Now I must admit, I'm not a Buddhist. You don't have to be to enjoy this book! I've found the chapters are short and the delivery simple. There is enough background information on the religion, common words, and meanings that you can breeze along without stumbling on terms or trying to infer meaning. I like that.
No matter what you believe or what you believe in, there is never anything wrong with learning more about the world and those in it. Having an open mind and living intentionally have become two of my major goals in life and also in parenting. Happier people have been proven to be great at living IN THE MOMENT. This is something I struggle with and have sad, regretful thoughts about several occasions and events when I wish I had been more present.
One example is parenting—all of those sleepless nights, tantrums, and diapers—things a lot of parents are guilty of wanting to rush through and I’m guilty of those at times as well. If I had been able to be present, truly present in each of those moments, I may not be AS sad as I watch my little baby grow into a big boy. It’s always bittersweet, you want your child to be prosperous and healthy of course, and if they WEREN’T growing, you’d be beside yourself with worry. I’m thankful for a healthy boy. BUT, I can barely remember some of the ‘baby years’ – he’s just turning three next year, but the first word, first steps, first coos, all of that, seems so foggy now. To have enjoyed all of those moments more fully I think I’d have a full heart and be more able to let go of that stage in his life. Instead, I am sad to the point of tears at times that I did not take it all in to its fullest. Maybe because he could be my only child, so to have gambled those sweet moments away by resenting the fact that I was home more than I would have liked or sacrificed my career to stay at home, to have thought ‘just go to sleep for goodness sake!’ So many regrets. This book helps me to focus NOW. It doesn't really heal the past, but nothing does. It helps me not to dwell and to enjoy each moment, each day, from here on out.
It has helped me in a time (they say terrible two’s, but I have a feeling that three is going to kick my butt!) when I need to focus on the present more than ever. You can’t know what will happen in the future and dwelling on the past is an idle waste. So I put down the phone. We no longer have television service, though we still have plenty of movies and on special occasions watch the grandparents televisions. We go outside even when I don’t really want to. We play a game even when I have laundry and other things to do. I try not to say things like “mom is busy.” I don’t shout as much. I think though I am not Buddhist that the principles of Buddhism and the simple text of the book have helped me immeasurably. I am more patient. Even in the midst of a screaming meltdown, I can calm down, think clearly, and instead of reacting negatively, I find patience. I find enough extra calm time to realize my child is frustrated, hungry, tired, sad....and then I can better deal with helping him. No yelling. No sadness. No regret.
Lodro has a way about his writing that is easy to read but also interesting to read. I’m a fiction gal. To mentally escape from reality. But, this book I found to be a wonderful reminder of how I want to live my life. It's also rather funny--I wouldn't call it anecdotal, but I definitely found humor aohnd solace in knowing that even a practicing lifelong Buddhist has moments of complete human imperfection.
You don't HAVE to be a parent to appreciate these words. You just have to be human. If you like to toy with ways to improve yourself and if you like books written with simple and honest text, this is for you! There are stories from hangovers, relationship difficulties...you will find SOMETHING relate-able, I feel confident in that!
Purchase Walk Like a Buddha from Shambhala Publications for $14.95. Connect with Lodro on Facebook or on his website.