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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

The Buddha in Your Mirror: Practical Buddhism and the Search for Self - Woody Hochswender, Greg Martin, Ted Morino This book is absurd. It amounts to a marketing brochure for snake oil. The snake oil is a string of nonsense syllables that supposedly, when chanted, will cure any malady emotional or physical including cancer. I would suggest that instead of chanting you use the time more wisely by trying to reason out a solution to your problems. However, the proposal that you chant the nonsense syllables is repeated so often throughout the book that it becomes a chant itself. Then there is the question of supernatural entities. The book claims that Buddhism does not include the belief in a soul, but then says that there is something in all of us called the self that existed before we were born and continues to exist after we die into eternitie. Well, you can call it a soul or you can call it a self, but if it is described the same way and is purported to behave the same way then it is just another name for the same thing and in this case the same thing is a superstitious concept. At least the authors seem to be a little embarrassed by the belief in reincarnation and describe the popular concept of it as a cartoon caricature of reincarnation. But then they go on to say that one should view death as similar to sleep in that when one is tired at the end of the day one looks forward to sleep and awakening refreshed and renewed the next day. The point is that after one dies one then awakens in a new incarnation after the rest of death. This is all downplayed, though, in what is apparently a bit of embarrassment at promoting reincarnation. If you are looking for a bit of knowledge about a certain sect of Buddhism then this book might be of some value, but if you are looking for direction or a solution to the problems of life then skip it.