Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Few Good Reads

Books on Buddhism both academic and popular continue to come out in large numbers. Of course, as one would expect, they range from poor to excellent. An example of the first would be Greek Buddha by Christopher Beckwith which takes 275 pages of padding to explain what seems to be a rather tenuous thesis. I had to struggle to finish it. Matthieu Ricard’s Altruism on the other hand, is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Don’t be put off by its 849 pages. Ricard uses every one of them to present the latest research on altruism, compassion and empathy in an easy-to-read format. I opened the book at random    with the intention of just skimming through it (its size initially put me off) only to find myself engaged almost immediately. Then I sat down and read it from cover to cover. Now I am going through it for a second time.
Here are a few others which have attracted my attention of late.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monks And Football

It seems that Lester City has never once got into the UK’s top league until now. But the team’s new  owner, a Thai millionaire, brought a  number of monks from Thailand to the UK to bless, scatter ‘holy  water’ on, and distribute ‘holy cloths’ to the team members and Bingo! the team’s fortunes have unexpectedly, some are saying  miraculously, changed. And of course there is no other possible or plausible  explanation for this reversal other than the monks and their  water and cloths. It’s really good to see monks becoming more ‘socially engaged’.