• Driver distracted by bee killed two girls Paid Member

    I was on the train to work last week when I looked over to see a girl reading a local newspaper. The article she was studying was headed, ‘Lorry driver “distracted by bee” killed two girls’. Intrigued by this, before stepping off the train I picked up the now discarded copy. According to the trucker’s story, he had become distracted by a bee in his cab and so had veered off course, ploughing into oncoming cars, and killing two young women. In the words of the judge, who presided over a trial for dangerous driving, ‘It is something that might happen to anyone’. The trucker was convicted of dangerous driving and sentenced to four years in prison. Yet his true sentence is life: he will have to live with the knowledge that his actions, no matter how unintended, resulted in the cutting short of two young lives. More »
  • Extraordinary Imperfection Paid Member

    ‘I don’t believe in religion.’ So goes the response to my reluctant confession that I teach about religion for a living (obviously a religious nut). Yet, when I drop in that I teach about Buddhism, the tone changes. ‘But Buddhism’s not really a religion is it? More a way of life?’ While in some ways it comes as a relief that my cherished spiritual principles are not dismissed as so much garbage, if not positively harmful, it puzzles me that Buddhism should escape the wrath of the anti-religious zealot. Is it so anodyne as to cause no one offence? Are Buddhists so accommodating that they bend whichever way the wind blows? Or is it simply that the general perception of Buddhism is so rose-tinted and exoticized that it cheerfully resists the all-too-mundane reality? There is no doubt that in general Buddhism has a very positive press in the Western media. More »