9. The Business.

Vine Magazine

The Business.

I left Beacon Bank and headed to Greece to travel on my own for a few weeks, visiting Delphi, the home to the ancient Greek Oracle and one of the most stunning and mystical places that I have ever been. After a few weeks in Italy I then returned to the UK to act and to start up a business with a friend of mine.

The business was a monthly magazine, and it went really very well indeed. We were in profit on the first month and within three months there was a team of nine of us. The money started pouring in and I, once again, managed to lose my way, visiting Aston Martin showrooms and living the life of Riley. I completely forgot the teachings of the Dhamma. When I say ‘forgot’, I still remembered them on an intellectual basis, and had no problem telling people that I was a Buddhist and teaching them the Dhamma. But I knew that it was a lie. Buddhism is not a religion. It is a set of teachings that, if followed correctly and courageously will lead you to the final release of Nibbana. It is a way of life of taking complete accountability for everything that we do, living a life of harmlessness. Unless we live by the rules of harmlessness: No Stealing, No Killing, No Lying, No Intoxicants and No Sexual Misconduct, then we cannot call ourselves Buddhists, because we are not engaging with the practice.

It’s interesting: how easy it is to forget. But also, how easy it is to remember again. I will not spend any more time talking about the business other than to day that one-day, after seven months of forgetfulness, mindlessness and self-gratification at the expense of others, I remembered. I was sat at my desk in the office, reading a copy of the ‘Week’ magazine, scouting for advertisers to call up and persuade to advertise in our magazine. I saw a review for a book called ‘To a Mountain in Tibet’ by Colin Thubron. It was about one man’s pilgrimage to one of the most sacred places on earth: Mt Kailash, a remote and treacherous mountain on the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan Buddhists believe that circling the mountain in a ‘Kora’ washes away a lifetimes worth of Kamma. This is because of the purification that you undergo through such a long and dangerous climb, in which many people die every year.

I knew then and there that this was a place that I needed to visit, and once again I felt the pull of Dhamma on my heart. When Dhamma pulls you feel it loud and clear. My mind was made up. Within a month I had handed in my notice with my business partner and begun planning my voyage.

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