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The Chocolate Cake Sutra: Ingredients for a Sweet Life
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The Chocolate Cake Sutra: Ingredients for a Sweet Life

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  198 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
The Chocolate Cake Sutra demonstrates that when the best aspects of a spiritual life converge, we are better able to take the slings and arrows of our lives in stride with grace and a grin. What are the right ingredients for a life filled with delectable treats?


3 cups of living an adventurous life
Include a large portion of true friendship
Add a dash of genuine generosity, e
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by HarperOne
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Rochelle
A delightfully lighthearted yet wise book on the Flower Ornament Sutra told through the eyes of its author, Geri Larkin, an ordained Dharma teacher, business consultant, world traveler, and raconteur who loves people. Her infectious enthusiasm for living a sweet life by following the Buddhist principles outlined in the Flower Ornament Sutra, even if that life includes living in an urban zen center in the heart of Detroit's inner city which she opened in 2000, is based on blending the principles ...more
Summer
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic
After deeply enjoying "Stumbling Toward Enlightenment", I went looking for other books by Geri Larkin. This is one of two my library owns. Larkin uses the Flower Ornament Sutra as a scaffolding for this book. I mean, that's what she says, I can't say for sure, I've never read any sutras. I feel like maybe I should.

Anyway, it was a nice book.
Michelle Powers
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up this book at the library because the book cover had a delicious looking piece of chocolate cake. It sounded like it would be a light read with some cute anecdotes about how to live a happier life and it was. The author is a Buddhist teacher and the book goes through several “ingredients” for living a good life. They include gratitude, joy, clear headedness, adventure, tolerance, and ethics.

Reading the book is like having a cup of tea with someone you really like as she recounts funn
...more
Victoria Klein
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Since I rented the book from the library, I didn’t have the benefit (or joy) of highlighting my favorite passages. Instead, I simply wrote down the page numbers. Of the book’s 182 pages, I noted 68 different pages that made me feel enchanted, inspired, and enlightened. For math geeks, that over 1/3rd of the entire tome. So yeah, it’s a “good” book.

Before I rave on about its greatness, let me give you an overview. The word “sutra” in the title no doubt makes you think of Buddhism, and that is wha
...more
Cal
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 actually, I seesawed between a 3 and 4 for this. It's nice, feel good. Not particularly challenging or thought provoking, most of the advice is fairly common knowledge if you read self help at all. It was a very easy read though, good if you want an easily digestible reminder for how to improve your outlook. I was a bit annoyed that she is apparently a "rabid environmentalist" and devoted to not causing harm but is not vegan or even vegetarian? (clam strips?), this strikes me as a bit ignora ...more
Denise
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Not surprisingly I checked this out of the library the same time I got that Anne Tyler book.

This one, however, I really enjoyed. A lot of westerners who discover and write about Buddhism take themselves way too seriously and can have a holier-than-thou problem. But Larkin offered lots of really compelling stories from her life, connecting them in a conversational - and most importantly unpretentious - way.

I'll remember a few of these stories and more than that, the style of her writing: simple a
...more
stephanie
Mar 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those seeking to live the life imagined
Hilarious, uplifting, and a spiritual treat. Larkin effortlessly conveys the sweet rewards of living a disciplined life. Her background in Buddhism does not prevent her from respecting other faiths and your personal belief system should not prevent you from clearly seeing the truth in the message she carries.
Sumi
Feb 21, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a nice book to read if you're trying to be Buddhist, but American at the same time. Larkin is good at distilling new-agey precepts into ways to go about life, when you want to be wise and wonderful, but you also want to eat chocolate cake for breakfast. She assures us it's a false choice! I read it chapter by chapter, when I don't want to get out of bed.
Jenny
May 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
I guess this will serve as a confessional of sorts to my fellow book club members: I thought it was so bad that I took it back to the library without finishing it. But I still look forward to our chocolate party!!!
Alison
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Geri Larkin islike a Buddhist Annie Lamott (or perhaps it's that Annie's a Christian Geri). Anyhoo...it was a pleasant little read about practical spirituality, but a bit scattered. The premise and the title which wooed me didn't really hold.

Carrie
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A straightforward, down-to-earth, hopeful, and encouraging book. It's encouraged me to consider reading the Flower Ornament sutra, which the book discusses. Useful for those with an interest in Zen but good for anyone, really - anyone who wants to live a life of calmness, gratitude, and joy.
Francesca
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure this should be a four starer because of how well it is written or put together. I've given it this because it affected me a lot. Perhaps the time was right. Perhaps the book is brilliant. Perhaps the stars aligned. I don't know. I did get a lot out of it and therefore recommend it.

Sabina
All the basic "i already know this but forgot" lessons for life in one book. Made me really think about how much we complain about everything. Start a tally - you'll be surprised.
Julie
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Marvelous gem of a book about life and living.
Maura Folan
Totally appreciated the approachable style to a self-journey. Reaching enlightenment seems daunting, but put in terms of cake, well, now it sounds like something I can do!
Suzanne
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
thanks for the recommendation sarah! but i keep craving chocolate everytime i look at the picture:)
Deb Davis
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Sweet, sincere, and great for beginners with some treats for those who have some knowledge of Buddhism.
Merrikay
One of my all time favorites.
Sarah V
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A humble, down-to-earth and utterly likeable book about Zen living.
Hollis
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spiritual
Nice, but just didn't speak to me
Erica
May 20, 2011 rated it liked it
easy read. commonsense/feelgood
Superstella
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Awesome, inspiring, and an easy read.
Kelley
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time I read this and I loved it even more. Larkin is a great story teller and funnier than ever. I have found all her books thought-provoking and uplifting.
Natalie
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book had a lot of good advice/ideas, but was poorly organized. I felt like it jumped around the whole time.
Bryan Richard
A really great book ( and especially since chocolate cake is fav). A Buddhist philosophy style of book.
Lindsey Campbell
Jun 15, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was uplifting, enlightening, full of insight, perspective and optimism; however, the story itself is not fabulously written or exciting.
m_forooz
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy, 2010
Staying calm in harsh times is the best way to be of help to others.
Be generous, and don't expect gratitude.
Appreciate all good things, no matter how tiny they may be.
Janet
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good overview of Buddhism as compared to ingredients in chocolate cake
Meghan Maxfield
rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2014
Kate Lawrence
rated it liked it
Jun 29, 2008
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