- Mother Battles Daughter. Both Win. Lady Bird a film by Greta Gerwig. With Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Beanie Feldstein. ****1/2
I was signed up for this movie as soon as I heard it was by Greta Gerwig. Gerwig is a fundamentally odd performer: her roles are weird, her characters offbeat; she is slightly awkward physically, though beautiful and winning. ... Read more
- Why Volunteer
I had finished my Thursday volunteering stint at Urban Ministries and was tidying up when Brittany came back. “David, would you mind taking one more person? She says she’s sick.”
I said I’d be happy to. I wasn’t in a hurry.
“She’s a new client,” she said.
The woman who came back didn’t look like a lot of ... Read more
- True Love Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex by Shozan Jack Haubner. Shambhala. 208 pp. $14.95.
I was not a big fan of Shozan Jack Haubner’s first book, Zen Confidential. I thought it was overwritten, and that he often seemed to be trying too hard. I did appreciate his honesty, and the way he ... Read more
- Can’t Face It Anymore When the Life Force Can’t Fight the Death Wish
I was talking to a friend I meet every week for lunch and we were catching up before we ordered. “I had to go to a funeral this weekend,” Tom said. “I told you my neighbor died, didn’t I?”
“I don’t think so,” I said. “How did he ... Read more
- The Father and I Are One A Buddhist Reads the Bible (and Finds the Buddha): The Gospel of John
One of the more interesting reactions to my piece on Jesus the Jew was from my brother Bill, a scholar of languages and the Bible who reads in both Greek and Hebrew. He said that the Synoptic Gospels were about the Galilean Jesus, ... Read more
- Hasid from Galilee Jesus the Jew: A Historian’s Reading of the Gospels by Geza Vermes. Fortress Press. 286 pp. ***1/2
“Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me.” –Leopold Bloom to a group of hecklers, in Ulysses.
This book is another suggestion from my friend Laurie, the mysterious woman from New Zealand who wrote a number of ... Read more
- Can an Authentic Teacher Be Rich? The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. New World Library. 235 pp.
It seems strange to write about a book that not only came out many years ago, but that became an international bestseller and made its author a spiritual superstar. But a few weeks ago, when I felt on shaky ground because of some things ... Read more
- Servants of Life In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman. Picador. 497 pp. $17.00 ****1/2
This is the last book—the last of many—that my friend Levi recommended to me. He always recommended books as if to say: Go buy this and start reading it tonight (though I never did that). He went on and on ... Read more
- Should Buddhism Be Secular? Or Could We, on the Other Hand, See Every Moment of Life as Religious?
American Nirvana by Adam Gopnik. The New Yorker Magazine, August 7 & 14, 2017.
I don’t know at what moment I realized that the goofy little practice that I stumbled into at my wife’s insistence in 1991, surrounded by a bunch of misfits ... Read more
- He Showed Up Levi G. 1953-2017
I won’t say that Levi was my best friend in the world—I have many wonderful friends—but he was the friend with whom I most resonated. When I was in Asheville we met every week for a couple hours, having breakfast and drinking coffee. As soon as we sat down we fell into the ... Read more