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Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties

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The 108 pieces in the international bestseller Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? offer thoughtful commentary on everything from love and commitment to fear and pain. Drawing from his own life experience, as well as traditional Buddhist folk tales, author Ajahn Brahm uses over thirty years of spiritual growth as a monk to spin delightful tales that can be enjoyed in silence or read aloud to friends and family.

Featuring titles such as “How to Be a VIP” and “The Worm and His Lovely Pile of Dung,” these wry and witty stories provide playful, pithy takes on the basic building blocks of everyday happiness.

Features of this book:

This book contains both encouraging, uplifting stories and thoughtful teachings in Ajahn Brahm’s characteristic joyful style is certain to be an enjoyable addition to any individual or family’s most treasured collection.

288 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

Ajahn Brahm

69 books400 followers
Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (lovingly known to most as Ajahn Brahm) was born Peter Betts in London, United Kingdom in August 7, 1951. He came from a working-class background, and won a scholarship to study Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in the late 1960s. After graduating from Cambridge he taught in high school for one year before travelling to Thailand to become a monk and train with the Venerable Ajahn Chah Bodhinyana Mahathera.

Whilst still in his years as a junior monk, he was asked to undertake the compilation of an English-language guide to the Buddhist monastic code - the Vinaya - which later became the basis for monastic discipline in many Theravadan monasteries in Western countries.

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5 stars
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164 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 191 reviews
Profile Image for Cheryl .
9,038 reviews391 followers
May 19, 2018
Hm. Can't write a proper review. Ok, comments only, and out of order.
Know that I'm seriously considering adding this to my Wishlist to Buy shelf. And, yes, sometimes items from that do actually get bought. So, that's high praise.
Know, also, that I've been looking forward to reading this for years, ever since it was a GR giveaway and I did not win, but this is the first time I've had access to a library copy. So, years of expectation and it did not disappoint.

Um, most of the advice is familiar to us from coffee mugs & inpirational posters, and from other sources. Most is also pretty darn universal and almost self-evident. But:
Brahm (Ajahn seems to be a sort of title, meaning something like 'teacher' ?) has a way of making the point of each anecdote (joke, essay, story) clear, but in an absolutely delightful way. And the thing is, though these are mostly lessons we know (at least if we've been raising children, exploring identies, or doing any other sort of thoughtful refections), they are not necessarily lessons we're applying to our lives. And after reading Brahm's stories, I feel as if I'll be able to remember several of the things he's said, and actually apply them, and actually experience life more joyfully.

I would be even more likely to apply and enjoy them if I owned the book and could read one story each day, spending the day thinking about it in the back of my mind, sort of like Devotional readings. (Again, though, these are not spiritual, much less Christian; they're universal).

The sub-title is important. "Welcoming" challenges. Not just coping or overcoming. I mean, we'd have to become monks, living w/ austerity and discipline, to be as joyful as Brahm, I'm sure. But we can absolutely learn from his book how to walk that path, approach that goal... and it's a much better goal than just coping!

Unfortunately, I do have to say that the biggest personal challenge I'm facing right now (at age 55, with a retired husband and an almost empty nest and my own ill-health and personal demons) is one that I cannot find addressed by any of the stories in Brahm's book. ... Which is another reason to consider buying it.

Btw, I did learn a fair little bit of what it means to be the kind of Buddhist monk that Brahm is, and that was fascinating.

Definitely the lesson that I think will stick with me is the one that relates to such Western idioms as "accentuate the positive" and "don't be such a perfectionist" is the one about the 2 crooked bricks and the 998 perfect ones. (Although, as the story was going along, I [wrongly] predicted it was going to be about Wabi Sabi.)

The title story is great, too, though it might be more difficult to apply without conscious effort. What it boils down to is a reminder that dung is fertilizer... read the story to learn what to grow in your garden....

So, yeah. I liked this. But I don't have a lot to compare it to. I do like Zen Shorts and others by Jon J. Muth. I know that there are dense doorstoppers available. But are there other funny, wise, concise, modern books like this? Recommendations welcome!
3 reviews
January 1, 2014
A superb book. I originally got this from my public library, but I know I'll be purchasing my own personal copy soon. The stories in this book are fantastic, and definitely appropriate to the Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike.

One reviewer mentioned that not all the stories have meanings. Of course not! Some of the stories are there just to make you laugh. That's Ajan Brahm's style. He even included a story about why laughing is important! Some stories are just that - stories.

