Every so often you come across a book which you know will be a friend for life. I borrowed ‘Living as a River’ by Bodhipaksa and then bought a copy for myself. Bodhipaksa was born a Scot but now lives in the Unites States; he is a Buddhist and member of the Triratna Community and he runs the online meditation centre, Wildmind, http://www.wildmind.org/
This is a lovely book to read, Bodhipaksa’s style is as fluent as the title of his book and it is beautifully written, no clunking text here! However it is a challenging read; the images are evocative but the ideas need some serious consideration, although once I (mostly) grasp his meaning, it is as pellucid as a mountain stream, and as lively!
His introduction starts with a quote from P.G.Wodehouse and this gives the reader a clue that the message will be pertinent, simple even, and yet with a humanely humorous perspective. Bodhipaksa describes himself as a skeptical Buddhist and he writes for a wider audience than those within his own community, or Buddhists in general. He is discussing self, and what we mean and what others mean by self. Self changes, self is not constant in a changing and inconstant world.
Chapters include ‘The Self I don’t Believe In‘, ‘The Body as Mirage‘, ‘Stepping Into The Stream‘, and chapters on the six elements.
As I have already mentioned, this book is a challenging read… I’m still reading it and I’m not going to go into what it says in depth, you will have to read it yourself, and I do recommend it!