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The Accidental Buddhist (2 Cassettes)

The Accidental Buddhist (2 Cassettes)

4.4 5
by Dinty W. Moore, Jack Hawkins (Read by)

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When Dinty Moore was fifteen and on a Catholic Youth retreat weekend at a monastery in upstate New York, he thought for a brief moment he might grow up to be a priest. Instead, over the years, he lost his faith. "Twenty-five years later, I found myself at the doorway of a different monastery," Moore writes. " And the monks? Well, this time the monks were Buddhists.


When Dinty Moore was fifteen and on a Catholic Youth retreat weekend at a monastery in upstate New York, he thought for a brief moment he might grow up to be a priest. Instead, over the years, he lost his faith. "Twenty-five years later, I found myself at the doorway of a different monastery," Moore writes. " And the monks? Well, this time the monks were Buddhists."

The Accidental Buddhist is the funny, provocative story of how Dinty Moore, as American as Huckleberry Finn, went looking for the faith he'd lost in what might seem the most unlikely of places: the ancient Eastern tradition of Buddhism. Like George Plimpton venturing into the world of professional sports, Dinty Moore enters the retreat centers, zendos, and meditation halls that have been taking root in every corner of America.

Moore takes the time to see what Buddhism has to offer the harried, hassled American of the new century. He explores the different varieties of American Buddhism, attends rallies, even tracks down and questions the Dalai Lama. In the process, much to his own surprise, he finds himself fascinated and moved by what he encounters.

For anyone who has wondered about the gorwing visibility of Buddhism, Dinty Moore demystifies and explains the contradictions and concepts of this most mystic-seeming of religious traditions, while putting it into an American context. Those already interested in Buddhism will find The Accidental Buddhist a plain-spoken, insightful look at the dharma in America.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moore's hilarious and sometimes irreverent look at Buddhism is a perfect primer for the budding Buddhist." - Publishers Weekly (Sept 15, 1997)

Library Journal
In this succinct reading by Jack Hawkins, author Moore relates how persistent dissatisfaction and a hollowness in his life led him, a college writing professor, to investigate the resurgence of Buddhism (Algonquin, 1997). His self-styled American Buddhism Project led him to visit several diverse monasteries and retreats and delve into the wealth of contemporary literature. His insouciant account of these experiences makes the oftentimes impenetrable concepts of Buddhism accessible to the reader and contains striking, and important, parallels and contrasts between his own Catholic upbringing and ancient Buddhist traditions. Highly recommended.Linda Bredengerd, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Bradford, Pa.

Product Details

Macmillan Audio
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4.68(w) x 7.04(h) x 0.68(d)

Meet the Author

Dinty W. Moore has worked as a documentary filmmaker, professional modern dancer, wire service journalist, and college creative writing professor. He has published fiction and poetry in numerous literary magazines and was awarded a 1992 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction Writing. He is the author of one book of nonfiction, The Emperor's Virtual Clothes: The Naked Truth About Internet Culture. He lives with his wife and daughter in State College, Pennsylvannia.

Read by Jack Hawkins.

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The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
hfineisen More than 1 year ago
I finished this book while in the middle of reading the Dalai Lama's Autobiography and strangely, my enjoyment of both was enhanced. Moore is looking for American Buddhism and may have found it, or the fact that there really is no "American" Buddhism. His various and varied experiences in this quest showcase the Dalai Lama's own discourse on Buddhism in the West. The Accidental Buddhist is a fun yet informative read that acts as a nice companion to the subject and headier reads. I will read more Dinty W. Moore
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book introduces the idea that humor and spiritual exploration do not need to be mutually exclusive. Dinty Moore's ability to convey his own self-doubt, 'Monkey Mind', and the beginning of his unexpected Buddhist odyssey was wonderfully written and easy to identify with as an educated, scientific-minded but curious skeptic. I have circulated this book around to many in my circle of agnostic friends. It has been, to date, my favorite 'exploration' book. If you have any interest or curiosity about the basics of Buddhism, please indulge yourself in this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came across this book while browsing in a university bookstore which is in partnership with Barnes & Noble. Over the years, I've started--and stopped--reading several books on Buddhism when the subject got a little too complex for my non-philosophical oriented mind. Moore's book is a WONDERFUL example of Buddhist principles just by being simple, entertaining, easy to read and relate to if you don't want to get into deep philosophical reading. I loved it! Best bonus for me: as a 'baby boomer' who has attended Zen Retreats (one led by someone mentioned in Moore's book) and Mindfulness seminars, no one ever made an obtuse album title 'Catch Bull at Four' by the spiritually-seeking '70s singer Cat Stevens (now known as Yusef Islam) make sense without even mentioning the album or the album's cover illustration! If you don't understand that connection but remember the album, read this book--it provides an 'enlightened' moment. Heck, just read the book anyway if you are interested in the diversity of Buddhism, American Style!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like so many of us baby-boomers, Dinty W. Moore found himself disillusioned with the punitive, simplistic, and rather scarey Roman Catholicism he grew up with in the last 50s and early 60s, and like so many of us, he embarked on his own journey of investigation into the world of Buddhism, inspired by reading Thich Nhat Hahn's 'Being Peace'. Fortunately, Moore is a cynic and a skeptic, in addition to being a very good writer, and the journey he shares with us is often laugh-out-loud funny, and sometimes quite touching, as he participates in several Buddhist retreats, events, and interviews with prominent figures in American Buddhism. It's a quick, entertaining read...I finished it off in about a week of sessions on the stationary bike...and has quite a bit of information about Buddhism, as well as much food for thought about meditation, mindfulness, and the Middle Way. I can wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone who is on a spiritual journey...and isn't that just about all of us?