Tagged Nipun Mehta

A Shared World

“Therefore, Ananda, Be Islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves. . . .” As he lay dying, the Buddha gave this advice to his beloved cousin and disciple Ananda. I thought of it as I stood in a security line in the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, just after a male security guard gestured…

Can We Change?

In the past few years, as Parabola has searched for ways to survive and be useful in the world, the question of how to live as if we are all interconnected has moved to the center of my life. We mutually belong to one another and to a greater whole—this ancient idea resonates with me on the deepest level.  Yet, on a less deep, more worldly level it also feels dangerous, something to be practiced by special beings like Jesus and Buddha, or at least in very special and safe conditions with like-minded individuals. Younger contributors to Parabola disagree. Nipun…

The Gift of Giving

Happy Thanksgiving!  I recently learned that when the Puritans landed in Massachusetts,  they discovered that the Indians had a strange feeling about the giving and receiving of gifts.   Having experienced nothing like it, they misunderstood it, ran it down.   In 1764,  when Thomas Hutchinson wrote his history of the colony, he explained that the already old expression “Indian gift” meant “a present for which an equivalent return is expected.”   Over the years, the term became broader and even more degraded–an “Indian giver” is someone who gives a gift only to ask for it back.    What the Indians understood (…