Posted by: Vicky V | November 6, 2009

The thing about Buddha

There just isn’t enough time to meditate. It was alright for Buddha, it was his job. He had all day to choose the accessories he needed for a good think. People were probably queuing up round the block to offer him the latest in joss sticks and I bet he spent weeks auditioning the less tone deaf of his friends to chant in the background. And on top of all that he probably had a massive cave to put all his accessories in, having first given it a spring clean of all other distractions like primitive cave paintings or damp.

I, on the other hand, do not have the time to find anything other than the cheap patchouli joss sticks that remind me of up-chucking in my kettle as a student, a pair of too-small tracksuit bottoms that give me a draft out back and the Enya cd I bought the day before Woolworths went under. I’ve got a fridge that hums like a church choir and an Italian neighbor who argues with his wife so loudly that I feel I am only ever a stone’s throw from a crime scene.

But then I figured, all that noise and distraction is just “modern life” isn’t it? It’s not like it’s going to change and I can’t very well wait for the next cave to make itself available. So I decided to make do and mend, as they said in The Blitz and now they say in The Credit Crunch. Today I elected to integrate the principles of meditation into my working day by observing things in a calm, dispassionate and non judgmental manner.

AMAZING what you notice when you’re trying not to notice anything. Here is the list of things that got on my wick:

1. Woman checking out her reflection in the window of the bus for a whole 22 minutes. I timed it because it’s not like you can read a book when you’re meditating.
2. Karen winding herself around Zack’s leg like a Siamese cat that pole dances in its spare time.
3. Zack clamping Karen’s butt cheeks like he was testing an expensive sofa.
4. Bernard hovering around Zack and Karen like some of their glamorous skin cells were going to rub off on him then trying to find somewhere to hide the chocolate covered rice cakes so he wasn’t tempted when his blood sugar levels slumped at 4pm
5. Bernard making 6-10 visits to his secret stash of rice cakes at 4pm.
6. Karen closing her office door and pretending to do some work when all she was doing was making appointments to have her hairy face waxed.
7. Zack licking the top of his yoghurt pot. U.n.a.t.t.r.a.c.t.i.v.e

As I sat at my desk all I could see was flirtation, corruption, vanity and a barely concealed eating disorder. I’d read in my Buddha book that I should be observing the simplicity of nature but how was I supposed to do that when the most natural things in the office were Karen’s hair extensions?

So I headed to the kitchen where at least I could open a window and feel the fresh breeze on my face. I made myself some tea, sat down and tried hard to think of nothing. I was (calmly) making a mental list of what I needed to buy at the shops that night when someone made a real commotion as they harumphed into the kitchen. But I did not open my eyes nor move from my quiet place even when the person muttered something about me being an environmental terrorist for keeping both the window and the fridge door open in the middle of Autumn. By that time I’d recognized the voice as belonging to Ben I’d decided I definitely wasn’t going to break my spell for that grumpy git, not even to explain that it’s much quieter with the fridge door open as it doesn’t hum as much. Then he starting yammering on about how if I was trying to cryogenically freeze myself, it might be better to do it out of office time.

But I still did not move a jot and I just let his ramblings float by. At some point I must have fallen asleep because then next thing I knew I was being shaken out of my relaxation and dragged to Cream Horn’s office by the scruff of my neck.



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