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Balance

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

HarperSanFrancisco.

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.