It has been a while since the last time I set my foot in a Wat (Thai Buddhist temple). Even though there is a Wat, Wat Buddharangsee, just around the corner where I live in Sydney, I only visit them once or twice. I often see a monk sweeping footpath and walking around the street. Thai take-away shop in the neighbour always offers them food as a merit making in Thai tradition. It is actually a very decent community.
In the past life back in Bangkok, I hardly went to monastery. I tagged along with my family when I was little, traditionally made merit for my birthday once a year and hunted for a fine astrologer occasionally. Nevertheless, I still tick the Buddhist box in the religion question if anyone asks. Its core philosophy makes sense when I question about life. It is not easy to find the single answer fits all. Buddhism does not necessarily give any solid solution that but surely gets you some perspectives. It is important for individuals to find their own paths to reach their achievements.
Anyway, a new book from Aukana Trust, a Buddhist charity organisation in UK, which uses one of my photographs as the cover, is out now. The Purpose of Life: The Essential Teaching of a Buddhist Master by Jacqui James, co-founder of Aukana Trust, is a compilation of his lectures.
Between these covers you will find a vivid and frank account of spirituality. This book is grounded in Jacqui James’s experience of searching for and realising enlightenment, and subsequently teaching the Buddha’s way.
In straightforward language Jacqui explains what genuine spirituality means, and in the process explodes many myths. There is a searching examination of Buddhism, asking: what is essential in the journey to enlightenment, and what is just tradition and folklore?
The emphasis throughout is on how modern women and men can apply the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. Jacqui shows how this can improve life beyond measure, how it leads onward towards enlightenment, and why this is the purpose of life.
It can be ordered online through Wisdom Books. I cannot wait for the book to be posted; not only to see how the photograph is like on paperback cover but also to re-explore the thoughts of that guy who named himself the awaken one, Buddha.