Sarah's Reviews > Breakfast with Buddha

Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo
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's review
Oct 10, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: buddhism, adult

What do you do when life gives you the unexpected? Otto Ringling has been coasting along on his successful editing career, with the support of a loving wife and two well behaved teenagers. Tragedy strikes when his parents are killed by a drunk driver near their North Dakota farm. Otto and his sister haven’t been particularly close throughout the years. He’s grounded while she’s more focused on cosmic energy and the power of meditation. It’s not that he’s opposed to alternative viewpoints; he’s a liberal and open minded individual.

Differences aside, Otto and his sister decide to embark on a road trip from New York to North Dakota to settle their parents’ estate. His flakey sister bails out and sends her friend, Volya Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk, in her place.

Initially, Otto finds himself being irritated and impatient with his new Zen passenger. Otto is conflicted between his comfortable existence and the potential reality of the universe. He’s somewhat embarrassed by monk’s outfits and habits, yet he finds himself being drawn into Rinpoche’s simple teachings.

Throughout simple philosophical discourse, an unlikely friendship develops. This story is whimsical, quirky and made me smile. Breakfast with Buddha is reminiscent of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, with parallels on morals, life purpose and the wonderlust of the road trip. I found Breakfast to be more accessible and easier to digest. Uplifting and charming, this book puts a positive spin on the human race.
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