The Best Buddhist Writing 2007

Melvin McLeod, Editor . Shambhala $16.95 (334p) ISBN 978-1-59030-497-6

The fourth annual collection of best Buddhist writings, as in previous years, reflects breadth and diversity among English-speaking Western Buddhists. This collection is notable for the number of reflections on love—true love, mother love, a culture based on love—that offer refreshing change from more cerebral teachings on no-self. Even as he ages, venerable Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh continues to pour forth teaching in his distinctive lyrical way, embodying what is meant by “bodhisattva,” a Buddhist saint. Dying mothers, cancer, crazy siblings, violent men in a prison yard—such concrete situations all provide food for Buddhist reflection and response. Not every piece is equally accessible, which is not a problem but a caution for some readers. Two essays of Tibetan textual commentary require patience and advanced knowledge. Anthologies are not always well served by including A-list writers; Alice Walker's essay is beautiful in parts but contains undisciplined rambling in other sections. It's interesting to hear less well-known voices, alongside those of the Dalai Lama or the American nun Pema Chödrön, who also contribute pieces. This series does a great service by highlighting views and themes as they modulate with each passing year. (Oct. 9)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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