Buddhist Boot Camp Book Review
Book Title: Buddhist Boot Camp
Author: Timber Hawkeye
Publisher: HarperOne (HarperCollins Publishers)
Price: $8.11 at Amazon
Timber Hawkeye is a longtime student of Buddhism who spent a number of years as a monk in a Tibetan Buddhist temple but he found the ritual and devotional aspects of Tibetan Buddhism to be complicated, so the Lama of the temple suggested that he pursue Zen Buddhism.
So he went ahead and left the Tibetan Buddhist temple and joined a Zen monastery instead. But although he liked the simpler Zen teachings, he still found the ceremonies and rituals to be unnecessary and distracting to the modern spiritual seeker.
This book is composed of a series of short essays on various topics which represent all of the various realizations and lessons learned by experience and recorded in journal entries over the years. Included are reflections on topics like:
Part 1 Mindfulness
Part 2 Love and Relationships
Part 3 Religion/Spirituality
Part 4 Understanding
Part 5 Success
Part 6 Anger, Insecurities, and Fears
Part 7 Living in Gratitude
Here are a few inspirational quotes from the book that I found to be helpful and profound:
“All the happiness in the world stems from wanting others to be happy, and all the suffering in the world stems from wanting the self to be happy.” – Shantideva
“Treat every living being, including yourself, with kindness, and the world will immediately be a better place.” – Timber Hawkeye
“The Buddha was not a God. He never claimed to be a God, the son of God, of a messenger of God. He was a man who gained clear perspective of the world through nothing more than human effort. And if he was able to do it then, we can do it now!” – Timber Hawkeye
“Is Buddhism a religion? That depends on how you define “religion”. There is no “God” theory (in the sense of a creator), and any reference to God is to the divinity within all beings (leaving no sentient beings behind). So if it is a religion, then it’s like no other.” – Timber Hawkeye
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung
In this book, the author focuses on how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life in a way that is accessible and understandable to anyone, even those who are not Buddhist. He echoes the Dalai Lama’s sentiment when His Holiness said “Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist, instead use it to be a better whatever you already are (e.g. Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.)”
The core message of the book and of the Buddhist teachings is love and compassion. This book is not about Buddhism as a religion, but rather is a book about becoming a Buddha in our actions.
This book doesn’t go over the history or more of the academic aspects of Buddhism, so this wouldn’t be that great of a reference for those who are looking for information on that as well.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about Buddhism and is interested in applying Buddhist teachings in daily life without needing to become a Buddhist. The author presents Buddhist teachings in a simple way without talking too much about some of the more technical philosophical aspects of the Buddhist path and boils it down to a simple message of wishing love and kindness toward others, even our enemies.
Thanks for reading my review of the Buddhist Boot Camp book, and feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below.