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Thread: Love That Book

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    1

    Default Love That Book

    The Wayland Reads event--actually a series of events--should be great. Roland Merullo is a wonderful writer whose books are appropriate for and of interest to people of all ages. Breakfast with Buddha is a charming, and I hate to use the word but I will--"enlightening," read. It's also a book that will provide ample fodder for discussion, and perhaps debate, about the importance of money, peace of mind, patience and self-worth. I'm looking forward to the several events, and to talking about the book with others, including my sophomore at Wayland High daughter. Thanks to the Wayland Public Library for organizing this.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2009
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    2

    Default Read "Breakfast with Buddha"

    I've really enjoyed reading "Breakfast with Buddha". I liked it the first time and now I am enjoying it even more the second time through. Merullo is a very good writer. He's funny, thoughtful, clever, and clear. The book presents some serious topics but it is well balanced with an entertaining story. I love the concept of Wayland Reads. What happens when the whole town reads the same book and then gets together to share their experience? Let's find out. Read "Breakfast with Buddha".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    726

    Default How should we use this forum?

    I really enjoyed the book, too. It wasn't the sort of book I would have picked up on my own, but the Wayland Reads program got me motivated to read it, and it was nice to step aside from my more typical books.

    Anyway, I'm wondering how we can best use this forum to discuss it. Suggestions welcome.

    A few things I'm thinking about:

    • Should the discussion all be geared exclusively at people who have read the book, or do we need to worry about spoilers?


    • How do we get people to contribute?


    • Should we be focusing on the book itself, or more on the whole concept of Wayland Reads and various events? (of course, both are possible, and welcome)


    • Would discussion of ideas for a next book be welcome? Or does the committee running it already have that covered?


    Have you read the book? Join in and share your thoughts!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Wayland
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    Default Using this forum

    In answer to Kim’s questions, I know that, as the library director, I would be interested in hearing both about what people think about the book and about the whole concept of a community reading program. I encourage everyone to go to the "Wayland Reads" website to find out more about this year's program.

    This year the book was chosen by a group of volunteers who made the decision to choose a work of fiction. What do people feel about fiction versus non-fiction for this kind of program? How important is it to have the author appear in town?

    I’m interested in feedback about the events associated with the program, which this year are being funded by a grant.

    Certainly suggestions for the next book would be more than welcome. We’re now thinking that doing this every other year might be a reasonable goal.

    Do people have ideas about how to get more people involved in the process of selecting the book and planning the events and just participating in general? How do we get people to contribute their ideas about the program to this forum?

    I’m interested in hearing whatever people are thinking about this program. I’ll post another entry on some of my ruminations about the book itself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    1

    Default

    I enjoyed reading the book and appreciate the idea of the Wayland community reading the same book. Many thanks to those who thought of the idea and helped organize the very comprehensive series of events. I am looking forward to meeting and talking to people who are interested in the kind of thoughts and inquiry expressed in the book. I hope this series of events makes possible new connections . (Not that we need to measure anything, this is to be enjoyed, however a measurable outcome could be the number of new people who got to know each other through this reading project -- who might not have come together otherwise..)

    About the book itself (spoiler alert: I refer to the end of the book):

    Given the theme of soul searching questions about what is life about etc. that runs throughout the story, I appreciated the humor and the light touch with which many seemingly serious ideas are interwoven in the story: about being aware of different states of mind, different ways of knowing , meditation, karma etc. Also it is wonderful to hear ideas drawn from many sources/spiritual traditions. It is quite enjoyable to ‘listen in’ on this long and entertaining conversation, even if it’s somewhat serious.

    In thinking of Otto’s journey of reflecting, inquiring into the questions “normally in the back of his mind”, I liked his initial skeptical/inquiring approach to possible approaches/answers given by Rinpoche , in contrast to his already converted ‘flaky’ sister. However as his outward and inward journey progresses, he seems to give in somewhat readily – it doesn’t appear to actually happen till the end but the signs are there earlier. By giving in I mean accepting the ‘enlightened’ or inscrutable status of the ‘teacher’ and then being in more of a receptive mode for the next nuggets of wisdom to appear or some intuitive unexplainable action to manifest. For the readers who may identify with the Otto’s questioning of life and deeper meaning etc., not an uncommon thought perhaps, Otto’s experience of surrender/transformation at the end may be a bit abrupt, intense or unusual as an outcome. It is one thing to ask such questions as on ordinary person (represented by Otto) but then one may be left wondering if 1) they need to encounter such an ‘enlightened’ master to find answers or resolutions 2) if one is in ‘danger’ of experiencing an intense mystical outcome such as Otto’s which could be very desirable, or not so, depending on your view. Nevertheless his being more open to a different world can only be positive. I guess we can discuss all this at the various events.

    Perhaps this is too serious a look at the journey, which is told in a humorous and light hearted way…(except at the end !) , full of insights and surprising turns.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2

    Default Otto's abrupt transformation

    I thought the comments of Brijmasand about Otto's abrupt transformation at the end of "Breakfast with Buddha" were very well put. I, too, thought Otto's seemingly sudden and dramatic acceptance of the new ideas Rinpoche had been teaching him was too quick. I wanted the end of the book to have Otto happy for his sister's new life, but then he would get back in the car alone and travel home through some more interesting spots and contemplate the lessons of spirituality presented by Rinpoche.

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