July 15, 2010

Stumbling into the Buddha in Brooklyn

I have always found it interesting when books seem to randomly, perhaps auspiciously, find their way into my life. I find it particularly interesting when these books are dharma books. I am sure many of you out there have experienced this as well, but occasionally it is as if we do not find certain teachings, but they find us.

A few days ago, while walking my dog, I found myself straying from the usual route and before long, the two of us were taking a long walk through the streets of Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a fascinating, complex, and vast borough, and I have always loved the fact that no matter how long I live there, I can still discover neighborhoods I've never seen before. On one block I came across an old man selling books out of a milk crate. Most all were novels save an old, beat-up copy of Introducing Buddha, a short illustrated introduction to Buddhism written by Jane Hope and illustrated by Borin Van Loon. Five minutes and five dollars later I found myself sitting on neareby steps reading while my dog caught his breath in the shade. As I read I quickly noticed that beyond it's comic-book charm, it contained some surprisingly pithy and well-written descriptions:

Here are a few pages from it:

On lineage and knowledge:

On Mahayana:

On absolute and relative truth:

On Buddhism in "The West":

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nyima's picture

Yes, sitting on the steps with The Treasure, relishing the auspicious occasion. I too shared in the moment. Never heard of the book/author. Loved the bread/baker metaphor and illustrations, especially. May you continue to have and share your discoveries. Nyima

Eda's picture

I love books that make you think...I can only imagine those steps in Brooklyn and the shady tree adding to the facinating subject the book...and your dog enjoying the reprise from the hot sun...such is life! Thank you for walking me through the streets of Brooklyn (a place I have not physically been) and sitting under the tree with your dog. Sending you and your dog much love... :))

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