I gave meditation classes, on behalf of the Sri Chinmoy Centre at a local Friends Meeting House (Quakers) in Oxford. It is useful location, and is used by quite a few different meditation groups and spiritual paths. At the back, there is a small private car park, which, in the dark, is not so easy to park in.
Last week, I got back to the car park to find a notice on my windscreen. “Sorry I might have hit your car, if there is any problem, let us know. It included someone’s name and phone number”. I didn’t worry too much; over the years, my car has picked up quite a few scratches and dents. It has been a great car – 120,000 miles and is well loved, but these days, I’m not overly attached to perfect paintwork.
I appreciated the honesty and thought about texting the person back, but I was too busy. This week I arrived and a young women in Buddhist robes was sitting in her car, as if meditating. I parked, and meditated myself for a minute before getting the stuff out of the car. When she saw me, she got out of her car and mentioned she was worried she had hit my car the previous week. I smiled and told her not to worry! I already have enough dents, a few more won’t make any difference! She looked relieved to see a fellow person had non-attachment to their car paintwork.
I really appreciated her sincerity and honesty to, even a week later, enquire whether she had caused any damage. I also got a lot of joy from non-attachment, I was happy to be able to say – “Don’t worry” and put the theory of non-attachment into practise. In one sense it was a brief, perhaps insignificant moment, but it was interesting to see the joy from non-attachment – rather than attachment to perfection in paintwork. I didn’t say outwardly, but I aspire to the Lord Buddha’s supreme philosophy of non-attachment, and in this case I did get a practical joy from non-attachment to perfection in my car paintwork.
Admittedly, it was easy to do with my old battered car, perhaps I would have worried more about a bicycle.
Perhaps more importantly, it also nice to know there are honest, sincere people in this world.
The other thing I am aware of is that a few years ago, I was parking my car for a meditation class. I was a bit late and as a consequence rushing a bit (I needed a meditation probably). When parking, I scrapped the car of a fellow friend in the Oxford Sri Chinmoy Centre. Despite a bit of a scrape, they were completely detached and forgiving about this unfortunate experience, which was a relief. So a few years later, and it is good to complete the karmic circle!
Soon I will be getting a new car, I will try my best to take care when driving and avoid any dents. But, also I hope I never become overly attached to material objects. I prefer the philosophy of Lord Buddha.
“The root of suffering is attachment”
– Lord Buddha
“When we have peace of mind,
Attachment after attachment
Disappears from us.”
Sri Chinmoy (source)
- Article on non-attachment and happiness