Offensive to BuddhistsAfter reading Paul Gray in The Oz yesterday, I've decided to have a crack at writing a piece that is guaranteed to be inoffensive to the faith of John Howard's mainstream Australians and equally inoffensive to the non-mainstream minority religions that have everybody in a lather over national security - like those baby-killing Seventh Day Adventists. Just to see if it can be done. Here we go:
Wan-to went to his master one day and asked "Master, how can I achieve enlightenment."
The master stroked his beard while he thought. "You must go up to the mountain and meditate upon this question: how many monks does it take to change a light bulb? When you have the answer come back and tell me, and I will tell you if you have achieved enlightnement."
Wan-to went up to the mountain to meditate on the question. He sat for a long time in the lotus position thinking deeply on how many monks it takes to change a light bulb. So great was his concentration that a pair of swallows built their nest of mud in his left armpit.
Time passed; the swallows raised their chicks and flew away. Wan-to returned to the monastery to see his master.
"Have you the answer to my question?" asked the master.
"Two thousand and one." replied Wan-to. "One to hold the bulb and two thousand to turn the monastery around."
"Foolish monk." said the master and struck Wan-to on the forehead with a bamboo stave. "Return to the mountain and meditate on the question again."
Wan-to returned to the mountain; the swallows returned and build a new nest under his left armpit. Wan-to felt sorrow that the work they had put into building the old nest had been wasted.
Time passed; the swallows raised another brood of chicks and flew away. Once again Wan-to returned to the monastery.
"And what is your answer this time, Wan-to?" asked the master.
"One." replied Wan-to "One to change the bulb, one not to think of the white horse and one to make the sound of one hand clapping."
"Foolish monk." said the master, "That is three monks."
Before the master could take up his bamboo stave, Wanto seized it and struck the master on the forehead.
"Foolish master." said Wan-to. "Go up to the mountain and meditate on this question: why is the Buddha like a bicycle clip?"
Through the many years of his life, Wan-to was known as a monk of great wisdom and enlightenment.