24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Echoes of the Heart,
This review is from: Dharma Punx (Paperback)I really enjoyed this book. It's simply told, and has a measure of honesty to it that I don't find in more polished works. This is Noah's story, with all his confusion, anger, puzzlement, flaws and discoveries shared with us. Having grown up hippy-trippy on California's Central Coast, I heard echoes of my own experiences in thinking everybody was really too precious for words when they talked about Zen and buddhism, or mantras or tantras or whatever. I really appreciated the author's willingness to to share his own dichotomies with us-in one scene he describes threatening a hostel owner with a wooden stick, while he was on a journey searching for inner peace. I heard other echoes of my own experience as well: the desire to have peace and tranquility to think on things, yet instead getting angry and restless once the opportunity is at hand, the need to feel things intensely and yet the wish to be quietly placid, or even the desire to have no desire. I read this almost like reading somebody's REAL journal, not some edited and cleaned up literary masterpiece. The book helped me see that the path toward enlightenment starts wherever you are-for Noah it was a padded cell and taking his father's advice to do some breathing exercises-just to get through it all, just to survive.
A word on some of the other reviews: I don't think it's relevant who Noah's father was-I have several friends who have been on similar trips to monasteries, seen the Dalai Lama, etc. who have no connections, and the author was very up-front with his interactions with his father-good and bad. He even talks about some of the negative things he experienced when people disliked his father's writings.
In the end, this is Noah's story, but I also found echoes of my own experiences. I found it insightful, honest, and pure.