Taming the Mind

Not my cup of tea: Taming the Mind by Thubten Chodron is another of those mystical treatments of self-awareness that I seem prone to stumble upon. Good news: after skimming the table of contents (didn't find any sections on sex, alas) and searching in vain for an index, I started with the penultimate chapter—"What is Buddhism, What is Superstition?"—hoping for some hard-headed analysis. Instead, I learned that after death a person can hang around for up to but not more than 49 days before being reborn as a god, demi-god, human, animal, hungry ghost, or hellish being. I also read that, "Having clairvoyance isn't special. All of us have had it in previous lives." Hmmm ... if there's objective evidence for any of this I guess I missed the memo. The rest of the book, like The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation and Anger, is similarly uncritical. It's also unfortunately muddy in structure and unpoetic in language. Back to the public library it goes; my mind remains untamed.

^z - 2010-03-19