The vast majority are deeply profound, however. These stories will cause you to truly rethink your approach to life, at least they did for me. So many times I found myself nodding my head as I was reading, I returned to several of the stories on multiple occasions to really soak up the meaning.

This book will not disappoint: funny, insightful, deep in some parts and light in others. Not to mention, it's a quick read, and it's one that you can easily put down and return to again later. I quoted and sent a few of the stories in here to friends going through tough times. If I had to recommend one book that every unhappy person read, it would be this one.
Profile Image for Terry.
119 reviews6 followers
June 9, 2018
There are some practical pearls of wisdom in this work along with some complete and outright smulke-toe snits excommunicating "flying-dead-monkeys farts" - but they are still good for a few laughs at times.

Ergo, three stars.

More importantly, the author fails to address the "true reality" we have all faced since birth - "the truck just keeps on dumping its dung on a fairly regular" - which explains why most of us have such great empathy with our most kindred spirit in the known biosphere and universe - MUSHROOMS!

Cause we have all been living in dung forever- with no practical end in sight! And as our fellow Mushrooms also lament, "we are always knee deep in Dung (shit) too"

That's why my upcoming "New Dung Times" blockbuster intergalactic book is titled - "A Mushroom's Complete Guide to Survival'

Or, "Travelling with a Legendary Booga-Goma Zannob; High Priest Through the Villages of Toxo -plasmosis!

In stores soon!

В этой работе есть некоторые практические жемчужины мудрости, а также некоторые полные и откровенные слюнные пальцы, отлучающие от «пуля летящих мертвых обезьян», - но они все еще хороши для нескольких смехов порой.

Эрго, три звезды.

Что еще более важно, автор не обращается к «истинной реальности», с которой мы все сталкивались с самого рождения, - «грузовик просто продолжает сбрасывать свой навоз довольно регулярно», что объясняет, почему у большинства из нас такое большое сочувствие нашему самому родному духу в известной биосфере и вселенной - ГРИБЫ!

Потому что мы все навсегда живем в навозе - без практического конца! И, как жалуются наши собратьев-грибов, «мы всегда в коленях глубоко в навозе (дерьмо)»,

Вот почему моя предстоящая межгалактическая книга блокбастера «New Dung Times» называется «Полное руководство для выживания мусора»,

Или: «Путешествие с легендарным бого-гома-зонобом, первосвященником через деревни Токсо-плазмоза!

В магазинах скоро! (Меньше)

V etoy rabote yest' nekotoryye prakticheskiye zhemchuzhiny mudrosti, a takzhe nekotoryye polnyye i otkrovennyye slyunnyye pal'tsy, otluchayushchiye ot «pulya letyashchikh mertvykh obez'yan», - no oni vse yeshche khoroshi dlya neskol'kikh smekhov poroy.

Ergo, tri zvezdy.

Chto yeshche boleye vazhno, avtor ne obrashchayetsya k «istinnoy real'nosti», s kotoroy my vse stalkivalis' s samogo rozhdeniya, - «gruzovik prosto prodolzhayet sbrasyvat' svoy navoz dovol'no regulyarno», chto ob"yasnyayet, pochemu u bol'shinstva iz nas takoye bol'shoye sochuvstviye nashemu samomu rodnomu dukhu v izvestnoy biosfere i vselennoy - GRIBY!

Potomu chto my vse navsegda zhivem v navoze - bez prakticheskogo kontsa! I, kak zhaluyutsya nashi sobrat'yev-gribov, «my vsegda v kolenyakh gluboko v navoze (der'mo)»,

Vot pochemu moya predstoyashchaya mezhgalakticheskaya kniga blokbastera «New Dung Times» nazyvayetsya «Polnoye rukovodstvo dlya vyzhivaniya musora»,

Ili: «Puteshestviye s legendarnym bogo-goma-zonobom, pervosvyashchennikom cherez derevni Tokso-plazmoza!

V magazinakh skoro! (Men'she)

在这部作品中有一些实用的智慧珍珠,以及一些彻底的彻头彻尾的smulke-toe嗤之以鼻的“飞死猴子放屁” - 但它们仍然有时候会笑一些。


更重要的是,作者未能处理自诞生以来我们都面临的“真实现实” - “卡车只是继续向相当规律的粪便倾倒粪便” - 这就解释了为什么我们大多数人对我们最亲密的精神有如此的同情心在已知的生物圈和宇宙 - 蘑菇!

