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Lions Roar : March 2019
WHERE’S BUDDHA? By Marisa Aragón Ware Bala Kids, 2019; 32 pp., $16.95 (cloth) In Where’s Buddha? young readers learn that Buddha is up high in the sky and down low under the sea. He’s near and far, big and small, fast and slow. He basks in the sun and shines with the moon. In the winter, he watches the snow fall, and in the summer he walks in the warm monsoon rains. The Bud- dha is in our hearts and everywhere we go. He is always with us. My three-year-old daughter heartily approves of this new picture book. On each page, there is a cute, big-eyed Buddha, and she loves looking for him. Sometimes he’s out in the open and easy to spot, but at other times he’s hiding—in a submarine or rocket ship or airplane. Marisa Aragón Ware’s deep apprecia- tion for the natural world shines through on almost every page. Her illustrations are colorful and elegantly stylized, and the overall effect is magical. ♦ REVIEWS MATTERS OF VITAL INTEREST A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen By Eric Lerner Da Capo Press 2018; 304 pp., $27 (cloth) In 1977, Eric Lerner was doing his very first sesshin—an intensive Zen meditation retreat—when he met Leonard Cohen. Cohen was the jikijitsu, the zendo leader, and he wore a placid expression despite the arduous schedule. On day five, Lerner, taking a quick break, went to an isolated area behind the main building. Cohen happened to already be there, smoking a cigarette, and it seemed to Lerner that Cohen asked him a silent question: What in the world are a couple of smart Jewish boys like us doing here? This exchange marked the beginning of an intimate dharma friendship that is beautifully chronicled in Matters of Vital Interest. For decades, the two men were united in their certainty “that there is some- thing ineffable yet more real to the universe than anything we could touch, taste, or fuck” and they endeavored to uncover it. They also shared meals, joys, sorrows, creative pursuits, and—in my opinion—far too many drinks. LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2019 80