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Welcome to my new website!

TIYENI, TIYENI, TIYENI! (Tiyeni means, “Let’s go,” in Chichewa, a local language spoken in Malawi in S.E. Africa, my soul’s home.

I walk towards the corner fan. It rests on a two-tiered side table, a leftover from someone moving out. Much of my one bedroom/den is furnished by means of my apartment lobby. When I step out of the elevator some days it’s like waking up on Christmas Day and gazing under the tree with hopeful anticipation. Finding something discarded, the unexpected, gives me more pleasure than when I research and specifically target an item for purchase.

As much as I love the extra light my south facing Vancouver 10th floor apartment gifts me on those gloomy winter days, the temperature outside soars to a steamy 30 degrees C. Not the heat dome that we experienced in 2021, but hot enough to start re-wiring any ambitious thoughts of accomplishing the task I had set out earlier in favour of my current Netflix binging preference, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Thankfully I hear the voice of discipline, “You need to focus TODAY.” On the wall directly above the antidote to climate change, I meet the gaze of an Indian holy man or Sidha. His intense gaze always renders me to a respectful bow with hands together in prayer. On the adjacent wall and ledge, a bright colourful three-headed African batik and personally curated children’s books, “Tomorrow is a Brand New Day, Out of Wonder, and I Love You Like Yellow, equally bare witness to my waning but still intact discipline.

I feel such power as I reach with purpose and push the fan’s turbo boost, measurably more  power than if I pushed a lessor signifier, “High.” 

Turbo does not disappoint. It both cools me down and helps me to focus. It releases and  speaks the language of brown noise, an ally of us, “Adult ADHD’ers.” 

I love the word Turbo. It’s charged with immediacy and demands one’s presence. Words and  phrases that bring a little trepidation to some, often have the opposite effect on me. Phrases  like “The Redemption of Chaos,” “Positive Deviants,” “The Downtown Eastside,”and “Critical  Care Ward” intrigue, and energize the way I attend to my world. 

I sit down, slightly turbo charged myself. 

My goal is to write this, my first blog on my new website called, “pattiaftapatti,” an urban  handle chosen by a long term collaborator and colleague, Blackpace; a Malawian hiphop artist,  gender right’s activist and community

(2016 Black Pace and I with internationally known and winner of Hilary Clinton’s, “Vital Voices,” award winner, Malawian Chief Kachindamoto at her village’s epicenter.)

In the past, websites I laboured over were really just glorified business cards that I hoped would help me pursue my life as a Zen Buddhist Chaplain raising funds for various S.E. African community and gender rights’ campaigns I was involved with.

This website is a response to what people repeatedly ask me for versus what I ask them for.

Request #1: Please write a book.
Alot of people have asked me to share;

  • How I do all the things I do,
  • What happens when I encounter obstacles in the doing particularly in other cultures and then sometimes they want to probe deeper and hear,
  • How I make sense of it all in terms of living my vows, or becoming the best version of myself in service to the world.

Warning: a long compilation of some of the ways I have to date engaged in a lifetime of learning through experience. You can skip below and give yourself a quick glance at some of my encounters below the text.

From being a geologist, to natural gas broker moving several hundred million a day, to founding and operating my own successful natural gas brokerage for 13 years on a small island off the coast of British Columbia while raising my family, to co-founding and teaching at an integral school for grades 1-5, to being involved with, “The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education,” to becoming an ordained Zen Buddhist chaplain working in complexity science, to cooking with street kids in a 24/7 crisis center, to working in critical care wards and with death and dying, to facilitating dialogue sessions between sex-trade workers, addicts and police, to working with Diaspora from S.E. Africa who had founded successful youth platforms in hiphop, basketball, fashion and slam poetry, to living 6 months a year in Malawi since 2015 working with the tools of hiphop and fashion to resource women to lead their own gender rights movement, to being invited to international fashion platforms to curate African fashion designer shows and promote all of their designers by interviewing and writing about how they develop the three minds of the Buddha through their fashion practice, to being an Afro-pop and Hip hop music manager and stylist, to getting people released from African prisons and to now becoming an interdisciplinary artist.

Instead of a book I have decided to write a tri-partite blog.
1. From sharing some creative non-fiction stories of my life to
2.The inspirations and the meaning behind the art I make and the campaigns that they often support to
3.The incredible lives I encounter everyday that inspire, enrich and quite often boot me into my next co-learning adventure.
(A book might be in my future, who knows. I will obviously need an editor.)

Request #2: Where do you sell the things you make?
So this platform is intended to easily facilitate those exchanges online.

I hope this third act of my life, as some refer to it as, is my life’s most supreme offering. I hope my site creates a deeper appreciation of what may be gained by living right at that moment where our knowing and not knowing embrace each other. AI can’t compete there. Most important I humbly ask that my journey serves the well-being of countless human beings, my beloved Malawi, “The Warm Heart of Africa,” and this beautiful planet.


Iterms of a Turbo charged prayer to speed this intention forward, here is one I offer from my zen training.


“Life and Death are of supreme importance
Time passes swiftly by and opportunity is lost.
Let us awaken..awaken
Do not squander your life.”

-A zen night chant


I will end with another Chichewa word; Zikomo, thankyou. I deeply bow with infinite gratitude to all of the teachers in my life who steward and hold me with BIG LOVE through all.

FYI -It took me days to write this lol-in the end though I move forward clear and turbo-charged-



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