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October 22 , 2009

I Stumbled Upon a Jewel

A Collection of Essays by a Lay Sangha


Virtually everything written in English about Buddhism has been written by scholars, ministers, or formal leaders, no matter whether it is Tibetan, Zen, Shin or any other Buddhist sect. This book is written by lay people about their own experiences with Shin Buddhism, which is after all, the Buddhism of the common people. The sangha or the community of fellow seekers is the backbone of Buddhism, providing a structure, encouragement, and nurturing of the development of one's beliefs, yet it is not represented in Buddhist literature. Perhaps it is understandable that this is so since Buddhism began as an oral tradition, at a time when few people besides scholars could read or write. However, it is very often the sharing of one's concerns and ideas with members of the sangha which makes Budddhism or any spiritual endeavor alive and relevant to one's life. The sense of sharing and intimacy are captured in the essays presented here, with the special richness of poetry and visual images to enhance the heartfelt message of the book's intent. It represents a breath of fresh air, bridging the gap between the point of view of the expert and the experience of the ordinary follower of the Buddhist path..
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