The First Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery, by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay, is a fascinating work of fiction that does a surprisingly good job of combining a detective/mystery with a dharma-focused life. This sounds almost impossible. When I mentioned to a friend who is Buddhist that I was reading a novel about a Tibetan Buddhist monk who becomes a cop in Los Angeles, she said flatly: “No Buddhist monk would ever become a cop!”
Tenzing Norbu was reared in a monastery in Dharamshala, India, but his personal dream was to become a detective. He fulfilled the dream but never lost the impact of his years of training. When he needs to reach out to his childhood friends, who are still living as monks in India, he makes contact spiritually and receives their guidance. And when he gets into a tough spot, not knowing which way to turn in trying to solve a series of murders, he asks the unseen realm: “How can I discern what lies beneath … How can I use my skills and presence to ensure that the highest good is accomplished? … May answers come to me by easeful attraction rather than stressful pursuit, and may all beings benefit from these inquiries.”
Tenzing’s First Rule is that if you’re open to learning, you get your life-lessons delivered as gently as a feather, but if you’re defensive, stubborn, and refuse to pay attention, the sledgehammer will fall!
The book relays a full-blown mystery, is fun to read, and depicts a person living his spirituality despite being in a role not commonly associated with spiritual matters. Hay House published the book in 2012, and I hear that The Second Rule of Ten is on the way. Can’t wait!