Sunday, 4 January 2009

Who ordered this truckload of dung?

Books on Buddhist teachings and philisophies are plenty but they tend to be on the dry side. I should know. Usually, when my wife and I go to the Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, we would come back with one or two books on Buddhism. I always struggle with them because they are written in a style that is too heavy, repetitive, without imagination and sometimes with too much use of Sanskrit terms. Perhaps the authors or translators did not know how to make their content more interesting.

But last week, we came back from the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple with a gem of a book, written by the same man who was in Penang to conduct a three-day Buddhist retreat for lucky lay-Buddhists.

From the moment that I picked up Ajahn Brahm's book, Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?, it has been my constant companion. There are 108 inspiring stories - or lessons - in this book and each of them is a joy to read and understand. If you do listen to the Bhante's talks on compact discs, you will be very familiar with most of the stories already. In fact, this book is a collection of his wit but laid out in a manner for everyone to enjoy.

In Australia, the book's alternative title is Opening the Door of Your Heart: And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness. But they are one and the same book. Recommended reading for anyone who want to start understanding Buddhism.

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