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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Best Buddhist Writing 2010. A Book Review.

How would you like to have a collection of excellent Buddhist writings all in one book for your library? Well, that's exactly what Melvin McLeod and the Shambhala editors have offered up in the "The Best Buddhist Writing" series. Each year they select the cream of the crop in Buddhist essays and other writings to inspire and edify the Buddhist community. This year they have complied one of their best, and it's not simply Buddhist masters who are featured.

You'll read heartfelt writings from people as diverse as a man on death row to Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Death row inmate Jarvis Jay Masters was a hardened criminal who has since shed those violent ways and dedicated his life to practicing the Dharma. His narration of a short visit to a hospital outside the prison walls will make you see the present moment in an entirely new way. One that will rededicate your will power to soak up every last drop of it. He writes about the ride to and from the hospital for a basic hearing check-up and how he savored each time the car he was traveling in stopped at a red light.

It gave him precious time to take in the beauty of regular life unraveling before his eyes hungry for a glimpse of an average life. How easily do we go about our day and take for granted that we can freely walk out our door at any time and go for a walk to see things that an prisoner would give anything to experience again. The simple beauty of watching the traffic lights turn from green to red was enough to make this inmate tear up with appreciation. May we all too learn to see the world in such a pure way. This is a good book if you are looking for a collection of easy to read, inspirational tales from both Buddhist masters but also average practitioners.

~Peace to all beings~

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Br. Jay said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. I may have to pick it up.:)

Josh Davis said...

This looks like a great book. So many books, so little time!

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