“The Buddha gave one prescription, not war, not pacifism either.” ~Peace is a State of Mind: For a Twenty First Birthday in Times of War (Fleischman)
Th...more“The Buddha gave one prescription, not war, not pacifism either.” ~Peace is a State of Mind: For a Twenty First Birthday in Times of War (Fleischman)
This beautiful essay has informed my practice in a very powerful way. Dr. Fleischman describes lucidly the difference between non-violence and pacifism. He also provides direct insight into the original intent of the Buddha's teaching. The essay separates the dhamma from the sectarian dogma and rituals of the differing schools of Buddhism that grew up around the Buddha’s teaching.
However, be forewarned. This essay is deceptively simple. Don't let its length, 59 pages if you count the poem/aphorisms at the end, or the fluid ease of the writing fool you into thinking you grasped the immensity of its lesson in one sitting. There is a lifetime of practice in these 59 pages.
Meditators from all differing schools and spiritualities should find simple wisdom to spiritually nourish their practices. If I was a retreat master I would prescribe this as necessary reading for every retreatant. (less)
Nick Dunne emerged from my worst nightmare and came alive on the written page. Gillian Flynn is a freaking genius at constructing razor wire plots tha...moreNick Dunne emerged from my worst nightmare and came alive on the written page. Gillian Flynn is a freaking genius at constructing razor wire plots that pull tight against your pulsing throat; the wire cutting deliciously slow into your flesh teasing you with death. The psychological tension in Gone Girl stirred up old anxieties about love, marriage and betrayal that was darkly comic as it was horrifying. I felt the blood drain from my face as I finished the last paragraph. I will never look at love or relationships the same way again. Gone Girl is an important literary work, a character study in sociopathy as much as it is a fact paced thriller for the beach.(less)
Grisly, forensic fun with a dash of comic relief in all the right places. The writing duo of Jefferson Bass translate science into fiction brilliance....moreGrisly, forensic fun with a dash of comic relief in all the right places. The writing duo of Jefferson Bass translate science into fiction brilliance. (less)
The Dog Stars left me in stunned silence upon finishing the final word. The sheer beauty and profundity of Peter Heller’s writing is still shaking me...moreThe Dog Stars left me in stunned silence upon finishing the final word. The sheer beauty and profundity of Peter Heller’s writing is still shaking me up days after finishing this novel. The man is not merely a writer or even simply a poet, Peter Heller is a cartographer of the human spirit. The book is a moral triumph and a vaccine against the dystopian and post apocalyptic storytelling that has become so popular in recent years. (less)
Michael Palmer writes thrillers that make my skin crawl delightfully with horror. Oath of Office was chilling, suspenseful and topical. Spoiler Alert:...moreMichael Palmer writes thrillers that make my skin crawl delightfully with horror. Oath of Office was chilling, suspenseful and topical. Spoiler Alert: I'm never eating corn again.(less)
Seeking Spirits disappointed me. I expected more from the co-founders of TAPS who come across on their T.V. show, at least, as being rational debunker...moreSeeking Spirits disappointed me. I expected more from the co-founders of TAPS who come across on their T.V. show, at least, as being rational debunkers. To the credit of this ghost hunting duo they believe that most supernatural experiences are rare. Their cases are filled with rather prosaic solutions such as unshielded electrical wiring or loose plumbing. The reader can be forgiven their expectation of a more scientific approach, even if the subject matter eludes use of the scientific methods and easily replicated tests.
However, that doesn’t represent the majority of the cases presented in this book. The book exposes a side that you don’t see often on their SyFy television series. This book relies less on EMF detectors and infrared cameras and more on folk demonology and EVP, which can be quite convincing if you witness it for yourself. My hearing is so bad that I can never make it out. I don’t hear any words until I’m told what to expect. Then I hear it just fine. As anybody with a middle school education in science will tell you that makes my “witness” not only unreliable, but it has to be dismissed.
The easily debunked cases are included, but so are many that defy reason and strain the boundaries of credulity. Stories of pre-teen girls conjuring up angry spirits with Ouija boards and demonic possessions and such, which is the nonsense I would expect from Lorraine Warren and her late husband Ed.
Many of the cases shared in this compendium involve a priest or religious expert who uses the technique of religious provocation to incite the angry spirits to leave a location. None of the stories report a full on ritual of exorcism and should the TAPS team ever encounter such a situation the reader hopes a psychiatric consult is the result.
The book is written at the sixth grade level in a folksy, hanging out around the camp fire demeanor that makes it entertaining in places. Additionally, for the beginning paranormal investigator they provide tips and techniques in between some of the cases as well as a glossary of paranormal tips. Final summation: disappointing, but at least fun enough to stick with. You can browse through it in an afternoon or by campfire if you prefer. (less)