Book Review: The Story Of Buddha, A Graphic Biography

“The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”
Written and Illustrated by Hisashi Ota
Published by Ichimannendo Publishing, Inc

Finally, someone has put together a manga (graphic novel) based on the history of Buddha. It’s been done for The Dalai LamaTibetan Master Je Tsongkhapa and author Stephan Asma wrote and illustrated a book called “Buddha, A Beginners Guide” which was comic like, but it was done in more of a humorous way than “The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”, which is more true to the roots of this style of novel.

“The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”, is much more of a traditional Japanese styled manga, meticulous, clean and quite moving. The illustrations are striking and express emotion without even needing to read the words, but it is important obviously that you do read them. The story line, which most of all know by now, puts a little more emphasis on his life in the palace and the struggles he goes through in understanding, or trying to understand, what life is truly about. His struggles were immense, but through rigorous training of the mind and body, the Buddha did achieve true happiness from suffering.

The novel is written well enough that intermediate readers to adult readers will not only enjoy, but devour in a timely fashion. I truly enjoyed reading “The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography” and would recommend it highly not only to those who are new to Buddhist thought and practice, but to those that already have a working knowledge of Buddhism. Hats off to Hisashi Ota for accepting the challenge to tackle such a project, and praise to him for being successful in doing so.

Buddhamart

BuddhamartDo you remember me saying “… I’m seeing Buddhism everywhere I look…” in my last post? It happened again.

Monday I had to hit Sprawl-Mart for a filter for the AC and some mayo for the wife. Naturally these two items were on opposite sides of the store. After picking up the filter I decided to cut through the houseware and then clothing section in the middle of the store instead of walking around them. What did I see half way through? Jam Master Buddha.

Tibetans executed in China over riots last year

This is just making the rounds on major news sites, the news is not “new” but to the mainstream it is. Those of us aware of the Tibetan issues have known for days through groups such as Students For A Free Tibet and International Campaign for Tibet. I have been meaning to post for days, thanks Todd for the reminder! Story on executions here and here

Trying to find Enlightenment one book at a time.

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I have a problem. I love books. I have slowly gathered books about one subject or another. For years, I trolled the used and new bookstores picking up one or two here and there, until I had amassed a large amount of reading material. Some lamented and sat untouched.

I realized the other day. Many of these books follow a pattern. They are mainly autobiographical and are usually first person account. Even my collection of Buddhist books seem to be larger than I would like. I often think I need to move to a Sailboat. So I am forced to conserve space and pick just the cream of the crop. But what criteria would I choose. I could get rid of a few if I choose books I have not read. But than does that mean I have stopped trying to learn. Or I could get rid of the books I have already enjoyed, but I would miss some of those books that have changed me.

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What Buddha Might Say To Barack Obama

From The Huffington Post

There is a story of a Buddhist monk who meditated for many years on the quality of patience. He was immersed in everything to do with patience. One day someone walked past him and said, “Eat shit!” The meditating monk immediately replied, “You eat shit!”

This story goes to show just how tough it can be, even for monks and let alone Presidents, to keep balanced during challenging or difficult times, as there will always be those who disagree, criticize, or think they know better. They may even throw shoes at you! For Obama, his reaction to these dissenters will determine whether he is able to do his job successfully or not.

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Dune Shack Dharma

From Cape Healing Arts Magazine
Written by Dr. Debra Babcock

On the constantly shifting sands of the “backshore” of Provincetown, a number of tiny structures sit, precariously perched. “The Dune Shacks” as they are affectionately known, are vulnerable not only because they have a habit of falling into the ocean and having to be rescued, but because, like all of us, they eventually surrender to time, wind, weather and just plain gravity. The future of the shacks is additionally uncertain because they sit within the boundaries of what has become the Cape Cod National Seashore. As each of the current owners passes away, the shacks are absorbed into the domain of the National Seashore. What will become of each one remains to be seen, but the long and fascinating Who’s Who of dune shack “owners” has come to an end. The good news is that a few of them can be accessed through the two preservation organizations that work with the Seashore to provide stewardship and temporary stays for artists, writers and community members. Last summer, for the last week of August, I joined the ranks of the blessed who have had an opportunity to stay in one of them.

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Nun uses martial art to get closer to Buddha

From VNS – Defying initial prejudice, a nun studying at the National Buddhism Academy is teaching shaolin to her fellow bonzes. Hoai Nam reports.

Those unfamiliar with the ethics of martial arts might think that a contact sport is not conducive to the life of a Buddhist nun. But 32-year-old nun Thich Nu Khanh Thao (Buddhist name) would disagree.

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‘Protected’ Buddhist sites under threat

From The Hindu – Buddhist monuments that have been declared “protected” by the Archaeological Survey of India at Lalitagiri and Udaygiri in Jajpur district, 50 km from here, are under threat, thanks to rampant illegal quarrying activities in close proximity of the protected sites.

“Under the pretext of permits issued by the local administration, even as a Central directive banned such activities within 5 km radius of any protected monument, there has been indiscriminate onslaught on the remains of various stupas here,” allege members of Buddhayan, a State-level Buddhist cultural organisation.

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