Category Archives: The Buddhist teachings
‘Buddha or Bust’ is a 318 page long book written by Perry Garfinkel, who has been since a long time a contributor to ‘New York Times.’ This book is different from most other books on the subject, as it follows a different path to understand Buddha and his teachings.
Moreover, it is in simple English, which is apt for readers of all ages. Following is a brief Buddha or Bust summary about what the book speaks for.
It was 2,500 years ago when Buddha came up with the philosophy of Buddhism. The book revolves around that period to understand the regional problems that grieved during those eras. It also explains how Buddha was successful in handling those problems by imparting wisdom though his teachings and practicing ‘Dhamma.’
The book explains the art of Buddhism and various factors that lead to its global widespread. Moreover, Buddha or Bust summary takes an account of various transitions that took place after teaching Buddhism. Many thieves quit robbing after incorporating Buddhism in their lives. Buddha was successful in creating social harmony and welfare through his teachings.
Unlike other texts on Buddhism, this book speaks unto its readers. Perry Garfinkel has taken enough care by providing appropriate references in his text. Moreover, he talked about his own experiences that he encountered while writing his book.
He gives an artistic description about the journey he took around the globe to study the essence of Buddha and his teachings. On his way, he met various masters such as:
- Zen archers
- Indian Nuns
- Kung Fu monks
- Dalai Lama
Further, the author has taken efforts to make his work look like a travelogue taking its readers through the mist of histories understanding the story and principles of Buddha like never before.
In fact, Buddha or Bust summary leads to widespread acceptance of book. In his book, author Perry Garfinkel illuminates the wider aspects that made Buddha infamous. Moreover, the book serves as an eventful travelogue catching all aspects of Buddha. It speaks about wider implications that Buddha provided to the society through his service and teachings.
Most people who have already read about Buddha know that Buddha was like a guiding light for Society some 2,500 years back in time.
In fact, Buddha’s consciousness and understanding about life was far ahead from that time. He used to enact many people into practicing meditation. Moreover, he explained that through meditation and self-observance, one can find his/her liberation from miseries and ill account from the past life. He believed in ‘Karma’ and taught righteous and good conduct through his teachings.
Perry Garfinkel, the writer of Buddha or Bust was on a 10-week journey around the world to know about the actual reason for the ever-increasing popularity of Buddhism. His prime aim was to find out if the 2,500 years old teachings of Buddhism could solve the problems that the world is currently facing.
To know more, the author traveled to numerous countries of the world such as India, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the United States where many people still practice Buddhism.
Garfinkel’s Buddha or Bust Journey starts from India, where he comes across several Dalit families who had converted to Buddhism. Garfinkel sited this as a movement to eradicate caste system. He then moved on to Sri Lanka where he met Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, who founded a political organization named Sarvodaya Shramadana movement completely based on the Buddhist principles.
His next stop was Thailand where he came across a group named International Network of Engaged Buddhists. Moving further to China, the writer comes across monks practicing Chinese martial arts.
Garfinkel was highly amazed to find that Buddhism was actually responsible for creating a social unity among the people. Therefore, he states that as water takes the shape of the cup it is poured in, similarly Buddhism easily fits into the culture of almost every country of the world.
In Tihar jail, India, Garfinkel comes across prisoners who underwent an immense transformation after practicing a popular meditation technique known as Vipassana. Numerous patients in the United States have reported to have witnessed decreased physical as well as psychological symptoms drastically soon after they started practicing Vipassana.
Buddhism is popular among people belonging to various religions. According to a study, around 30% of the Americans convert to Buddhists hold a Jewish background. This was enough for Garfinkel to portray the popularity of Buddhism not just in Asia, but also in the western countries.
Although Buddhism has its origin in India, Garfinkel feels that numerous western ideas have contributed greatly towards making Buddhism more influential. For instance, while in China, he comes across Helen Ma, a psychologist who had acquired a short duration training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) from Worcester and then returned to her country.
During his trip, Garfinkel also came across nations that controlled or in a way restricted various Buddhist activities. This to him seemed to be a bit disappointing. When you read the book, you realize that Perry Garfinkel also holds a fine sense of humor. The entire Buddha or Bust journey according to Garfinkel was highly exciting and unique.