Review: The Dhammapada for Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha’s Practical Wisdom

The Dhammapada for Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha's Practical Wisdom
The Dhammapada for Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha’s Practical Wisdom by Abbot George Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not a fan of labels, but the best description of this review is of a “Christian” reviewing a “Buddhist” book. This is a timely book that coincided with my reading of TANTRIC COCONUTS. That book was a work of fiction with a life-teaching lesson that illuminated my eyes to this: a person can deepen their Christian practice by also following the teachings of the Buddha. To some, this is sacrilege. To the open and willing, there is amazement and transformation.

While many Buddhist Christian books focus on the Gospel of Thomas, and the producers of this book have much of that on their website, this book stays away from that focus. This book is primarily a teaching of the Buddha with many ancillary Biblical scriptures used for effect. Note: if you are reading this to deeper your Christian walk, make sure you are already familiar with the Biblical scripture used; know what you already believe.

As for this book itself, it took me a long time to work through it. This is a working commentary that often causes moments to pause, ponder, and reflect, inspiring long moments of meditation. I appreciated the introduction to many of the written words and sayings, much of it being overlooked by previous Westernized books of the Buddha. I’m especially thankful for the ongoing commentary to help my understanding of the older language and original translations.

There were quite a few surprises for me here: mainly about the sayings of disciplines, punishment, and punitive repercussions due to one’s own actions. I found that much of what is discussed in the early sections of this book would prevent much of that threating and rewards of the latter. Specifically, meditation with a disciplined focus will steer correctly.

Thanks to the folks at Light of the Spirit for sending this to me for review.

You can find this book’s preview and other reviews here: The Dhammapada For Awakening: A Commentary on Buddha’s Practical Wisdom

Enjoy!

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