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Lions Roar : September 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 83 are bad enough—the sorts of stinky buffoons who wear shoes in the house—but Americans who are attracted to Buddhism are far worse. They’re alternative outcasts, hipsters with metal in their faces. Yet over time America transforms this conservative priest. Not only does he come to see aspects of America that he never imagined, he also learns about himself and the dharma. Buddhaland Brooklyn is a rare gem of a novel in that it is rich with both fabulous description and a juicy plot. Another new Buddhist novel, This Flawless Place Between, tells the story of Anne and Evan, a couple who go on their dream vacation in the Himalayas only to get into a terrible accident. Author Bruno Portier wrote this book to give readers an engaging way to learn about what happens after death according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Death, this tradition teaches, is a difficult ordeal but, more than that, it’s an opportunity for liberation. LESSONS FROM THE MONK I MARRIED By Katherine Jenkins Seal Press 2012; 214 pp., $15 (paper) Katherine Jenkins couldn’t believe it when the monk clapped his hands and exclaimed, “Let’s go bowling!” It was her first time hanging out with a real Buddhist monk and she’d been expecting their time together to be more meditative. Jenkins, at this point, had been teaching English in Korea for six months and she was beginning to realize that nothing about her Korean life matched her expectations. She’d thought she’d live in a temple-like envi- ronment and finally find the peace and wisdom she’d been long- ing for. The reality was that she lived in a seedy love hotel and Korea was even less peaceful than the America she’d left behind. Nonetheless, when Jenkins embarks on a secret romance with BY ANDREA MILLER Books in Brief BEING WELL (EVEN WHEN YOU’RE SICK) Mindfulness Practices for People With Cancer and Other Serious Illnesses By Elana Rosenbaum Shambhala Publications 2012; 144 pp., $14.95 (paper) Chocablock with anecdotes, exercises, and reflections, Being Well (Even When You’re Sick) is a guide to maintaining well-being and equanimity in the face of a serious disease. According to author and cancer survivor Elana Rosenbaum, when we’re sick, it’s par- ticularly important to stop, pause, and take a breath, because in that way we can observe our thoughts instead of being drawn into them and mistaking them for reality. “I get anxious days before I have a CT scan,” she says. “I must consciously stop and remind myself not to jump ahead. I may not know what the test will show, but I can feel my breath, taste my food, and smile at my husband. He likes this approach too. If I stay calm, he is also better able to manage his concern that I will be ill again.” The forward to Being Well (Even When You’re Sick) is by Jon Kabat- Zinn. Rosenbaum is adjunct faculty at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she began teaching with Kabat-Zinn in 1984. BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN By Richard C. Morais Scribner 2012; 256 pp., $25 (cloth) THIS FLAWLESS PLACE BETWEEN By Bruno Portier Oneworld 2012; 180 pp., $20 (cloth) Reverend Seido Oda is horrified when he’s ordered by his sensei to establish a temple in the U.S. He thinks Americans in general