Fighting Monks and Burning Mountains: Misadventures on a Buddhist Pilgrimage Paperback – November 15, 2014
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About the Author
- Publisher : Sky Dagger Press (November 15, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 358 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0990930408
- ISBN-13 : 978-0990930402
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.81 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #255,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This was another interesting story of a young mans trek on the 750 mile Shikoku Pilgrimage trail on the Island of Shikoku, Japan. This Pilgrimage is a multi site Pilgrimage of 88 Temples associated with the Buddhist Monk Kukai, at each temple one recites prayers and has ones travel book stamped, before moving on. The author, an adventurer at heart and never able to really conform to a daily 9-5 work routine, would do whatever it took to get off on his next adventure and he had heard about this one while in college, then at 28 decided to give it a try. We hear the usual stories from other hiking books, such as the sore feet, lack of food and sleep, but this adventure has such a different setting from the others I have read. He meets other pilgrims that are very helpful as well as some of the locals that help him out along the way.( and he spoke no Japanese) I have always been interested in Buddhism and found each of the temples and what they stood for so interesting.
Very worth reading.
I am a veteran pilgrim of many lands. The transperancy of this book rang true to me. It is honest and funny and insightful. This Hero's journey speaks to following a calling, despite fears and parental sanity,
financial and common sense. Paul demonstrates eloquently that the hardest part of the journey is not the dream or the beginning , although those stages are difficult and important. The alchemy comes in tenaciousness -when the impossibility and bleakness and absurdity and obstacles arise. Paul persists through Burning Mountains with the aid of Fighting Monks internal and external. And then he takes the time and care to write about these experiences daily so that we may also accompany and learn.
You may never be called to pray at these 88 temples and commit to the walking meditation connecting them. Read this book and consider the trajectory and pilgrimage of your own life.
Are you being true to your own calling?
Paul Barach's style (admittedly flippant - and even irreverent!) certainly engages the reader. He conveys a lot of information about Shikoku's 88 Temple Pilgrim Trail (the Henro Michi) in this book - information about its history and legends that will be useful, especially for those unfamiliar with Japan and the Japanese language, who may wish to undertake this journey.
Barach is open about his own personal travails and demons and shares these with the reader - as well as the pertinent lesson that "you can't let what you did not do in the past distract you from what you are doing now."
There is a dearth of good books in English about this Japanese Buddhist pilgrimage, and Barach's book certainly helps fill this void.
I commend him for writing it - and I recommend it to any English speakers who want to find out about the Shikoku pilgrim trail.
(I think he should go back and and walk this pilgramage again and write a sequel. He need only take better shoes.)
If you’ve ever been interested in the far-east, or just looking for a a truly fun, funny and most importantly FRESH book, Fighting Monks and Burning Mountains is definitely the book to get! (and at $3, it should be a no-brainer!).