» » You Don't Have to Sit on the Floor: Making Buddhism Part of Your Everyday Life

Download You Don't Have to Sit on the Floor: Making Buddhism Part of Your Everyday Life epub

by Jim Pym

The coordinator of the Pure Land Buddhist Fellowship explains how ordinary people can incorporate Buddhism into their lives while holding on to their religious beliefs. Original.
Download You Don't Have to Sit on the Floor: Making Buddhism Part of Your Everyday Life epub
ISBN: 1569753040
ISBN13: 978-1569753040
Category: Religion
Subcategory: Buddhism
Author: Jim Pym
Language: English
Publisher: Ulysses Press, Seastone (March 22, 2002)
Pages: 192 pages
ePUB size: 1206 kb
FB2 size: 1495 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 476
Other Formats: mbr lrf mobi azw

I have been in correspondence with Jim Pym off and on for the past several years. I can't say I know the man but I sense a seemlessness to his writings, whether they are on Quakerism or Buddhism. Jim brings his Catholic background and his Quaker formation to his appreciation and practice of Buddhism. No doubt his is a heterodox Buddhism that will not appeal to those whose imperatives dictate that they color solely within the lines. Nor should anyone mistake this book for an essay on Shin or Zen Buddhism no matter that Jim mines both schools for their workable insights.

Jim Pym is a Pure Land Buddhist in the broadest sense of the term, meaning he takes refuge in the buddhaverse [Robert Thurman] of Infinite Life and Light. That Jim speaks of God and prayer and the archangelic females Tara and Kuan-yin only serves to source his Buddhism in a wider field of of spiritual insight.

I recommend this book particularly to Buddhists who find something missing in their spirituality, something that perhaps they once had but felt they had to abandon when they took refuge in the Dharma.
But by the time I finished, I felt like the writer had ran out of things to say several chapters back and the overall book could have been much, much better. It is the author's account of where he was at spiritually when he wrote this book and the highlights of getting there.

As someone not coming to Buddhism from a Christian perspective, I felt like much of Pym's writing was aimed at someone else. The chapter on Christianity and Buddhism was a real disappointment in that it failed to address any of the more serious conflicts in worldview that the two religions might have but seems to latch onto what, in my estimation, appears to be superficial similarities.

Dogen mentions those who try and force Buddhism into being what they expect it to be as those who not yet given up the attachment of mind. While not a bad book, per se, I certainly would certainly suggest keeping this in mind while reading Pym's work.
I had never heard of Jim Pym (nor he of me, I'm sure), but when I found this book while browsing, I couldn't believe it. I had FINALLY found an introductory book on Buddhism that covered all the bases while accenting the aspects of this wonderful Way that I most believe in--practice, compassion (including vegetarianism, although he touches on this very lightly, so don't be put off), and self-discovery. Just an amazing book, and one of which I will buy many copies. I wish I could buy one for every person in the world; it would go a long way toward helping alleviate the hatred and suffering that has gripped our planet. Thank you, Jim Pym!
I reviewed this book for "Sacred Journey" and was amazed at the simplicty of Pym's explanations.I always Buddhism was an extremely complicated religion and found that most books about it were difficult to understand. This book breaks everythign down into the most simple terms. Pym utilizes fantastic parallels to common everyday things and provides a sound, yet easy to understand introduction to Buddhism. His writing style is lively and entertaining, keeping you turning pages and moving forward through the book.
Jim Pym seems like a very nice man, and I do not wish to appear to be criticizing him personally, or to presume to dictate his path, nor to impugn his motives. We are all, afterall, foolish beings. I must say, though, that as a life-long Buddhist (and for years a student of Jodo Shinshu) the book is a disappointment in several respects. First of all, the question of how Buddhism can maintain its spiritual core while adapting to modernity, especially in the West, is a serious, difficult and multi-faceted question. Pym gives no especially useful perspective on this. We do not need a book to tell us to keep what is useful and discard what is not -- we need insight as to how to tell the difference, not feel-good fluff. I also found Pym to consistently use a double-standard, as regards responding to his own critics, versus criticizing others. He often uses specious reasoning to defend Buddhist teachings that deserve much better treatment (I am reminded of Kierkegaard's lament about "spiritual plagiarism"). Finally, the reader should understand that Pym's perspective is one of blending Shin Buddhism with Christianity, and his presentation of Shin Buddhism is always colored by this personal perspective. Pym is not the only person on this blended path, and I am not criticizing him for that! But for the reader who wants to understand Shin Buddhism in its own right, including its everyday applications, Pym's book would not be the best introduction. There are wonderfully written books, accessible to the general reader, by Taitetsu Unno, Alfred Bloom, Kenneth Tanaka, and even D.T. Suzuki. Those books do a far better job of diving to the bottom, not just swimming on the surface.
This book is confused and pretentious and will probably appeal to people who are the same. (LOL! Just my dig at people who review reviewers. One of my pet peeves). Ok, but really I think fuzzy light weight stuff like this is about as spiritually *helpful* as a drink is *helpful* to an alcoholic. I am a nurse and I know that the patient needs to get better not just feel better. Medicine Buddha... please explain that compassion doesn't always mean being nice-nice. Mushing every path together doesn't do justice to anything and whining when people disgree is silly. There is one part where Pym has been saying that Christian and Buddhist spiritual experience are the same, and he says that no one has the right to disagree with him unless they are fully enlightened buddhas (I'm not making this up). Yeah, like Pym has the right to say it because he IS a fully enlightened buddha? I laughed out loud. We really are in the age of the decline of the dharma. Just add LOTS of sugar and keep diluting it - easier for some to swallow, but... ok, go ahead and tell me how unevolved I am... LOL! I only speak up about boring things like this because of the bodisattva vow i took along time ago :)