The Café Astoria is on Lambton Quay in the business district. It is like a run-down French place, with wooden tables and chairs, and a chatty buzz. The coffee was good and strong and that passionfruit and white chocolate brioche certainly hit the spot. Ratnavyuha and I had admired some contemporary NZ art in Te Papa museum gallery, and I was about to visit the NZ parliament building and the old Cathedral – made entirely of wood – the kind of church that hobbits might go to. We had spent the weekend leading a retreat. And later today I gave a talk at the Wellington Buddhist Centre. I explained the Buddha’s teaching of conditionality by means of the example of myself, having been asked to write a book on this topic, on condition of which I find myself invited to New Zealand, somewhere I never imagined I would visit. The unfolding of conditions can be unexpected and mysterious, and yet part of the natural order.