Touching Ground: Devotion and Demons Along the Path of Enlightenment

Tim Testu. Wisdom, $17.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-61429-333-0
In this posthumously published memoir, Buddhist monk Testu recounts misguided adventures through his youth and his eventual spiritual development through his experiences with Chan Buddhism. Growing up in California, Testu repeatedly got in trouble, eventually being kicked out of Catholic school, entering and leaving the Navy, and then becoming an alcoholic. But after a chance meeting with monk Hsuan Hua of the Chan Buddhism lineage, he decided to change his life and became ordained as a monk at the Gold Mountain Monastery in California. Testu underwent his 10-month bowing pilgrimage through California, Oregon, and Washington, walking for world peace during his Chan practice with Hsuan Hua. Testu’s faithful, honest depiction of his struggles with desire, disappointments, and dissatisfaction during his monkhood years make this memoir stand out from similar offerings. Testu does not shy away from revealing his greedy side, which sought to occasionally break his vows or to make his practice spiritually materialistic. Though Testu was changed by his bowing pilgrimage, he eventually left the monastery and returned to lay life, where he gave in once again to his addictions. Tetsu’s affecting book is a down-to-earth depiction of the joys and sufferings of practice. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 11/13/2018
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 978-1-61429-344-6
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