The Still Point Dhammapada: Living the Buddha's Essential Teachings--A Contemporary Rendering and Stories by Geri Larkin

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In previous books, including Stumbling Toward Enlightenment (Celestial Arts, 1997), First You Shave Your Head (Ten Speed Press, 2002), and Love Dharma (Tuttle, 2003; reviewed in May/June '03), Geri Larkin--guiding teacher at the Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, which is located "smack in the middle of rough-and-tumble downtown Detroit"--has a well-earned reputation for delivering the characteristically gritty teachings of Buddhism in language that is no-nonsense, authentic, and engaging, and her latest book does not disappoint. This rendering of the Dhammapada (the sayings of the Buddha)--inspired by the fact that previous versions were, she felt, "cumbersome for our inner-city sangha [community]"--is clean, contemporary, and, with the addition of her effective teaching stories, as real as it gets.