I like to describe myself as a secular Buddhist, sometimes at least. Other times I am an atheist, or a Pastafarian. I have been Sikh in the past.

I am also a good example of how not to kill the Buddha.

Since I am mostly a Buddhist, I meditate. Also, since I am not a very good Buddhist, I don't meditate regularly. It is more of an on and off affair for me. I drink and smoke. I also eat meat, but I think it is wrong.

A few months ago, I bought myself a meditation cushion. Then I needed relaxation music so I downloaded Zen flute meditation music on my iPad. Indeed, I went back to meditating after I bought the cushion. I improved greatly in my meditation practice and made a point to practice mindfulness more consciously in my daily life.

About three weeks after I'd bought the cushion, it occurred to me that I needed a Buddha figurine on my desk at work to remind me to be mindful of things during the day. I also decided I needed a small sized Buddha statue for my bedroom. In my search for the right one, I came across the most spectacular Buddha statue that I had ever seen. It was on a website that sold other companies’ merchandise and it was up for sale for two days only. Sadly, I couldn't order it in time. I spent the rest of that week searching for Buddha statues online. None of them were like the one I had seen. I sure didn't want a reclining or a laughing Buddha. I wanted a serious Buddha that wasn't too morose looking. I wasn't sure if I wanted a fat Buddha. I wanted that first Buddha that I’d seen. That was what I wanted.

After days of looking for the one Buddha that I had really grown attached to by this time, I was able to find the contact information of its importers. I called them. They said these Buddhas weren't distributed to individual stores and that I would have to write to the website that had them on sale, and inquire if they had plans to do another campaign for the Buddha that I loved. Also at this time, I set my eyes on a Buddha figurine that a co-worker, Fatma is her name, had on her desk. Although not as perfect as the one I wanted, this one looked very lovable. I asked her to give her Buddha to me. She refused, saying it was a gift from a friend, which was something I already knew. I reasoned with her. I said,"Look, give me the Buddha. You are not even a Buddhist. He will remind me to be mindful sitting right in front of my monitor. There is nothing He can give you." Fatma then, did a very Buddhist thing. She said, "Okay, you can have it." So I took the almost perfect new Buddha and put it on my desk. By this time, I had stopped meditating entirely. I was still after the bigger Buddha for my bedroom. Once I got it, I would start again. The little Buddha would only be there to remind me to be mindful throughout the day. Even if I didn't meditate, I could still practice mindfulness during the day. Sadly though, a few days after my forceful seizure of the figurine, I noticed that I rarely noticed that the little Buddha was even on my desk. He was there of course. But I was living my life as mindlessly as before. I thought maybe because this tiny bronze figurine was very close to my monitor stand in color, it was unable to capture my attention. I moved it to the left of my monitor, where it would be sitting on the white surface of my desk. In all his bronzeness, he remained equally invisible to me against the white background. The work-place Buddha was not capturing my attention.

Then something wonderful happened. That shopping website had the same Buddhas again. I ordered a medium sized Buddha – the perfect Buddha – and a number of Buddha candles. I still haven’t gotten them. They are supposed to arrive one of these days. I am waiting. All I do is wait. This is where my idolatrous Buddha obsession has gotten me. The tiny almost perfect workplace Buddha is invisible to me, even though he is there all day. If they built a Taliban-destroyed-Buddha sized Buddha next to my house, I might notice that one. Maybe not. Killing the Buddha is much easier said than done. As an indicator of my spiritual development, I hope to obsess about killing the Buddha once I get my mail-order Buddha.

I might not have killed the Buddha, but I know I have really let him down. And that is something.