A New Hope

Trying to explain enlightenment to someone is like a turtle trying to explain to a fish about dry land.

“But there must be water there?” says the fish. *


Luckily my problems aren’t nearly as difficult as that (just trying to attain enlightenment is hard enough).

So last week got a little dark around the edges. A whole heap of things came to a head at about the same time, and I kind of lost the plot for a bit.

Since then I’ve been trying to figure out what to do next? First off I was determined to move house (still am really), but to buy or to rent? Then I realised that I am in the perfect position to do anything! I have no wife, no kids, no debt, no mortgage. I can go anywhere and do absolutely whatever I like.

But what do I want to do? If I move and rent somewhere I land myself with a new 2 year lease (at least). If I buy somewhere I can rent out once again it’s a burden to be dealt with. Yet if I want to buy I should do so before I quit my job, as I’m in a good position to borrow a decent amount of cash (though not a lot by today’s standards).

I like the sound of going somewhere and doing some long term karma yoga (ie: ashram work). Like some menopausal housewife I watched ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the other day (you know you’re in trouble when you’re looking for guidance in Julia Robert’s movies) which proved to be of no help whatsoever, coz at the end of it all she seems to be back where she started, at home with a new fella in tow and not a lot has changed.

I’ve yet to come to any conclusion about what comes next. I’m still thinking about it. What seems most likely is to stay here for a few more months, which will give me time enough to finish my book, then give notice at work (2 months), leaving both job and flat at the end of November-ish to go do my teacher training (4 weeks) followed by an extended bit of karma yoga.

It’s likely that ‘plan’ will change of course. That’s just my current idea. But I am determined to get out of here and do something different, and it all starts with the intent.

Speaking of the book, I finally finished the first section. I know I said I’d finished it before, but I was deeply unsatisfied with the last chapter. It skipped over far too much story. So I killed it and turned it into three chapters, and now it’s 63 pages long (a good ten more than it was before). I’m much happier with it now and so glad I didn’t settle.

It wasn’t easy though. There were some good paragraphs in the chapter I ditched. But as I read once in a screenwriting book you must be prepared to “kill all your darlings”, even the really good ones.

Apropos of absolutely nuthing, did you know you can scrape the skin off fresh ginger with a teaspoon! I was amazed when I was shown how to do it. All these years I’ve been cutting off the skin and wasting so much ginger, when there’s a much easier and economical way to do it. Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

* There is an old story of a turtle and a fish. The turtle lived on land as well as in the water while the fish only lived in the water. One day, when the turtle had returned from a visit to the land, he told the fish of his experiences. He explained that creatures walked rather than swam. The fish refused to believe that dry land really existed because that was something beyond his own experience. In the same way, people may not have experienced the end of suffering, but it does not mean that the end of suffering is not possible.

from the teachings of the Buddha

NB: Thanks again for the e-mail boyo, it really meant a lot to me. 🙂

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