Introducing a new contributor to Precious Metal

As you all know, and I’ve mentioned before, time is not my best friend right now. So I began a search for a new contributor and received a promising response. I was hoping to hear from someone who has similar interests as far as the core of this blog goes, and I was lucky to have found that person. This person, like myself, is relatively new to the Buddhist practice. So as we both evolve in our lives this blog will hopefully follow suit. So I’d like to introduce to you Precious Metal’s newest (and first besides myself) contributor, Todd Schaffer.

Thanks Nathan I hope I can be an asset to your blog.

I’ve basically been studying Buddhism for several years and find myself drawn to the new teachers including Noah Levine (author of Dharma Punx and Against The Stream) and also Calvin Malone (author of Razor Wire Dharma). I work for a library in Florida where I teach computer classes and assist patrons with their computer issues. Recently, due to the economy, lots of my time has been taken up assisting people in filing for unemployment and also immigration issues. I like to breed snakes as a hobby. I have no children, but have three dogs.

As you see, Todd seems like the perfect fit here, and I look forward to the direction this blog will continue to go in. I hope you all welcome him warmly as I have. Thanks for coming on board Todd!

Book Review: Razor Wire Dharma

“Razor Wire Dharma” written by Calvin Malone
Published 2008 by Wisdom Publications

“When we take the time to know people around us, it becomes easier to extend compassion and loving-kindness to them. Those who are in prison and seem different are simply people who need the same kindness everyone else is seeking. No matter what they did, who they are, what they look like, or how they act, like all of us, they want to be happy.”

When you think of a prisoner, what vision does this bring about in your mind? Many people envision a “hardened criminal”, someone who “should be locked behind bars, and have the keys tossed away”. They may also think this same person cannot change, and will not change. This book is a perfect “wake up call” for those with unsafe assumptions, especially to the one’s that believe prison is the be all end all for a “criminal”.

Click to read the rest of this book review