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

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  4,515 ratings  ·  470 reviews
“Laugh your way to enlightenment” with this inspirational and light-hearted collection of stories from beloved Buddhist teacher Ajahn Brahm.

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 Buddh
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Wisdom Publications (first published 2004)
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Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After listening to a talk by Ajahn Brahm when he visited Singapore many years ago, I was so impressed by his delivery that I bought “Opening the Door of Your Heart” on impulse. Before this, I had never read a book with spiritual content. What surprised me after I finished this book was that you did not have to be a Buddhist to enjoy the book. In fact, in the short anecdote on “What’s in a name?”, Ajahn Brahm spelled his name as such:

B – for Buddhist
R – for Roman Catholic
A – for Anglican
H – for H
I can't praise this book highly enough. Firstly, let me say I have no interest in pursuing Buddhism (or any other religion), and I am also not the type to be found in the "self-help" section. But this book is a thing of absolute beauty. On the two occasions I've read through it - firstly whilst going through a messy breakup in 2008, and again recently whilst confronted with a different flavour of awful - different stories have jumped out at me and helped me find peace. Reading it really is like ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me tell you a story: once there was a little frog who went to see a Buddhist monk-ey speak at an amphibian university. The frog had great expectations, for its little heart was open and it had much respect for the enlightened monk-ey. For the most part it was a fine speech – the monkey advocated such wonderful virtues as peace and compassion. The frog certainly felt, by the end, that it understood and appreciated Buddhism much better than she had before. Then the monkey went on to speak abou ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-enjoy-again, okc
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 t
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 uni
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Wilson Liaw
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Aurora Shele
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favorites
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.
Dilushani Jayalath
My first book read which was written by Ajahn brahm Thero. Superb. Brings a sort of inner calm within yourself after reading. Not a single boring word. Altogether funny and full of advice.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 t
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.-
Ubah Khasimuddin
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Opening the Door of Your Heart is a collection of Ajahn Brahms most memorable and interesting stories that tell important Buddhist lessons in a fun, interesting and relevant way. Brahm makes Buddhism accessible for everyone, especially for lay novices like myself.

I've been a listener of Ajahn Brahm's podcast for awhile now and I love his voice and style. I was a little leery to listen to this audiobook because it wasn't narrated by Brahm himself (he is so wonderful at telling his own stories). I
Casey Larue
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. It read beautifully and was just so fun. I love Ajahn Brahm, I found him through Youtube and he is simple amazing. He makes things easy to understand and just has fun. This book helps you find compassion and look at things from a different light! I loved it! It's a must read! All the short little stories are amazing and you can learn a great deal from each of them! :D ...more
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 12, 2009 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Laurent Videau
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
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.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 Bra ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Mark Robison
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 fu ...more
Cathreen Shiucheng
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 simi ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first u probably think short stories might be lame or boring, but Ajahn Brahms way of telling stories is unique and humorous. Since this book has no straight story and gathers just the experience of a Thai monk, I was skeptic about it. But right after the first story I felt so relieved and couldn’t stop reading. Great work of a great man. Really recommend :)
Hasini | bibliosini
I enjoyed reading this more than I thought I would.
Kathy Wright
I started off reading with "an open heart", ready to take on some of Ajan Barhm's life lesson stories and become that "good person"... Some stories are very good and definately made me realise there are always different ways to view a situation - things are not always as they immediately seem. I was reading in small chunks each night, and trying to reflect the next day on what I had read and put it into practise. I thought I was plodding along ok with an "enlightened" view of situations and circ ...more
Beau Raines
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 th
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you're reading what everybody else is reading, you can only thinking what everybody else is thinking--another good quote.

at first, i didn't like the cover of it's book, why, because i thought that it was a child book and look how much the pages it take! but my chemist teacher borrow it to me, he said that this one is good enough for me.

and then yes, its more than just good book, this book teach me how to open-up my mind, to appreciate every little things, to give more, to forgive more, and to
Nikki Kim
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 compa
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it

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 be
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
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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 ...more

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