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This afternoon I began reading the Book of JOY by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. On page 33 I read, “Paul Ekman, famed emotions researcher and longtime friend of the Dalai Lama, has written that joy is associated with feelings as varied as: pleasure, amusement, contentment, excitement, relief, wonder, ecstasy or bliss, exultation, radiant pride, unhealthy jubilation or schadenfreude, elevation, gratitude.”

Berkeley Marina

That brought memories back for me of walking my dog Tiger along the Berkeley Marina and meeting the Dalai Lama walking with Paul Ekman. It was 100 yards west from where Tiger and I lived for a couple of years with nothing but a beautiful park between our boat and where those two eminent persons were walking along the San Francisco Bay. Perhaps Tiger was feeling defensive of his property when he ran over and started barking at those two intruders.

I hurried over to settle Tiger down and apologize to the professorial-looking guy and his strangely orange-robed companion. It was a bit of a problem for me because I had Bell’s Palsy, the result of a bad cold, and had trouble speaking because my mouth wasn’t forming words normally.

Unbeknownst to me at that time, the professor was the world authority on facial expressions and the orange-robed guy was the Universal authority on human kindness. They seemed willing to talk to me about my facial problem but I hurried off in embarrassment.

It was only much later that I discovered those two celebrities liked to walk and talk in the Berkeley Marina.

Things commonly happen in Berkeley that rarely happen elsewhere.