emotions, we are not our jobs.  We are something far greater.  What you do once you figure this out - that is the true dance of life.

Your favorite quote:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."   -  Mark Twain

Your favorite websites: - Dorje Association’s website

Your hero(es): 
Jesus – the light and the way
Dzogchen Rinpoche – leader of Dzogchen Monastery in eastern Tibet which has grown and thrived under incredibly difficult circumstances

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn:
To let go and let God.  Trust in His provision.

Where in the world do you feel "spiritually connected":
Primeval forest:  Big Sur.  Dzogchen Monastery, eastern Tibet.  The Ojibwa Indian reservation in Shawano, WI, the last significant stand of virgin forest in the United States.

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