Buddha in Your Backpack: Everyday Buddhism for Teens

Buddha in Your Backpack: Everyday Buddhism for Teens

by Franz Metcalf, Song Yoon, Monk Song Yoon
     
 

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A guide for navigating the teen years, Buddha in Your Backpack is for young people who want to learn more about Buddhism or for those who simply want to understand what’s going on inside themselves and in the world around them. Buddha in Your Backpack tells Buddha’s life story in a fashion teens will relate to, describing Buddha as a youngSee more details below

Overview

A guide for navigating the teen years, Buddha in Your Backpack is for young people who want to learn more about Buddhism or for those who simply want to understand what’s going on inside themselves and in the world around them. Buddha in Your Backpack tells Buddha’s life story in a fashion teens will relate to, describing Buddha as a young rebel not satisfied with the answers of his elders. It then introduces Buddha’s core teachings with chapters like “All About Me” and “Been There, Why’d I Do That?” The author presents thoughtful and spiritual insights on school, dating, hanging out, jobs, and other issues of special interest to teens — inviting readers to look inside themselves for answers.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Metcalf offers teens a practical approach to applying the insights of Buddhism to their everyday lives in this down-to-earth guide. The guide works because the author treats both teens and Buddhism with respect. Metcalf views adolescence as a unique and important time in which teens face real spiritual dilemmas and opportunities. He does not dumb down the subject for teens, but applies Buddhist teaching to real-life teen concerns including family conflicts, friendships, grades, peer pressure, body image, dating, and sex. And what does Buddhism teach teens about sex? According to Metcalf, it is simple, which he stresses is not the same as easy: Do not have sex that causes harm to you or others, and if one does choose to have sex, use a condom. The advice is illustrated with quotes from teens who have applied Buddhism to their own lives. Refreshingly, the author does not attempt to convert readers to Buddhism. Rather, he urges them to use the helpful wisdom of Buddhist teachings regardless of the religion with which they identify. Metcalf's tone is conversational and straightforward. His concise introduction to the life of the Buddha and the basics of Buddhist teachings is appropriate for newcomers as well as for teens who have some familiarity with the practice. Because Metcalf concentrates on the here and now, however, those looking for a more philosophical discussion of Buddhist ideas on topics such as reincarnation or the afterlife might be disappointed. The goal here is to show readers how they can put Buddhism to work in their own lives, and the author explains how teens can use different types of Buddhist meditation techniques. The book closes with a list of books and Web sites formore information. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Seastone Press/Ulysses Press (P. O. Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703), 244p.; Illus. Further Reading., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
—Amy Luedtke
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Metcalf straddles an interesting line with great success: avowedly evangelistic, his book nevertheless repeatedly reminds readers that Buddhism in general and the specific form of it embraced here are not likely to appeal to everyone. As such, the tone is both enthusiastic and testimonial without being pushy or "in your face." Whether discussing home and the family, school, self-image, sex, or drugs, the author's advice aims always at what is healthy and what reduces the amount of suffering in the world. Unlike other guides to living produced from a religious viewpoint, this book eschews discussion of morality and hews close to a practical line-not what is "good" but rather what is good for you. The author also emphasizes the necessity of self-awareness and rational independent decision making over rote following of rules-a stance that will raise hackles in many communities when the subject is teen sexuality or substance abuse. Metcalf also surveys the life and basic teachings of Buddha and makes recommendations for those who want to attempt to walk the path of Buddhism. He examines various schools of the religion, gives instructions for types of meditation, and explains that incorporating Buddhist principles into one's life need not mean a conversion to Buddhism or renunciation of other religious affiliations. While its frank and nonjudgmental approach to certain areas of teenage life will likely lead to censure in some corners, Buddha in Your Backpack is flush with good advice, sensibly given. As such it should prove useful both to students interested in Buddhism and to others who simply need good counsel. In fact, Metcalf's approach is so down-to-earth and inviting that many adults may sneak it off the shelves for themselves.-Coop Renner, Blackshear Elementary School, Austin, TX

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569753217
Publisher:
Ulysses Press
Publication date:
11/15/2002
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
352,022
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 5.48(h) x 0.68(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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