Book Review: ‘Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment’ by Deepak Chopra

When it comes to reading books, I rarely choose historical fiction. In fact, this was my first spiritual historical fiction. (At least that I remember!) So I will admit some reluctance in starting this book.

Mr. Chopra does a fine job of storytelling with this ‘possible’ tale of how Siddhārtha Gautama became The Buddha. He outlines Siddhārtha’s separateness before birth and how human he was.  And how different he was from others around him. Yet he was the same, for he felt pain, suffered, and enjoyed pleasures as all humans do. Siddhārtha’s difference is what made him seek out the answers to the questions we all ask.

I will not say much more about the book for fear of telling too much. I will say I felt what Siddhārtha felt and at times had to put the book away until my eyes were not clouded with tears. (Maybe I was just tired and thus the watery eyes?) And the end is not quite what I had envisioned but it was great.

Now for the not so good: I felt the story plodded much of the time. Sometimes the scene changed abruptly which caused me to go back over what I had read to make sure I hadn’t missed a line or so. I also felt there was not always a clear reason for the main character to make a decision when he did.

All this taken into consideration, I say…..read this book. Glean from it as you may or not.‘Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment’ is worth your time.  ~ Debra Saturday

Thanks Giving

As you know, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. And, I can say this with assurance, the ones who do choose to have this day for ‘giving thanks’ have their own way of celebrating.

So if you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving or not…

Thank you for all that you are…no matter who you are….where you are….I Give Thanks for you.

Tashi Delek!

Debra

 

The Power of Failure

Everybody, even the best of us, will sometimes behave ingloriously, and to think otherwise is to be hemmed in by vanity. As sad sinners wandering through samsara, one of the few things we can count on is that we are on occasion going to screw up miserably. For those of us who are exceptionally reliable in this regard, it is nothing less than a saving grace, is it not, that in our guise as bodhisattvas, falling down on the job is the biggest part of the job, and sometimes, somehow, failure, if allowed to do its work, can actually be surprisingly emancipatory. It can even help make us whole. We have to try to be better—wiser, kinder, more generous—people, but mostly there’s no getting away from our embarrassing, maddening, harebrained selves.  ~ Andrew Cooper, “The Debacle”

Deep Roots Need Good Soil ~ Tricycle article

If you have a supportive sangha, it’s easy to nourish your bodhicitta, the seeds of enlightenment. If you don’t have anyone who understands you, who encourages you in the practice of the living dharma, your desire to practice may wither. Your sangha—family, friends, and copractitioners—is the soil, and you are the seed. No matter how vigorous the seed is, if the soil does not provide nourishment, your seed will die. A good sangha is crucial for the practice. Please find a good sangha or help create one.

– Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Fertile soil of Sangha” (please read this whole article . Thich is always worth reading!)