因为我们都永远生活在粪便中 - 没有实际的结局!正如我们的同类蘑菇也哀叹,“我们在粪(狗屎)也总是膝盖深”

这就是为什么我即将推出的“New Dung Times”一鸣惊人的星际书名为“蘑菇的生存指南”

或者,“与传说中的Booga-Goma Zannob一起旅行;通过Toxo村的高级牧师 - 肾脏移植!

很快在商店! (减)

جانب بعض القبعات الكاملة الصريحة الكاملة التي تطرد "فرتس الطير الميتة" - لكنها لا تزال جيدة لبعض الضحكات في بعض الأحيان.

إرجو ، ثلاث نجوم.

والأهم من ذلك ، أن المؤلف فشل في معالجة "الواقع الحقيقي" الذي واجهناه جميعًا منذ الولادة - "إن الشاحنة تستمر في التخلص من روثها بشكل منتظم إلى حد ما" - وهو ما يفسر سبب تعاطف معظمنا مع روحنا الأكثر شهرة في المحيط الحيوي والكون - MUSHROOMS!

لأننا جميعنا نعيش في الروث للأبد - بدون نهاية عملية في الأفق! وكما رثاء زملائنا الفطر أيضا ، "نحن دائما في عمق الركبة الروث (القرف) أيضا"

هذا هو سبب كتابي الجديد "Dung Times" الجديد بين المجرات بعنوان "دليل كامل للفطر من أجل البقاء"

أو "السفر مع الأسطوري بوغا-غوما زانوب ؛ رئيس الكهنة عبر قرى Toxo -plasmosis!
في المتاجر قريبا! (أقل)

Il y a quelques perles pratiques de la sagesse dans ce travail avec certains snits complètement et carrément smulke-toe excommunicating "farts de singes morts-volants" - mais ils sont toujours bons pour quelques rires parfois.

Ergo, trois étoiles.

Plus important encore, l'auteur n'aborde pas la «vraie réalité» à laquelle nous sommes tous confrontés depuis sa naissance: «le camion ne cesse de déverser ses excréments de façon régulière», ce qui explique pourquoi la plupart d'entre nous ont une telle empathie dans la biosphère et l'univers connus - CHAMPIGNONS!

Parce que nous avons tous vécu dans le fumier pour toujours - sans aucune fin pratique en vue! Et comme nos compagnons de champignons se lamentent aussi, "nous sommes toujours au plus profond de Dung (merde)"

C'est pourquoi mon livre intergalactique à succès "New Dung Times" s'intitule "Un guide complet sur la survie d'un champignon"

Ou, "Voyager avec un légendaire Booga-Goma Zannob, Grand Prêtre à travers les villages de Toxo -plasmose!

Dans les magasins bientôt!
1 review
July 19, 2009
Ajahn Brahm is definitely the happiest person I've met to this day . The stories in this book offer you lessons about life in such simple words. His sense of humour and the style of his writing , makes you feel that you're not reading a book , but listening to a friend .

This book is one the best books I've ever read for improved life .
Highly recommended for those who want a self-help book without being preached. It makes you laught at your own foolishness for taking life too heavily . If we can choose to be happy , contented and guilt-free , why do we always choose to be distressed ?
44 reviews13 followers
December 26, 2012
I've been watching Ajahn Brahm's dharma talks for a while now, and in a few of them he mentioned this book (don't worry, he's donating all of the book's profits to his Buddhist society, and the book is published by a non-profit publisher). If you've heard him speak, you're probably familiar with his conversational, story-based talks, where he pulls morals out of funny, engaging and entertaining stories, and turns archaic Buddhist stories into modern, funny stories. Even if you're not a Buddhist or into Buddhism, I think you'll be able to pull a lot out of this book. Nearly all of the stories are one or two pages long, so you'll be able to blow through this book in a few evenings.

If you're interested, I pulled a few of my favorite quotes from the book and posted them here: http://www.earplant.com/quotes/words-...
Profile Image for Aurora Shele.
323 reviews36 followers
August 26, 2016
Awesome book!! Funny, inspirational, nerve soothing, to be read and enjoyed in more than one time. Recommended to anyone, old or young, big or small, believer or non believer. And after reading this, don't get the audio book, just listen to Ajahn Brahm's talks. His voice is a million times better.

