Sat Nam Dear Family,
One afternoon in August, 1983 the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan and I had come out of a movie and he said, “Aren’t we hungry?” “Where would you like to eat,” I asked as solicitous as I could, thinking he would probably have no suggestion and then it would be my turn. This gave me a little more time to come up with the right answer. He surprised me and said, “Come with me.” We climbed into the car. He directed me towards Hollywood and a Chinese pagoda-styled restaurant high in the hills overlooking Los Angeles.
We were seated and before dinner had a couple of “virgin” pina coladas. I sat there reflecting that this was truly a magnificent setting with a motif reminiscent of the old Hollywood era long gone. I was happy to see such a place before it, too, was gone. Yogi Bhajan looked at me and said, “Let’s drink these out on the veranda.”
We walked to the overhanging balcony. It was an Imperial evening with a sunset which can only be seen, not described. The warm summer air was cooled by the time of day and the elevation of the hills. Here I was standing with my teacher overlooking L.A. just as the evening lights were appearing, and breathing the cool air and ocean smell. It was truly a surreal experience. How could it be any better?
Well, as he spoke it did get better. “Son,” he said. “You see that basin down there.” He was referring to the Los Angeles Basin in full view below our feet and stretching from the ocean at Santa Monica to Mt. Washington beyond downtown. “Some live as poorly as you’ll find in this country.” He said as he pointed to Chevez Ravine, toward downtown. “Still others live as lavishly as this world can afford,” pointing to Beverly Hills and Bel Air. “And, still others, like us, live in the middle.” He now pointed to Pruess Road, where we lived. He continued, “It doesn’t matter where you live, all these people have one thing in common, they’re all in pain whether they recognize it or not. It’s recognizing this that begins the difference.”
How did I get to be so lucky?
M.S.S. Hari Jiwan Singh Khalas
Chief of Protocol