Shawn Sorensen's Reviews > The Little Book of Eastern Wisdom: Sufi, Tao, Zen

The Little Book of Eastern Wisdom by Priya Hemenway
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's review
Apr 12, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: self-improvement, national-and-international-affairs, poetry, misc

A very summarized intro into the origins of Sufism, Taoism and Zen Buddhism, good for readers who would like to start to acquaint themselves to these religions and ways of thought. I found lots of interesting tidbits and admired some wonderful color pictures.

The first third was about Sufism/worshiping the beloved, letting go of worries and small issues in order to put your whole heart into loving. Then there was (for me) the most interesting section on Taoism, a movement to calm oneself down at the same time to be flexible for what life offers. The last third about Zen Buddhism was good, too, in that it stressed pushing daily thoughts - love/hatred, yesterday/today/tomorrow - out of the brain in order to focus on and appreciate the moment at hand. The book does a good job in explaining, within all three traditions, the need to put less importance on materialism and more on finding inner peace. "It is said in the East that the only real road to peace lies within ourselves," states the last page.

The book is a minor springboard, and one I will take in studying (first) Taoism. But in its need to be concise there are a lot of confusing and unexplained statements, and the focus on just the origins of the three traditions means it's more difficult to conceptualize placing them within the modern realm of technology and globalization. And I'll probably read the book again as it rushes through (in a very un-Zen like manner) a lot of history, without any noteworthy ways to remember what it says.

This little tome got me going into thinking about bringing more settled moments into my life - so I can be more spontaneous for whatever comes down the road.

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Reading Progress

04/01/2009 page 52

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