If the British lumpen-proletariat weren’t annoying enough on holiday, the last few days were spoiled due to the musings and chantings of a (supposed) Buddhist, spiritualist, vegetarian, pacifist, tofu-eating “babe” (there is no other word for a size 10 stick-thin clothes horse with boobs the size of giant water-melons – something she attributed to the power of soya but it didn’t take a genius to work out that they were soya implants, not the result of excessive Quorn consumption!).
Normally I am prepared to “live and let live” as long as others don’t try to preach, teach or otherwise convert me to their own religion or beliefs. The “babe” had other ideas, however. Having proselytised to her assembled crowd on her first day about the benefits of vegetarianism (something I didn’t need to be told, having found it for myself at 15 years of age, but tend to keep to myself and not force on other people – not that the “babe” gave me a word in edgeways to defend myself, of course), meditation and Buddhism, I was surprised to find her choosing fish, chicken and turkey for her evening meals in the hotel (and, yes, veggie alternatives were available).
The other surprise was that the “Buddhist babe” was so keen to throw herself at the only 3 decent looking men at the hotel. (This may, of course, be because she had worked out early on that I liked one of them a bit, but with my looks probably had less chance than her. It certainly didn’t seem to be because of a genuine interest on her part.) Now I don’t think there is anything in Buddhist scriptures against one night stands but I just thought it was very strange and unspiritual behaviour for someone supposedly so “in tune” with herself.
As for the Buddhist principle of “generosity” the babe fell way short as she never bought one single drink for herself during the entire holiday (well, when you’ve got so many men offering, who needs to?), no gifts or holiday souvenirs and at the final totting up at their airport had incurred the least holiday expenditure and was the only one of us able to redeem the full value of her travellers cheques. (Unbelievable!)
Having since looked into the basic principles and tenets of Buddhism, I think that my own personal “take” on life is very similar but I don’t need the security blanket that a religion provides for the weak and indecisive who seem to need a God, Guru, or Set of Rules to live by.
I believe in “karma” to the extent that “what goes around comes around”. (Something Anthea Turner may like to consider. Not so many years ago her predecessor on the auto-cutie TV couch of fame, Anne Diamond, thought she was the cat who had got the cream when she walked off with another woman’s husband, Mike Hollingsworth… but seemed to be shocked and amazed later on when he pulled the same trick on a younger, prettier, fresher bit of talent in the radio studio.)
I believe that we are all accountable for our own actions and must be prepared to live with the consequences of the things we do. If you do a wrong thing or act in a way that is deliberately malicious or harmful to another person and think you’ve gotten away with it, chances are you haven’t.
As for the chanting to clear the mind and create inner peace and calm, I thought that was the purpose of sleep? How can having to adhere to specific daily rituals create calm when the “babe” admitted she would become stressed out if she missed her daily chant? Therefore for all the totally unreligious people out there like me, it’s time to say: I believe in myself! I am my own God and live by my own rules!