Second read: August 25th 2016
Always a friend.
Profile Image for Steve.
90 reviews
November 4, 2019
Ajahn Brahm is an English Buddhist monk who grew up in a post WWII working class family in England. He studied physics at Cambridge and then spent about 10 years in the jungles of Thailand learning from the great Ajahn Chah.

Ajahn Brahm is perhaps one of the best communicators among Theravada Buddhist monks. He knows his stuff, he is warm, he speaks optimistically, you really get the sense he cares, and he is funny.

Ajahn Brahm likes to teach by telling stories, believing that teachings put into the context of stories helps people to understand and remember those teachings.

This book is a collection of some of the many stories he has told.

Most of the stories about about 1 - 3 pages long, making it a perfect book to keep on a shelf at work to read in a few spare moments for some inspiration.

Ajahn Brahm is a decent writer, but he is an incredible speaker.

If you really want to see these stories and Ajahn Brahm shine watch one of his many Friday night Dhamma talks at the Buddhist Society of Western Austrailia (BSWA) youtube channel, or go to an excellent audio archive of his talks going back to the year 2000 at
Profile Image for SheAintGotNoShoes.
1,549 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2023

I read his ' Don't Worry be grumpy ' a few years ago and roared with laughter.
This book had me laughing less.
His descriptions of being a monk left me cold. Sleeping on concrete floors, eating one small bowl of food a day often with smelly rotted fish...austere is not the word to describe it. I can not even begin to understand why someone would choose to live what amounts to me as a masochistic lifestyle.

I take issue with him including a very disturbing story of a woman who was battered and beaten by her husband for years and his 'conversion' to being a 'a good man', as proof of what patience and forgiveness can effect. While he does say nobody need tolerate being abused and beaten, the fact that he included it at all, sends a message that there are no limits to what his religion says one must endure to be 'enlightened'. Huge turn off.

I took away what I liked, and left the rest behind. Draw your own conclusions.
Profile Image for Autumn.
62 reviews5 followers
January 7, 2019
I loved most of these stories and I have shared a lot of them in conversations with my friends. However, there was one story that really rubbed me the wrong way--one where he talked about how a woman suffered abuse for years, but kept showing her husband love and eventually her love changed him into the perfect husband. I understand the underlying message, but felt this was a very victim-shaming approach and upset me. I don't want to be honing in on the few "out of place bricks", as Brahm would put it, but if you married a truckload of dung and that truckload is beating you--don't for a second think that you just need to love that dung more and GET THE F OUT! <3
Profile Image for Ubah Khasimuddin.
425 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2016
Excellent! Superb! Wonderful! There are not enough positive adjectives to describe this book, I LOVED it. Brahm writes with such ease, the stories are easy to understand with terrific life lessons that I have already started applying to my life. Initially when I bought the book, I though I would read it and pass along, but it is so good, I'm planning on keeping it in my permanent collection and giving other copies as gifts (it was that good).
Brahm, an abbot, became a Buddhist monk early in life, after growing up in England and getting a physic's degree from Cambridge. The way he writes, I suspect is the way he speaks and it is such a kind and comfortable tone; making you want to have him as a friend or someone you could pour your heart out too.
The stories/lessons that particularly touched me were about laughing when you get angry or upset, anticipation makes fear/pain, creating happiness through laughter and taking oneself so seriously, and stop wasting our lives worrying about things, problems that have no solution?
The book is super easy to read, I recommend everyone read it at least once!
Profile Image for Jonathan O'Reilly.
4 reviews3 followers
February 16, 2011
Don't read this if you are interested in lessons on Buddhism. Read this if you are interested in knowing more about the personality of a Buddhist monk. Brahm's humor and unique Western roots provide for 180 entertaining brief life lessons that, while arriving at overwhelmingly passive and inappropriately reductionistic conclusions, make for an enjoyable book suitable for reading before bed.
Profile Image for Kirk.
32 reviews7 followers
August 31, 2008
If you're even remotely interested in self-improvement you should read this book.

