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Lions Roar : September 2018
BUDDHA’S DOG & OTHER MEDITATIONS By Ira Sukrungruang University of Tampa Press 2018; 190 pp., $16 (paper) Throughout this collection of per- sonal essays, the dogs in Ira Sukrun- gruang’s life bark, snap, sniff, and wag their tails, and—in going about their doggy days—shed light on the human condition. Sukrungruang, a frequent Lion’s Roar contributor, grew up on the rough-and-tumble South Side of Chicago. He tried to fit in, but always felt like an outsider. He was the only and very coddled child of two Thai immigrants. Plus, he was sensitive and—his word—fat. Sukrungruang’s childhood was enriched by trips to Thailand and by Buddhism, especially by the Buddha himself. But, at the same time, Sukrungruang strug- gled with the racism in his community, his mother’s pervasive fear of America, and his parents’ messy divorce. Like all good writing, Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations paints a picture of very specific situations and people. And, like all good writing, it is its specifics—its perfect telling details—that make the work so universal. REVIEWS STOP BITING THE TAIL YOU’RE CHASING Using Buddhist Mind Training to Free Yourself from Painful Emotional Patterns By Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo Shambhala Publications 2018; 160 pp., $16.95 (paper) According to Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo, Buddhist practice calls for intensive work with our emotions, and that requires a thorough self-examination and the willingness to let go of negative habits. The husband-and-wife team then explains a pragmatic, transformative style of Bud- dhist practice called lojong, or mind training. It’s understood in Western Buddhist circles that lojong involves practicing with a set of slogans—and it does—but it’s much broader than that. In fact, say the authors, “All of Buddhism is mind training.” In pre- senting this larger view, Stop Biting the Tail You’re Chasing offers myriad mind-training tools for relieving our suffering, extend- ing that relief to those around us, and experiencing and sharing joy. The authors encourage us to experiment with these various tools, so we can figure out, through trial and error, which ones are most effective for us. 10 Make an difference in the lives of others Help us Celebrate BGR’s 10TH Anniversary Buddhist Global Relief www.buddhistglobalrelief.org firstname.lastname@example.org 1.888.852.7579 www.buddhistglobalrelief.org email@example.com 1.888.852.7579 LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 76