Recovering addict and punk rock journalist Grosso (Indie Spiritualist) wants, in his irreverent hybrid of personal memoir, inner travelogue, and profanity-filled guide to Buddhist theory and practice, to “wake your ass up” and help you to “be of service to others.” Grosso’s advice avoids the sappy, clean-living reform rhetoric of most enlightenment memoirs; instead he teaches shadow work—the practice of working through imagined conversations with others—embracing emotional darkness, and gravitating toward those with a nontraditional (or nonexistent) spirituality. Chapters explaining concepts like Witnessing Awareness and bodhichitta alternate with concise descriptions of accessible, mostly traditional practices. Although Grosso has a free-form, conversational style, his lessons are all coherent and well organized. He draws from such masters as Thich Nhat Hanh and don Miguel Ruiz, but also from less conventional sources like Charles Bukowski’s “The Last Night of the Earth Poems.” His low-key offer of tools for experiencing the oneness of life is human and humble, while secure in understanding its profound value, like a friend putting a hand on your shoulder on a rough day. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/10/2015 Release date: 10/01/2015 Genre: Nonfiction
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