Actually, its short stories make it a perfect bathroom read. Eliminate bodily waste and mental waste at the same time!
Profile Image for Laura.
24 reviews11 followers
May 8, 2009
Serious-minded yet light-hearted, Ajahn Brahm's been called the Seinfeld of Buddhist teachers, but I've felt more of a Lewis Grizzard vibe. More crafted toward easy consumption and joyful motivation rather than inspiring further study, I'd call this great reading for an afternoon in the hammock.
Profile Image for Dawn.
7 reviews
February 15, 2011
Despite the fact that I have read this book, I feel like this will be on my currently-reading list for some time. My advise: take your time, re-read stories that mean something to you, and allow the messages to sink in. -A wonderful book to return again and again.-
Profile Image for Laurent Videau.
59 reviews10 followers
April 12, 2013
I particularly loved, and was very touched, by the experience of this monk in a prison and how the tears of a cow changed the life of a though criminal.
Profile Image for Ilovesweets.
304 reviews4 followers
January 1, 2018
I may not know anything about Buddhism and, frankly, I am in no hurry to start learning, but this book is just beautiful and it can be taken separately, as good advice. The stories are simple to read and to understand but after almost every 2 or 3, I felt the need to pause for a minute, think about what I had just read and place some context from my own life to it. This is pretty unusual for me, but it was welcomed (especially at the beginning of a new year). I will say this, I believe Ajahn Brahm is a kind spirit, an intelligent man and a funny one to boost. If he had not been, perhaps his stories would have fallen on dead ears, would have felt stuffy and pedantic and we would have missed out on so much. Lucky us, right?
Profile Image for Mark Robison.
1,005 reviews73 followers
October 8, 2017
I listened to the audio version, called by the book's original (and boring) Australian title, "Opening the Door of Your Heart: And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness." If you try one Ajahn Brahm book, this is the one. It's light and funny (sometimes with groaningly bad jokes) yet really packs a punch. It's a perfect bedtime read with short, thoughtful stories, many of which put a spin on tales you’ve heard before, like the six blind men describing an elephant. His telling of the elephant story fundamentally changed my worldview on religion. For that alone, I will always cherish this book. Grade: A-
Profile Image for Cathreen Shiucheng.
167 reviews10 followers
April 19, 2020
It's a good book on the philosophy of life. Some of the chapters were part of Ajahn Brahm's Friday Dhamma talk. Really like this book as it reminds me to find my inner peace as well as to be grateful for whatever we have. Had a peaceful sleep with Ajahn Brahm's Let it Goooooo inner voice. Between, I really love pu pla ra which Ajahn Brahm hated it so much. The most disgusting part of this book were monks were served with sticky rice and boiled frogs. *Yucksssss* :) Ajahn Brahm's teaching is similar to the late Ajahn Chah's.
Profile Image for Bojana Vujović.
8 reviews3 followers
August 8, 2022
Potentially life-changing. :) What you get from it depends solely on how receptive you are while reading it and what aspects of you are in need of rewiring. Because of this, I will be getting back to this book many many times again!
Profile Image for Pam Varga.
44 reviews1 follower
December 12, 2022
This book is just so wonderful. I will definitely reread it as I do ‘don’t worry be grumpy’ and I absolutely recommend.
Profile Image for Beau Raines.
79 reviews5 followers
March 3, 2014
I re-read this book as part of the Whole Life Challenge - 10 minutes of meaningful reading a day. I'm so glad that I read it again. This book was a gift from a friend of mine and is an excellent read. It's not really intended to be be read cover to cover (except maybe after the first time), but it has a series of short vignettes and parables about topics covering fear, suffering, loss, love and more. Read it through and then come back to it as you encounter difficulties in your life.

This time through, one of the stories really struck home with me. Basically, its about what is important.

The most important time: now.
The most important people: the ones you're with.
The most important thing to do: care.

If you can care about and truly be involved with whomever is with you (even if its just you) at the moment, you'll have the best interactions and clarity.

I find that I sometime have such an active mind and I'm thinking ahead about possible negative outcomes and it just clouds my mood. Acting on that reading, I've actually been driving down the rod and thinking about something rather unpleasant and said to myself, "I'm driving now. That is what I need to care about."

This is an easy and enjoyable read. And like I did, its something that you should come back to periodically.
Profile Image for Nikki Kim.
1 review2 followers
May 28, 2010
I admit that I first started reading this book because the title intrigued me, which sounds pretty silly. I had also heard my mom praising Ajahn Brahm and his teachings on life's difficulties, so I also started reading with her encouragement.

As soon as I read the first story on the two bad bricks, I was hooked. Brahm has a voice that is at once calm and powerful, as well as scattered with a bit of insightful humor here and there. Just like a comforting friend. He touches on topics such as compassion and forgiveness and many more, which I admit seem very general at first. But the stories that are compiled under each section always lead to an underlying central message of said section.

