Buddhism in Practice

car theft 

This morning, I delivered a training session to my work colleagues in the Indian, Russian and Chinese offices of my employer. It was an internet conference call conducted via a web interface that allowed people to see my computer screen, and the various vaguely challenging activities being conducted upon it. Which is all very clever, except the audio quality was terrible, the connection was clunky, and I wasted at least 30 minutes saying “Dimitry? Dimitry? Can you hear me clearly? Just say da or nyet?” over and over again.

Anyway. Because I’m a professional kind of guy, I got to work extra-early this morning to prepare. Example xml documents, server logs, mp3s of ‘Simply the Best’, that kind of thing. It is for this reason that I chose not to stay over at the home of my beloved, but instead to travel home alone late last night in order to enjoy the benefits of a queue-free bathroom in the morning.

Whistling happy songs whilst meandering through my poncey riverside development, I noticed my car wasn’t where I’d left it. ‘Strange’, I thought to myself as I entered my building. ‘I guess Si’s borrowed it. Which is odd, as he has his own car, and it’s parked right there!’ It took until the lift had reached the 3rd floor before my long-suffering and much abused brain had a flash of insight akin to Archimedes’ sudden understanding of why ships float and stones don’t. In my case, however, I chose not to run through the streets of Rotherhithe dripping wet and shouting ‘Eureka!’, but instead simply exclaimed, ‘Wait a minute! Some cunt’s stolen my car!’

The compulsion to punch a kitten in the face passed in milliseconds thanks to the influence of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha. Everything’s in motion, all change is good. Life is a process of flow, and he who clings to any form, however splendid, will suffer by resisting the flow. The days of me disassembling malfunctioning mobile phone handsets and systematically torturing the various electronic components are over, my friends!

But wait, what else did you have to say, oh venerable Buddha? Oh yeah. Man’s consciousness is the sum total of his previous thoughts and acts. Karma, meaning action-reaction, governs all existence, and man is the sole creator of his circumstances and his reaction to them, his future condition, and his final destiny. So what did I do? Oh fuck, I recently stated on this website that I wanted to go to George Monbiot’s house for the sole purpose of loudly revving my car up (sans exhaust) whilst burning a stack of tyres. And so, lesson learned. The universe doesn’t distinguish between sincere intent and sardonic fiction. I have sowed, and so I reap.

Ever the rationalist, I must remember that someone recently stumbled upon this site after Googling ‘Monbiot sanctimonious’. Given the vanity of journalists, is it possible that it was Monbiot himself? Was he so enraged by my provocative hyperbole that he tracked me down and pinched my motor? George – if you’re reading this – I WANT MY FUCKING CAR BACK!

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