When Larkin was a college student, she took a job as a gardener-something she says she knew absolutely nothing about. Now more plant savvy, the former management consultant-turned-Buddhist priest and author (The Chocolate Cake Sutra) uses gardening and Shantideva's The Way of the Bodhisattvato mine themes for her text. Her points are simple: see clearly, become more intentional, tame your mind, give generously and live with "a wide-open heart." While advocating passion and enthusiasm, Larkin has learned the hard way that the best gardeners are patient. When we slow down, she writes, then "chaos becomes beauty, lethargy energy, insolvable problems solvable." Her spare but pithy prose, common sense and laugh-out-loud humor emphasize her points. Other lessons also resonate: Learn to lose. Let go of mistakes. Forgive. Be kind. And don't worry, for anxiety will block your joy. Larkin is at her best when she shares personal experiences and insights, rather than stories about others, and the few recipes seem random. Although Larkin's book is clearly aimed at Buddhists, at its heart is a lesson about staying awake and paying attention to life, which is good advice for readers of any religious stripe. Readers will find Larkin's central promise-"We can be happy. Right here. Right now"-difficult to resist. (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Plant Seed, Pull Weed should find a receptive audience in this part of the world [the Pacific Northwest], where there are garden centers galore and any number of people trying to live a calmer, more centered life.
Larkin takes readers into her vegetable and flower garden to teach them a few lessons about what our minds--and spirits--need to thrive.
...you’ll not only grow amazing vegetables...you’ll gain some Buddhist insight along the way.
Both edifying and entertaining.
Life as gardening is hardly an original metaphor...but Larkin breathes fresh life into it with anecdotes, insights, and enjoyable prose. Her focus on present-moment awareness and being ‘as wise and compassionate as we can be, right where we are’ will resonate with all readers.
What a joy to find spiritual writing so deeply rooted in the life of the earth. If the Buddha were alive today, Geri Larkin would be his gardener.