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1,001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom    by Desmond Biddulph order for
1,001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom
by Desmond Biddulph
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This stocking stuffer sized book, written by the vice-president of Britain's Buddhist society, offers an introduction to Buddhism via pearls of wisdom in the form of sayings, stories, teachings, and beliefs. Its quotations range from ancient sources such as the Dhammapada to relatively modern thinkers like Einstein, Molière, Darwin and Tagore. Information is organized under: Life and teachings of the Buddha; Skills for life (cultivation of awareness of mind and body); Mind and heart (awareness in greater depth); Finding the path (the Buddha's way); Planet and cosmos (time and the physical universe); and The global family (harmony between nations).

Here are some pearls that spoke strongly to me. The Diamond sutra teaches: 'Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world: a bubble in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.' Lao Tzu told us that 'Only those who know when enough is enough can ever have enough.' There's wisdom in the Japanese proverb, 'Fall seven times, stand up eight'; the Malayan saying, 'One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind'; the Tibetan teaching, 'Thou shalt not let thy senses make a playground of thy heart and mind'; and this from the Talmud - 'He who adds not to his learning, diminishes it.'

Chief Seattle's words seem especially relevant to today's world: 'Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together.' Pearls of wisdom indeed - we all can learn from them.

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