Currently Reading

  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  • Patience & Fortitude by Nicholas A Basbanes
  • Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman
  • a People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn

Friday, June 19, 2009

Turtle Feet by Nikolai Grozni

Turtle Feet Chronicles Nikolai Grozni's experiences studying Tibetan Buddhism as an ordained monk in Dharamsala, India. While we see a bit of his life as a monk, the book focuses to a disappointing degree on his eccentric friend Tsar, a Bosnian ex-patriot, ex-monk.

This book is amazing. While I wish it had spent more time on the monastic life and significantly less on his friends exploits, it does do a good job of showing how messed up living a completely cloistered life can make people. Fair warning however, do not read this book if you're into political correctness, uber-liberal, or any such thing. Grozni doesn't sugar coat his experiences, and he runs into some pretty stupid out of touch people. A primary example being one of his teachers, Geshe Yama Tseten, who looks up the identity of an animal he claims attacked him on a mountain top in a book about sea life, and is a vitriolic xenophobe when it comes to westerners, calling them fools, and putting them on the same level as domesticated animals in intelligence.

No comments: