No, I’m not paying these people!
I originally came across Bodhipaksa’s work on the Wildmind website when I first became a Buddhist coming on two years ago now and I was looking for accessible resources that I could use to accelerate my spiritual development. I have found Bodhipaksa’s work to be ideal to fill that niche in my spiritual appetite and his latest work Living As A River: Finding Fearlessness In The Face Of Change is no exception.
Bodhipaksa uses storytelling along with fact after scientific fact to confront some of the myths that we have accumulated throughout our lives; that we are fixed beings living in a fixed permanent world just being one of them.
In what amounts nothing short of brilliance Bodhipaksa in one instance uses the story of The Vin Fiz; the first attempt by a man to fly east to west across the United States in an aeroplance to smash the myth of a fixed permanent self and explain the difficult concept of “no self” or “anatta”. This particular story and explanation of “no self” and “anatta” is the crescendo of the whole book however the book does not end here.
Bodhipaksa then continues throughout the book continuing through the six elements as one would peel away at an onion except with this onion you don’t want it to end. This book is definitely the kind of book that makes you think throughout and consider the book as a whole and the book as a sum of its parts.
For those with some experience in Buddhism; chapters 14: Stepping Into The Stream and 15: The Self Beyond Measure could well be considered a cheat sheet for anybody wanting to move their practice to the next level.
Complete with things to look out for in your practice the chapter on Stepping Into The Stream is a mirror for the experienced and not experienced a like and would be worth buying the book for this chapter alone.
The final chapter The Self Beyond Measure polishes up on the content previously discussed and brings the book to an orderly close.
I have given this review a five star recommendation as a reflection of the overall quality of the content of the book. I would recommend it to anybody with a basic background in Buddhism and upwards. I consider this book an essential element of my Buddhist library alongside other greats I have such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Ajahn Chah.
You can buy Living as a River from Amazon, of course, but there are links to other outlets here.