'I had the opportunity to speak to some lamas, and to spend concentrated time reading Buddhist texts. It really altered to a certain extent my perceptions of phenomenal existence. By practicing meditations which focus on loss it engenders the loss experience in your own person, and I'm more compassionate and sensitive to those around me. It gave me the belief that there is more to life than this (knocks on the table top in front of him) and this (pinches his skin and tugs at his clothes). The shell.'