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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
The Dhammapada for Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha's Practical Wisdom - Abbot George Burke

I’m not a fan of labels, but the best description of this review is of a “Christian” reviewing a “Buddhist” book. This is a timely book that coincided with my reading of TANTRIC COCONUTS. That book was a work of fiction with a life-teaching lesson that illuminated my eyes to this: a person can deepen their Christian practice by also following the teachings of the Buddha. To some, this is sacrilege. To the open and willing, there is amazement and transformation.


While many Buddhist Christian books focus on the Gospel of Thomas, and the producers of this book have much of that on their website, this book stays away from that focus. This book is primarily a teaching of the Buddha with many ancillary Biblical scriptures used for effect. Note: if you are reading this to deeper your Christian walk, make sure you are already familiar with the Biblical scripture used; know what you already believe.


As for this book itself, it took me a long time to work through it. This is a working commentary that often causes moments to pause, ponder, and reflect, inspiring long moments of meditation. I appreciated the introduction to many of the written words and sayings, much of it being overlooked by previous Westernized books of the Buddha. I’m especially thankful for the ongoing commentary to help my understanding of the older language and original translations.


There were quite a few surprises for me here: mainly about the sayings of disciplines, punishment, and punitive repercussions due to one’s own actions. I found that much of what is discussed in the early sections of this book would prevent much of that threating and rewards of the latter. Specifically, meditation with a disciplined focus will steer correctly.


Thanks to the folks at Light of the Spirit for sending this to me for review.