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What the Buddha Never Taught

What the Buddha Never Taught

by Tim Ward

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
According to Ward's delightful account of a stay in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, there are many things that the Buddha never taught. One is the extreme rigor of the Pah Nanachat monastery, involving rising at 3 a.m. for chanting, walking on gravel roads in bare feet and eating only one meal a day. Another, Ward concludes, is that all this self-denial and sacrifice is ultimately hollow. The final lesson is the redemptive power of laughter. Ward, a Canadian journalist, traveled around Asia for six years, eventually winding up at Pah Nanachat, which was built to spread Theravada Buddhism to farangs (or non-Thais). Among the motley crew the author finds at the monastery are an ex-gospel singer from England, a former accountant from China and a former real estate millionaire from Chicago. The head monk is an Australian who used to play jazz guitar in his last life. The book is Ward's affectionate, and often very humorous, account of his sojourn in this place of meditation and renunciation. The volume could have been improved by some sharp editing, but its little redundancies and repetitions help capture the often monotonous life of the monk. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This book is a first-person narrative of the author's training as a monk in a Theravada Buddhist monastery in Thailand. Unlike other books in which Westerners find new meanings to life from Eastern religious training or praise Eastern mysticism over the West, there are no enlightenments, but there is bureaucracy, drudgery, and dogmatic laws. Ward's book paints an exotic, exclusive world and fills it with complex characters and contradictory incidents. It succeeds in relating the frustrations, confusions, and, surprisingly, humor that accompanies Eastern religious training and speaks of the author's experiences honestly. Recommended for public libraries.-- Glenn Masuchika, Chaminade Univ. Lib., Honolulu

Product Details

Somerville House, USA

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