A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life

Lama Marut. Atria, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-58270-373-2
By no means the first to frame spiritual practice as a form of rebellion, Lama Marut (aka Brian K. Smith) manages a fresh approach based on Asian philosophy, particularly Buddhist principles. An ordained monk trained in the Tibetan tradition and former professor of religious studies, the author argues that happiness is the most important goal in life, but it comes from within, not by depending on external, ephemeral factors such as money and relationships. An important key to happiness is giving to others. Focusing on karma as opposed to the usual Four Noble Truths, Lama Marut applies unusually cogent arguments that individuals can indeed change their relationship to the past and have control over their futures, yet be unable to change the present except for their responses to it. He draws on sources from ancient to modern to illustrate his ideas; he avoids sectarian spirituality as well as New Age clichés. Lama Marut knows how to describe concepts clearly and to make a persuasive case while entertaining his readers. His chapter on forgiveness is a particularly compelling gem of brevity. This provocative, “hip” guide (there’s a motorcycle on the cover) doesn’t weasel out on the importance of living a “morally pure life” to achieve happiness. Agent: Molly Lyons. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
Release date: 06/05/2012
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4516-8967-9
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4516-7281-7
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