Senscot Bulletin Opener

Senscot Bulletin Opener
Laurence Demarco
June 2003

  On Tuesday I go to hear the Buddhist teacher known as Thay. Over a thousand folk – mostly older middle class – concerned – pilgrim souls. Uncomfortably like myself. “I’m not sure about this.” Find a seat out of the way – near an exit. The moment Thay comes out I relax – captivated – can’t take my eyes off him for two hours. He has a deep calm – an extraordinary absence of ego which I haven’t encountered before. I believed myself immune to gurus but this is a rare spiritual leader.            

 Tell Anne some of his teaching. “He believes that if we’re angry we must tell the other person, “I’m suffering – I’m angry – I want you to know – I’m trying to understand.” She seems impressed. Wednesday after work Anne’s already home – not happy. “I’m suffering,” she says, “I’m angry. I want you to know.” “Get to the point.” “The point is I do the dishes twice as often as you. I’m trying to understand why.” So I wash the dishes – but this time the way Thay advises – slowly – consciously – mindfully. To my delight it works – I feel harmonious. Does this mean I’m a Buddhist?            

 After supper I saunter into a marvellous summer evening – groups of youngsters playing football. Their intense enjoyment takes me back to those endless summer evening games of my own childhood – back to that half-remembered state of ‘wholeness’ when ‘now’ was only this football game and the game was everything – and we thought it could be forever.