Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Novice: How I became a Buddhist Monk, Why I quit and What I learned

I am always interested to read about religions and compare one to another for the sake of enlightenment and moral enrichment.

I have seen people in the West going into Buddhism, Islam, Atheism, Catholicism... and people leaving their original religions as well and looking into the no-religion, no-belief, or the radical move into something totally contradicting with their own past.

This book talk about the rich experience of Stephen's, the frustrated Catholic in dreary England, from his own teenager self into the eventual happiness in India as a Monk. This "relentless truth seeker" has looked deep into Buddhism, meditation, enlightenment, and Monk's philosophy. However, at the end, all of these could not satisfy his need for the truth and decided to go back.

Back into what? This is not clear from his book but I bet that he would be continuing looking for the real truth somewhere else in order to avoid being raked through the embers of his past as a Catholic first and his past as a Monk when he devoted his entire [mature] self for the study and practice of this new religion and culture that looks appealing from the first sight.

However, after some analysis, Shettini found out that although he was teaching, learning, and worshiping, he could not go out of his frustration and sadness. It was all prescriptive for him.

Finally, he left us with a lot of lessons in his text and I bet that any reader would be impressed with his focus and direction to the conclusion he made.

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