Brahm combines his own experience, as well as stories from folklore and Buddhist traditions, to bring forth a book that helps you embrace life's difficulties because "they too will pass". The book itself is a great read that you would not want to pass up. Recommended for those who like Chicken Soup-style books.
Profile Image for Maggie.
714 reviews27 followers
March 3, 2011
I'd been looking forward to reading this book since I bought it some time ago. However I was quite disappointed in it. The book is divided into 108 short tales (some only 1 page, most 2 pages long). Most of the tales were simplistic, with only a couple staying with me. I know simplistic isn't necessarily bad, but I found this book too thin on context, a very quick read as a result, and annoying by the end.
704 reviews3 followers
July 27, 2018
This is a compilation of short essays written by a Buddhist monk. It's a quick read, and the lessons Brahm imparts in the book (like letting go of anger and accepting pain) are important and meaningful. His sense of humor doesn't really work for me, though, and since the book really hinges on that humor, the book doesn't work for me overall. He did make me laugh out loud a few times, however, and his insights on managing emotion are good food for thought.
Profile Image for Sarah.
35 reviews28 followers
April 18, 2011
great book from a one of the head abbots in Australia, from the Thai forest Buddhist lineage. I have enjoyed his dharma talks posted on youtube for a while now. This book is a collection of short stories and anecdotes on a variety of themes. very humorous, you don't have to be a Buddhist to enjoy.
Profile Image for Leo Daphne.
Author 5 books2 followers
January 22, 2015
I read the indonesian version of this book (but i can't find it in the database). In my opinion, it's the best book of Ajahn Brahm, which tells many beautiful stories with deep meaning about life and of course: enlightenment.
Profile Image for Rohit Seth.
10 reviews
March 20, 2013
I have been listening to Ajahn Brahm's podcasts for over 5 years now. And this book is my favorite bedside companion. Some beautiful wisdom here.
Profile Image for Jim.
244 reviews
August 2, 2016
I like it. When things get hard it cheers me up.
Profile Image for Nicole.
58 reviews
October 20, 2021
The 108 stories are classified into 9 different themes: perfection and guilty, anger and forgiveness, creating happiness, critical problems and their compassionate solutions, wisdom and inner silence, the mind and reality, values and the spiritual life, freedom and humility, and suffering and letting go. Each chapter is told with a combination of parables and real-life experiences.
I love reading how every story enfolds though the meanings aren't always out in the open. What I love the most about his way of storytelling is how seamlessly he blends his witty remarks in. Though the topics are serious and deep, he managed to find a way to insert jokes and humor inside - at the right timing! I laughed a good deal when I read some of the anecdotes.
My most favorite part is when he gave insights into lives behind bars. It could be because I had experiences in dealing with ex-offenders before, hence I could imagine the context easily in my head. But even not, I'm grateful that I can peek into the prisoners' minds from this book.
Another thing that intrigued me was how his teachings though common do stick in my head. Not all for sure, but say when I faced a series of "unfortunate" tasks, his noteworthy quote "the hardest part of anything in life is thinking about it" thankfully resurfaced. Saved me the trouble!
In summary, this book is light, insightful, and quick to read. It won't disappoint! It's the kind of book that you can put down and return to again when you need a perk-me-up. Greatly recommended!
Profile Image for Brian Wilcox.
Author 1 book649 followers
November 1, 2018
This collection of stories with comments reads like a 'book of virtues.' That is, for me, its strength and weakness. To speak of virtue and not moralize and reduce virtue to simplistic advice on behavior can be a challenge. I commend the author on accepting the challenge, and do sense he navigated well his objective.

While acknowledging the stories are of varying quality and comments do appear trite often, I see this book as an excellent introduction to living a virtuous life, with stories appropriate for all ages.

While the author is a Theravada Buddhist monk, the stories are written for a general readership. Persons of religious faith, or not, will find the stories and comments inclusive to them.

The title suggested, for me, the book would be humorous. Much of it was not. Yet, some stories, especially in the second half of the book, were reflective of the title.

I have rated the book 3, rather than 4, mainly due to the varied quality of content within the book. Any book of stories is open to such, and, for me, the stories themselves and the comments were more what I had anticipated from this book in the second half of it.

If one is looking for an inspirational read, I found this book not to be of that nature. Rather, Brahm offers us a pragmatic introduction, oft didactic in tenor, sharing wise guidance without becoming moralistic.
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