January 7, 2004
Western Seeker, Eastern Paths: Exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism & Tantra
By David Pond
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (January 2003)
Pages: 220 - Price: $14.95
Review by Lee Prosser - firstname.lastname@example.org
For readers of the supernatural and the paranormal who are interested in how cultures reflect beliefs and spiritual traditions in their religions, David Pond has written one of the finest comparative nonfiction works currently available for the reading public. This writing is concise, sharp, intelligent, and informative. The book is an excellent reference.
Following the list of figures and preface, the author presents an introduction to the work. The contents of the book commences with Buddhism, followed by Hinduism, Taoism, and Tantra.
Each reader will find an amazing collection of facts concerning each belief system. In the section on Buddhism is a clear discussion of the Eightfold Path which discusses Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. The Tibetan Book of the Dead with its intricate mysteries and teachings is memorable reading.
The longest section concerns Hinduism and its far-reaching influence. The simple and direct truth of Hinduism is the belief that God is found in all things, including the self. There are many paths. The oldest of all world religions, Hinduism is said to be the religion from which all others trace their beginnings. The Hindu Cosmology is detailed, and other topics include atman, the Vedas, om, meditation, reincarnation, yoga, the path of Vedanta, Sankhya, the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, chakras, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, among others.
Taoism and Tantra conclude the book. There is an interesting discussion on having sex or making love, Taoist sexual practices, Yin-Yang of Sexuality, among many other topics.
An interesting observation in the Tantra section is given: "When you experience loss of direction or meaning in your life, learn to take refuge in your heart." There are numerous observations in this fine book which adds to the reading enjoyment.
Reading this book is discovering the many paths to the One, and it is well worth the journey. Clearly written, it would make a fine addition for the home library, Public Library, and as a special gift for a friend.
The book abounds with insights into the great world spiritual traditions of the East. David Pond is to be congratulated on a fine, readable reference.
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