excellent critiques on the state, the church and the war machine. can't help but feel he's being a bit naively optimistic to believe that virtues of nexcellent critiques on the state, the church and the war machine. can't help but feel he's being a bit naively optimistic to believe that virtues of non-violence will quite naturally of themselves overcome and consume forces of might, subjugation and oppression though. still, a challenging and important (now more than ever) tome. read if you are opposed to war in any form and/or believe Christ's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are worth engaging with regardless of religious affiliation....more
how much do i love Murakami's writing? ooh, very very much indeed!! and quite possible this piece the most of all. Kafka on the Shore has everything thow much do i love Murakami's writing? ooh, very very much indeed!! and quite possible this piece the most of all. Kafka on the Shore has everything that is magnificent about his writing amplified and turned up to eleven.
between these pages you will find cats, Johnny Walker (the man himself), fish falling from the sky and WWII veterans living deep in a forest unaware that the world has moved on. all described in a light, delicate and haunting prose style that manages to be humurous and affecting all at the same time.
Kafka on the Shore is a novel that devides Murakami fans straight down the middle and i can understand why. there is nothing particularly original compared to his other works here (indeed, old themes are often borrowed and revisited) but rather treat this as a glorious example of everything that we know and love about Murakami's novels already and you will find it impossible to feel hard done by....more
Ippen was the founder of the Ji-shu school of Pue Land Buddhism in 13th century Japan. the school itself was short lived but the wisdom of his teachinIppen was the founder of the Ji-shu school of Pue Land Buddhism in 13th century Japan. the school itself was short lived but the wisdom of his teachings lives on in this important translation by respected Pure Land scholar Dennis Hirota.
here we have the spirit of Zen and the Nembutsu intermingling with each other, and in Ippen's wasan perhaps one of the most under-appreciated collections of Buddhist poetry known to the west.
whether a follower of Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu (such as myself) or indeed any tradition, No Abode: The Record of Ippen is a worthy and inspiring read that provides much cause for reflection. recommended....more
heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. the darkest mirror i have ever seen held up to our society and ourselves in a piece of modern fiction. what you willheart-breaking and gut-wrenching. the darkest mirror i have ever seen held up to our society and ourselves in a piece of modern fiction. what you will see in the relection is not pleasant. a very important book....more
it often appears that the majority of Dharma Books on the market cover either the teachings, the practices or commentaries on both. and while the impoit often appears that the majority of Dharma Books on the market cover either the teachings, the practices or commentaries on both. and while the importance of such subjects can not be underestimated, i often feel that Engaged Buddhism is, as a consequence, somewhat unintentionally overlooked. because of this reason, "Buddhist Roles in Peacemaking" is an important release and i am grateful to Venerable Mun for his continued promotion of peace both within and outside of the Buddhist community.
of particular interest are the following essays...
the Shogyoji Archive Committee's account of Venerable Daigyoin's efforts to save the temple bell from being seized and burnt down for weapons material during wartime and his opposition to the goverment's proposed Religious Oraganisations Bill
Karanudasa's study of peace through moral life as outlined in the early Pali Nikayas
Green's honest and critical examination of the protest movement in Burma and the question of what place democracy might have in a predominantly Buddhist society.
if there is any fault to be found it is relatively minor..a few of the essays feautured succumb to terminology univiting to the casual reader which only an academic would really grasp. while i enjoyed many of the insights to be found in Odin's "Peace in Shin Buddhism and Process Theology", i felt that it sometimes fell into this trap. likewise Kuttner's essay of the role of Buddhism in the mediation process - certainly a worthy subject for discussion but sadly too heavily weighted with terminology i frequently found impenetrable.
despite these minor flaws, for the most part the essays gathered succeed and i believe this to be a valuable addition to the ongoing discussions on peace, one worth reading for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. ...more
hit and miss, but the misses are at the least interesting and the hits take you to such giddy heights of joyous absurdity that it makes this well worthit and miss, but the misses are at the least interesting and the hits take you to such giddy heights of joyous absurdity that it makes this well worth a look for anyone who likes their literature a little outside of the box. We should be thankful then, that Barthelme was a true original in his time and be glad to travel alongside him as he erratically winds his way through language, myth and culture with these sixty stories of giant balloons, king kong, existential gameshows and falling dogs to mention but a few of the oddities....more