52 Good Books

Book Review – Buddhism for Busy People by David Michie

Which of us isn’t busy? Modern day life has become a frenzy of work, family needs, consumerism and social commitments that the most organised of us struggles to keep up with. And if we’re not busy we’re probably lonely. We’ve been left behind while everyone around us fulfils their obligations. Perhaps it’s time to sit back and take stock.

Buddhism for Busy People does what it says on the tin. It is a guide to the workings of this life philosophy that you can whizz through and select from at your own pace. True to form, I downloaded the audio book from the library and started listening to it as I cooked dinner – being of course far too busy to sit down and read the book! (She says whilst marking off another weekly book ‘read’ on the 2018 challenge.)

David Michie has written this book to make Buddhism more accessible to us all. This book is not about Buddhism in general or the Budda’s path to enlightenment. It is instead a personal account of Michie’s journey in discovering Buddhism. He hasn’t always been a Buddhist but he talks about the pressures in his busy life as a Londoner that ultimately led him down this path and the solace that he has found in his new religion.

What I liked about it was that Michie never sugar coats anything. He’s not trying to sell Buddhism as an easy escape from life’s troubles, rather he is trying to explain how taking up this new way of thinking, this new way of life, made him better equipped to cope with what life throws at him. It’s a frank and honest discussion about life and I must admit I found it quite inspiring. Having dabbled with meditation in the past, I did sit down and try to meditate for ooooh, must have been twice during the course of reading this book and since finishing it I have managed another whopping two occassions. I am of course being facetious. I would like to meditate more but so far I haven’t taken the trouble to change my routines in order to do so…

Buddhism for Busy People certainly gets you thinking though. There are parts of this book that you may have to take with a pinch of salt. For example, Michie spends a chapter or so discussing reincarnation. If you’re just here seeking some zen then this kind of thing can be hard to swallow, but I would suggest that you take what you like and leave the rest. This book is packed with insights on our lives that it’s hard not to agree with. There is one thing that I am certain of, if you pick up Buddhism for Busy People you are bound to find something that strikes a chord with you. Overall a very worthwhile book.

Next week I’ll be reviewing the follow up to Sapiens. Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari will be up on the blog on Monday.

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