The First Rule of Ten
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
The First Rule of TenEnlightened cop turns gumshoe.
Meet Tenzing Norbu (“Ten” for short), an ex-Buddhist monk who dreamed of becoming a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. So when he was sent to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he joined the LAPD instead. But as the Buddha says, change is inevitable; and ten years later, everything is about to change—big-time—for Ten. One resignation from the police force, two bullet-wounds, three suspicious deaths, and a beautiful woman later, he quickly learns that whenever he breaks his first rule, mayhem follows. Welcome to an excerpt from The First Rule of Ten, the first in a series of books debuting under the new fiction label—Hay House Visions.
Last Friday night, I tasted one of life’s sweet little experiences.
Saturday, I got shot.
It makes me wonder if I have a low tolerance for things going well in my world.
Or maybe I just need to be more mindful of what’s going on, both outside and in.
This may come as a surprise to you, but I’ve decided to put some rules back into my life—just not the scriptural kind I was so good at rebelling against back when I lived in the monastery. These are life-rules rules, drawn from my own experience, regardless of whether it’s humbling, exhilarating or painful. Rule Number One is this: If you’re open to learning, you get your life-lessons delivered as gently as the tickle of a feather. But if you’re defensive, if you stubbornly persist in being right instead of learning the lesson at hand, if you stop paying attention to the tickles, the nudges, the clues—boom! Sledgehammer. Or in this case, the mangled slug of a .45 automatic.
The truth is, the pain caused by the bullet-graze, was insignificant compared to the deep ache of uncertainty provoked by my brush with death. I felt lost, swarmed by questions to which I had no easy answers. But once I could see a way forward, I actually started feeling grateful to Leon—the poor misguided being who pulled the trigger.
I do regret how much I scared Bill. I’d never seen him look like that—drawn and pale, his eyes dark with fear. He told me when he heard the shot, found me on the floor, he thought I was done.
Turns out I was, just not in the way Bill meant.
You two know me best, so you know this is true: From the time I was a teenager, reading all those contraband detective novels by candlelight in our sleeping quarters, I never wanted to be anything but a modern incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. So when I made Detective five years ago, I thought I had my life all wrapped up, with a nice, pretty bow on top. But lately, the realities of working for the LAPD have been closing in on me. I can hardly breathe anymore.
Some cops are happy to spend the bulk of their time shuffling papers and testifying in court. They’d rather pass their days getting hammered by defense attorneys than roam around out in the big world, messing with actual criminals. Not me. I like the action. I spent enough years sitting cross-legged in confined spaces, eyes closed, sheltered from anything that might challenge reality. Or nonreality, for that matter.
It’s just that every minute in court, or chained to my desk, is a minute I’m not out putting bad people away, which last I heard was the whole point. The number of hours I spend on real police work has been declining steadily over the past couple of years, until these days I’m lucky if I pull 15 hours a week outside.
Poor Bill’s no stranger to my discontent. My partner’s been putting up with a swelling stream of complaints about the paperwork, the politics, the endless bureaucratic hassles and mandatory regulations that are taking all the joy out of the job. I mean, monks deal with endless rules, too, but at least where you are, the goal is freedom from suffering. Not piling on more and more of it.
Once again in my life, something had to give. Once again, something has.
It’s over. I’m no longer a cop.
Well, time to go. Tank is eyeing his empty food bowl with impressive concentration. I send my prayers and good wishes to you both, as always. Please give Kino my heartfelt congratulations on becoming Abbot. Tell him I am well. You can also tell my father. Should he ever ask.
Until next time,