Sunday, July 18, 1982


After a muesli breakfast we listened to a cassette about Buddhism by a monk at the monastery (“Neil's a great bloke” said Robert).

I agreed completely with his arguments about cause and effect and interdependence, but it's hard for me to accept them as a way of life, and this is not because they're impractical or improbable, but because I need to be more convinced. Agreeing to a point of view is one thing, but overturning your entire lifestyle is another. Not that I would be opposed.

It occurs to me that in going to Uni. I'm hoping for the very things Buddhism addresses: searching for a route to fulfillment, a vision of a true reality behind everything.  This realisation leaves me feeling dead and desperate. And it awakens the understanding that my hopes are futile, which makes me feel downhearted. All I can see in the future is confusion and lack of direction.

We had salad sandwiches and mint tea and went out for a run in the car. It was stiflingly sunny as we parked on a hillside high above farmland and walked down through farms and walled lanes into overgrown fields. Here we rested awhile, surrounded by flies. The heat was incredible and very uncomfortable.

We got back about three or so and in the evening walked to Saxton Green. It was perfectly still and timeless but Robert depressed Carol with his despair and doomy talk about the new bypass that's being built which he says will destroy much of the peace and fields and trees.

In the pub’ I was once more subject to his enthusiasms over Buddhism; he told incredible anecdotes and tales while all around us was the everyday chatter and the chink of glasses. “I know it sounds really corny but it's changed my life” he said. Being at the monastery moved him so deeply, and he found the peace and tranquility so soothing and relaxing that it brought him close to tears right there. I was impressed by the end.

If I've totally flunked my ‘A’ levels then I suppose one option would be to go live in the monastery. After suffering through that I'd definitely need to find some peace.

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