Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties

Ajahn Brahm, Author
Ajahn Brahm, Author . Wisdom $15.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-86171-278-6
Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-282-99050-0
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More than statistics and theories, we really trust anecdotes and narratives. Our brains and beings are wired to learn deeply and easily via stories, and this splendid collection of 108 Buddhist-based tales proves the point with lasting, gentle, pervasive teachings. Brahm, a former Cambridge University theoretical physics scholar, was ordained in Bangkok at age 23 and spent nine subsequent years in forest meditation under Venerable Ajahn Chah. He is now an abbot and spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. In the dozen compelling and practical sections on topics like perfection, love, commitment, fear, pain, anger, forgiveness, happiness, freedom and humility, he weaves a long, rich tapestry of understanding using short threads of stories only a couple of pages long. Many tales lead one to the other, but each also stands alone. Resurrecting several "chestnuts" as well as crafting new stories, Brahm avoids the pitfall of esoteric, inscrutable renderings sometimes found in Buddhist writing. Instead, without compromising integrity, he favors modern cadences and references (e.g., iPods and the World Wildlife Fund) to make the stories sail along. Especially resonant if slowly savored, this is a wonderful collection that can be enjoyed by a broad audience. (Oct.)

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