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Lions Roar : September 2018
ZEN ON THE TRAIL Hiking as Pilgrimage By Christopher Ives Wisdom Publications 2018; 192 pp., $17.95 (paper) Pilgrimage, as defined by Chris- topher Ives, is “journeying from one’s home to a distant sacred site, with encounters and chal- lenges along the way, for the pur- pose of getting close to something powerful and gaining a benefit, whether a religious experience, peace of mind, healing, a solution to a problem, or even salva- tion itself.” When most people think of a pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago or Bodhgaya come to mind. But hiking in your very own state can also be a form of pilgrimage, if approached medi- tatively. In Zen on the Trail, Ives takes us on a hike from start to finish. He packs, treating everything in his rucksack with the reverence of a tea master handling his tea whisk and bowl, and eventually returns home, understanding, he says, that “some- times the most powerful visions are not of grand scenery or the sublime but of ourselves, of our bodies in nature, and the wild regions of our mind.” UNDER THE BODHI TREE A Story of the Buddha Story by Deborah Hopkinson; illustrations by Kailey Whitman Sounds True 2018; 32 pp., $17.95 (cloth) Under the Bodhi Tre e —a picture book for kids ages four to eight—is a whimsical retelling of the life of Siddhartha. It begins with his birth long ago, in a faraway place, then continues on to his childhood, when he shows kindness to a swan and dreams of the world beyond his palace. Eventually, Siddhartha discovers suffering. Seeking to free himself and others from it, he leaves his home and, after years of spiritual struggle, awakens under the shade of the Bodhi tree. Deborah Hopkinson does a beautiful job presenting Siddhartha as a little boy whom children of today can relate to. He was, she says, “like children then and now, and everywhere, and just like you.” Kailey Whitman’s illus- trations are tender and cheerful—full of heart-shaped leaves, stars, soaring swans, and sweet images of the young Siddhar- tha with his loving parents. ♦ LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 77