A Buddhist Detective?

It happens this way …


I just started to read a detective series by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay about an ex-Buddhist monk turned LAPD cop turned private investigator. The main character, Tenzing Norbu (Ten for short),  is one of those fictionalized people I love to love: unique, flawed, vulnerable, committed, funny, intelligent, and on a steep learning curve.

What is so delightful about the first book, The First Rule of Ten, is not only does it have a good plot and a host of colorful good guys/gals and bad guys/gals, but the authors weave bits of Buddhist philosophy throughout. They affirm the fact that you can take the man out of the Buddhist monastery, but you can’t take Buddhist philosophy out of the man.

For instance, Ten’s first rule is “Don’t ignore intuitive tickles lest they reappear as sledgehammers.”

Can you relate? I can. How many times have I felt a gut-nudge to make a call, send an email, do whatever, and not followed through? There may not be immediate repercussions, but I do know that whenever I listen to one of those “intuitive tickles,” the results are gratifying. Someone will say, “I was just thinking about you, too” or “How did you know I needed that support today?” Curious how that works!

One other bit of Buddhist wisdom: In the midst of confusion about who the real scoundrels are and what motivates them, Ten prays, “May answers come to me by easeful attraction rather than stressful pursuit.”

Of course! But “stressful pursuit” is a much more dramatic way to live, no? I feel virtuous when I’m actively pursuing. However, as I’ve aged, I’ve discovered there’s peace and comfort in “easeful attraction” – putting out to Source/God/the Universe what I desire and allowing it to ease into my life. Keeps the blood pressure down and makes for a  less harried existence.

Who says it’s a waste of time to read light fiction? I’m off to the library to pick up The Second Rule of Ten. Can’t wait to find out what that is!


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