Tibetan Synchronicities in Barcelona?! (SynChronicles: part 2)

This is one of my favourite synchronous tales, auspicious moments or ‘lucky coincidences’. I have told it before, but not in detail. However recently I have been inspired to share the story privately more than I have ever so I am taking it as a sign that is time to share for the  sake of sharing.

I was in Barcelona busking with my friend the (world famous) hang player Daniel Waples and I met this lovely Russian girl in Parc Guell. (We didn’t chat for long before she left the Parc and she left Barcelona shortly after that but years later she’s still one of my friends.) Not long after she left she was on facebook and she sent me some photos of her time in Kathmandu. The night she sent me these photos was Daniel’s last night, we were staying in a hostel in the centre of Barcelona. I had deliberately let a plane leave without me already so I would be in Spain on my own and I wasn’t sure what my path would be, this made me emotional. Kathmandu – that will be important later.

Most of the photos were of Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas. They were stunning photos, photos of young children in Buddhist robes, amazing landscapes, and the charming smiles of Tibetan monks. And I felt homesick even though I’ve never been there (at least not in this lifetime.) I felt homesick for the Himalayas and the vibe of a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. Even though I had never been to one. I know what you may be thinking, I thought the same. I thought what if this is just the ego of a hippy westerner, wishing he had lived a lifetime in Tibet? People always have previous lives as Cleopatra or Napolean or Shakespseare – they were never just a plumber, or a farmer, or a sewage worker, right? I have always valued spirituality more than superficiality, I had always valued freedom and integrity more than money. Perhaps this was from a thread beyond lifetimes? But perhaps the emotions I had endured from being a spiritual man in a material world had just made me wish I had previous lifetimes in Tibet. I had already experienced many synchronicities, or lucky coincidences, that pointed at a spiritual path – meeting KRS-One in Stonehenge, picking Bringers of the Dawn off a shelf in a friends van only to find Happy Birthday Kev written in the front, and lots more but what if these were just my ego as well?

So that night I begged the universe for a sign. And the next day I would get one.

As I went to sleep with these questions, and intense emotions, I begged the universe to give me a sign. In a way I got two. Both were inconclusive in as much that any sign from the universe is going to be subjective and the first was more vague and psychological but the second was such a ridiculously lucky coincidence it’s hard to deny that if you’re looking for signs it qualifies.

The first ‘sign’ was the dreams I had that night. Yes there Tibetan monks and that was probably psychological based on what I was looking at before I went to bed. But also African tribes, Australian Aborignals, particularly vivid memories of Tuareg or Bereber tribes in blue robes riding horses and camels. But nothing

When I woke up Daniel was gone. I felt emotional blessed by the dreams but still inconclusive. Was that my ego again?  

I walked out of the hostel room and down the stairs. and on the stairs in front of me was a Tibetan monk an a little Indian looking dude. Yes, really.

So I get to the bottom of the stairs with this Monk and his friend walking in front of me and at the foyer and the monk and his friend have stopped. I wanted to talk to them but what would I say? I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the guy who worked at the hostel foyer after being so professional when me and Daniel booked in. Then I suddenly remember the book the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, and it’s advice to follow synchronicities, not to let them pass. I realise I have to follow the synchro flow.

So I ask the monk a question, I tap him on the shoulder and I tell him about the photos and the night before. I almost remember my exact words, something like, “hi, sorry to disturb you. But I had an experience last night you may be able to help me with. I have had lots of ‘spiritual’ experiences and synchronicities over the years, and I was looking at photos of a monastery in Kathmandu last and started feeling almost homesick even though I’ve never been. So I asked the universe for a sign, And this morning here you are.

and and he replies ” I am a Lama, {Thubten Wangchen} I run the Tibet centre in Barcelona and I am here to visit my friend from Kathmandu…..

So since that moment I am pretty satisfyingly convinced that I have a destiny and a path linked with Tibetan Buddhism.

Beyond that I went to visit the Tibet Centre, Fundació Casa del Tibet, Tibet House, Barcelona, later that day. They had a sand mandala there that was so beautiful I nearly cried. And they had a room dedicated to the dalai lama and the missing child lama the Chinese kidnapped that held such emotion and reverce that it did make me cry. Which I would not have experienced had I woken up 2 minutes later or earlier, definitely not if I had left Spain when intended, and I may not have spoken to the Monk if I wasn’t looking for answers. Incidentally I also caught a white feather as it fell from the sky that day, I didn’t even have to break my step.

 fam 7

KP Kev the Poet and Lama Thubten Wangchen (in a hostel in Barcelona.)

I’m actually not sure it’s finished, I think I have to add another paragraph or two about the bigger picture as far as the nature of reality and the nature reincarnation are concerned and a sentence or two about synchronicities I’ve had since.

On the nature of reality and reincarnation. If time is an illusion and consciousness is infinite maybe we are all everything and we’ve all been everyone so reincarnation is a limiting belief system based on seeing time as a finite line rather than an infinit cycle (or spiral even, as the cycle always changes?) So maybe reincarnation is in some ways irrelevant! That perspective helps to remove ego from the observations, but perhaps we make certain links in order to bring attention to certain aspects of our lives, maybe in my case it was just to help me find a context for my prioritising of wisdom and compassion in a world that seems not to value these things sometimes. Maybe it is just nice to have a link to a culture that appears to share my natural priorities. But it is also important to realise that it is still subjective, maybe it’s just a luckier coincidence than most. Only I can decide what it means to me. Which is the case for every experience ever. “Just don’t be distracted by the what ifs, should have and if only’s. The one thing you choose yourself, that is the truth of your universe” Kamina, Gurren Lagann. 


Also incidentally one of the most potent teachings I have come across I discovered before this experience. This teaching avoids religious and even spiritual phrases but discusses merely the nature of the mind and teaches ways to retrain the nature of the mind. I discovered it maybe 3 years before this experience yet after years of not claiming (nor denying) any spiritual or religious links it has recently (about 4 years after this experience I had in Barcelona in winter 2010) been revealed that the head teacher of this training is recognised as a Rimpoche by Dzogchen path of Tibetan buddhists. I am not qualified and I do not believe I am permitted to recommend them but I will say this, the teaching to simply stop thinking for short moments many times until that becomes continuous has been very helpful for me. I’m not permitted to share because I have not signed up 100% but I will also add that is mainly due to my social awkwardness, fear of groups and organisations than anything inherent to this group or organisation. But as I say, one of the best teachings I have come across, and it also has links to Tibetan Buddhism and the Dzogchen path has always been the aspect that I have been most aligned with naturally (the first book I read on Buddhism aged 18 was the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rimpoche.)

thubten wangchen




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