Geoff, the Buddha and me (and my phd)

I don’t write too often (ever?) about the PhD I started and didn’t finish. It was an awful time. It was the most ego- and spirit-crushing time of my life for which in a way I’m very grateful because it made and makes all other bad times feel like a temporary breeze. Almost a zephyr really.

The PhD years also brought me to Buddhist teachings and zen practice. I also listened to, on my morning commute, this rather helpful story about the Buddha, Geoff and Me. The “me” is Ed, not me Joanna, whose life isn’t going the way he would like. He meets Geoff and in a very humble and interesting way learns all about Buddhism. Or a bit about Buddhism.

This isn’t like that rubbish book Sophie’s World where we get a rip-off of all the major philosophies in what is meant to pass as a novel. This is actually good.

From the website:

Ed is having a hard time – at work, in his love life and, well, generally. Then he meets an unlikely Buddhist – who drinks and smokes and talks his kind of language. Bit by bit, things begin to change… Ed doesn’t always take Geoff’s advice. Or, when he does he lapses at the crucial moment. His path to understanding is not a straight one, especially as life keeps throwing more and more ‘stuff’ at him. Often he fails – like most of us, in fact. But sometimes he manages to get it right. And when he does, surprising things begin to happen.An absorbing story of everyday city life, where the characters stand out with all their human strengths and weaknesses, and the ending brings Ed – and perhaps all of us? – a hope we didn’t necessarily expect.

The Buddha, Geoff and Me – for anyone who’s ever begun to wonder what the whole damn thing is all about…

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