Here we are...

Just off the Port Bow—a place of uncertainty, adventure, and insight. Thank you for your ears, eyes and hearts. I hope to bring compassion, grace and beauty to your day.

Buddha's Brain et al

Some time ago I commented on Roland Merullo's novel series, the first of which was Breakfast with Buddha. Last week a friend gave me Buddha's Brain (wouldn't it be nice!), by Rick Hanson.

As a rule I am avoiding secular work these days, all those constantly current "how to" and "what about" books. Too dry and lifeless for my needs. I want life stories, tales of the heart and soul, which tend to be best (IMHO) in classical novels.

I took a quick scan of Buddha's Brain and saw too many charts, diagrams and technical acronyms for my liking. In a moment of rare candor I thanked my friend, told him I would happily skim this book and would return it so he could have a go. Turns out he was planning to give it a quick look as well. We were on the same page with this one.

This book has a Preface by Jack Kornfield. That did catch my eye. Kornfield has been intimately involved in the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock, for a long time. I have read some of his work on Theravada Buddhism/Mindful Meditation and found it quite accessible. My quick skim was warmed with a tinge of hopefulness.

Let me get right to the point. Buddha's Brain is not a technical treatise guaranteed to put one to sleep. I consider it a substantial glossary of all the concepts I have been learning about in the dharma talks I listen to from IMS. In addition the book captures in most helpful ways many, if not most, of the principles my therapist attempted to inculcate in my mind and soul during my three years of work with him.

All of it in easy to read, clear, and manageable form. I have the book downloaded onto my Kindle reader so as to have it as a ready reference. The section headings say it all: I - The Causes of Suffering, II - Happiness, III - Love, IV - Wisdom.

How about this subsection of Love?—Compassion and Assertion - "Feeling Comfortable with Closeness"—Well, it doesn't hit closer to home with me than this.

Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, Roland Merullo, and now Rick Hanson. Gentle, rich, and hopeful voices for a suffering world.

Thursday Images

Thursday Images