I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields

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I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields

Category: Spirituality and Religion
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: An interesting journey through Buddhism and its principles seen from the point of view of one on the path. There's a lot to engage with here and the book will stimulate all its readers, not just those wanting to know more about this philosophy. A tendency to wordiness requires a little patience.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: July 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1475085664

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I am not a Buddhist is an individual journey through Buddhism and its principles seen from the point of view of one on the path. Charity Seraphina Fields attempts - through her own musings on this ancient Eastern philosophy - to explain why Buddhism is better suited to the rich West than the poorer East. For Fields, the question isn't Why am I suffering without all those things I want?. The right question is actually Why am I still suffering even though I have everything I want?

This reconciling of Eastern thought and Western lifestyle takes Fields through a discussion of profound and crass suffering, free will and ghosts in the mental machine, whether or not true freedom is freedom from consequence and what, if anything, can make genuinely wealthy - riches? Love? What is the sublime truth? Anyone thinking of setting off on the path to Buddhist awareness will find her musings fascinating. It's an individual journey but it has a lot to offer those following after.

Fields does have a tendency to wordiness. I am not a Buddhist could lose a good proportion of its pages but none of its information. She never chooses a short, clear word when a long, highfalutin' one can be slotted in. This does require some patience and may put off some readers - especially those like me who prize clarity over polysyllables. Having said that, Fields makes some complex propositions to which there are no simple answers and she doesn't pretend otherwise. Serious readers may well appreciate the repetition and the lack of dumbing down.

Nitpicks notwithstanding, I enjoyed I am not a Buddhist. I appreciated Fields' forthrightness and the way in which she is unafraid to say what she disagrees with and why, even when what she is saying - about immortality, suicide, greed - may prove uncomfortable. I also very much enjoyed the way she illustrates her points by drawing analogies with incredibly wide sources, from Harry Potter and the Beatles through Tudor poets to historians, philosophers and theologians. I was motivated to further research several of the people she mentioned and this is a true mark of an engaging book.

Recommended for anyone who has a sense of spirituality, even if they are irreligious.

If you're interested in Buddhism, then you might also enjoy reading A Year in Tibet by Sun Shuyun, An Indian Odyssey by Martin Buckley or The Open Road by Pico Iyer.

Buy I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I am not a Buddhist by Charity Seraphina Fields at Amazon.com.