I'm sad to say that I couldn't really understand what she was talking about most of the time. This is partly due to the abstract, abstruse nature of tI'm sad to say that I couldn't really understand what she was talking about most of the time. This is partly due to the abstract, abstruse nature of the topic but also due to her totally incoherent style of writing. It reminded me of Anne Frank and Villette, this intelligent and insightful woman rambling on and on, often in a very unfocussed sort of way, often making a point of accusing herself of being too stupid for the task at hand. It's probably also fair to say that I didn't get an especially good translation (apparently it was translated by "The Benedictines of Stanbrook", whoever they are). Perhaps I'll give this another punt some day with a better translation....more
The Bhagavad Gita is widely considered to be an extended Upanishad, embedded in the narrative of an epic. Twice now I have read The Gita, shortly follThe Bhagavad Gita is widely considered to be an extended Upanishad, embedded in the narrative of an epic. Twice now I have read The Gita, shortly followed by the Upanishads and on both occasions I felt that the Upanishads didn't quite match up to the Gita. In fact the Gita seems to outline so many core aspects of Vedanta so succinctly that by the time you get round to the Upanishads they almost feel a little superfluous. If you want to understand the philosophy of Hinduism then you can hardly do better than to read Eknath's Gita.
These Eknath translations are excellent. Extremely clear. The passages always phrased in a simple and unambiguous manner and the chapter introductions (not written by Eknath himself) are always invaluable in preparing you for what you are about to read so that you can fully absorb it
I would recommend this to anyone interested in Hinduism but I would recommend reading the Gita first (simply because it's better)....more
This is another one where I have to chalk my dissatisfaction down to the fact that I really need these spiritual writers to present me with a coherentThis is another one where I have to chalk my dissatisfaction down to the fact that I really need these spiritual writers to present me with a coherent argument, not just some vague statements and expect me to take them at their word. Maybe if I read this book several times over I'd find some hidden depths, or more likely, find my own rewarding and idiosyncratic interpretations of intentionally vague passages. Maybe a Gibran fanatic could outline their own interpretations and win me over with their enthusiasm.
I admit, there's probably a bit more to this book than I am currently appreciating but for now, after one quick read through, I can't say that I find anything within it to be terribly compelling.
I wasn't really convinced by this one. Whilst I read a lot of religious literature and am fully open to embracing any valuable insights, I still feelI wasn't really convinced by this one. Whilst I read a lot of religious literature and am fully open to embracing any valuable insights, I still feel like the writer needs to make a strong case for his or her belief. I won't accept someone's opinions simply because they seem to have faith in them. I really need the writer to win me over before I can buy into his belief system and this is where Hanh falls short. Any belief or opinion is largely just presented as being inherently sensible or worthwhile, there's generally a paucity of argument, illustration, explanation etc. In short, this is a book for converts, for Buddhists. Whilst it may be perfectly accessible to the lay reader it makes no effort to convert the unconverted. If you come to this book wanting to be convinced about Buddhism and mindfulness then I'm sad to say that Hanh is not a very convincing proponent.
I would basically only recommend this book to Buddhists. If you are merely interested in Buddhism then I imagine that there must be better introductory books out there....more