Reflections on Current Reading

It has been quite sometimes since I’ve kept any type of readers’ journal, but I’ve always found them to be enjoyable and worthwhile. They offer me insights into my own reading life that I might otherwise never pick up on. One does not reflect on breathing…it just happens naturally, but perhaps by reflecting on my own reading life I can help my students to become better, more thoughtful readers.

So without further ado, here are my thoughts on my current read (WARNING: Potential Spoiler Alert):

I’m currently 82 pages into Dinner with Buddha by Roland Mercullo and I’m finding it difficult to put down. I’m drawn in by the characters and can sense their warmth. I am particularly fond of the childlike Rinpoche. I’m feeling somewhat skeptical of Seese’s “prophetic” dreams, but I’m willing to humor her for the time being. I’m curious to see if or how my thoughts on this will change throughout the novel. So far I think I’m more indulgent than Otto on this front, but still not convinced that this novel will pull off the promised world of peaceful co-existence by the end of its 344 pages. Or is it truly more about the journey they take to get there than the end result? I guess I’m waiting to see just like Otto.

Quotes that have made me think or that I just plain enjoyed, so far:

“You can listen to the skeptical voice and go back to New York and the life you were leading there, or you can see all the awful things that have happened to you as a preparation, a turning over of the soil so it will be ready for a new crop to be planted” (64).

“Feels like you go in circle, yes? Like you come again back on the same place, many times. Same trouble, same thinking. But it’s not true, Otto. Meditation is like a wind here in the middle pushing you up, up. You want to go up in a straight like the rocket but you really go like this, this, how you say?”

“Spring” (65).

“Americans were half-crushed by the passage of time. Our spirits were dampened, twisted, mottled, trimmed. I don’t mean we all turned into semi-humans, but, well, speaking for myself at least, there was some leaching out of the vibrancy, the joy, the faith in my absolute uniqueness, in my claim to part ownership of this earth” (70).