What Would Buddha Do? 101 answers to life’s daily dilemmas.
This hard bound book published by Seastone an imprint of Ulysses Press, sells for $15, and was created by Franz Metcalf who did his masters work at the Graduate Theological Union and then followed this with a doctorate from the University of Chicago. His dissertation was focused on getting to the root of why some Americans practice Zen Buddhism.
The book is set up with 101 interesting daily life questions. It is obvious that his goal in this piece of writing is to create a book that reaches out and attempts to offer some Buddhist inspiration and philosophy to the everyman who is going through the everyday. In other words, this book is not for hard core scholars per say, but instead focuses on anyone who is curious about not only the teachings of Buddhists, but also the lifestyle they aspire to live.
The format of the book is done just like a teacher teaching a class. Dr. Metcalf asks a question and these questions are about as broad as could be imaginable such as: what would Buddha do when he can’t resist having dessert, what would Buddha do when waiting in the snow for a taxi, what would Buddha do to avoid burnout, what would Buddha do about a competitive co-worker, what would Buddha do for the homeless, what would Buddha do about gun control.
So as you can see there are many questions, but the book then offers not one but two answers.
First a response is given from Buddhist texts or teachers. The research depth is really quiet amazing as the responses seem extremely clear and perhaps he even structured the questions around these responses to better illustrate the teaching. The second response is Dr. Metcalf’s answer which is in essence clarifying of both the question and the Buddhist text. This is where you really feel that you are in the hands of a skilled teacher who is attempting to inspire his readers by clarifying the lesson.
The sections of the book are: what’s wrong with me, toward a new me, pure love, lust for life, doing the right thing, walking the walk on the noble path, the Buddha in the machine, the big questions. Really though I think you’ll find yourself just thumbing through and taking a look because it doesn’t have a real linier feel to it.
As a discussion point for a class or a fun starting point for party chat, this book will challenge your thinking skills while offering you knowledge about the ancient teachings of the Buddha. I highly recommend it as one for your bookshelves.