Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Breakfast with Buddha - June's Book Discussion Title

Everyone in the group found something to like about Breakfast with Buddha by Ron Merullo, with mostly everyone really enjoying this selection. We agreed that while it may not be the exhaustive, comprehensive choice if you want to learn or practice Buddhism, reading this book is a good way to start thinking about how we live our lives, and how we might seek peace in spiritual but ordinary ways.

Breakfast with Buddha was a quick, light read in many ways. The main character of Otto is well written. Otto is presented as a good man - husband, father, person - who is seeking something, but he hasn’t quite figured out what yet. As a result of his road road trip to North Dakota with Volya Rinpoche, he learns how to seek. Rinpoche’s philosophy is a mixed bag of Eastern religions, and not strictly Buddhist. Some participants liked that ecletic approach. Merullo uses his story to explore deep human issues in an accessible and even humorous way, making it easy for readers to open up to alternative thinking, as he pits the skeptic Otto against the guru Rinpoche.

Even those who faulted the book as predictable in plot and bordering on pop psychology, did enjoy the amusing moments, and the descriptions of the road trip across the mid-west, with the savory stops in wayside eating places an interesting sideline. Readers enjoyed the bowling alley and miniature golf scenes, too. You will have to read this book to find out why.

Our Thursday evening group is wrapping up this year’s list next month with M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating. We will meet at a local restaurant (TBA) for the discussion and a pay-your-own-way dinner.

We do not meet in August, but will resume for another 11 months of reading in September. Please consider joining us. PL



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