In Dharma Delight, abstract artist and Zen practitioner Rodney Greenblat uses lighthearted narrative and vivid pop art paintings to celebrate the joys of living life from the inside out.
Part graphic guide, part personal testimony, part art book, Dharma Delight illustrates how seeking the path of compassion and acceptance can be as zany and exuberant as it is profound. It is a happy exploration of Buddhist Enlightenment—what it is, where to seek it—and how to recognize the perfection in ourselves. A great option for Zen beginners and experienced practitioners alike, sutras (teachings), Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings) and jataka tales (parables) are presented in a way that's simple, upbeat and fun to read.
The original paintings—some new, some already known on the New York art scene and elsewhere—are an imaginative and affirming mind's-eye view of Buddhist teaching. Together, the words and illustrations are a warm and cheerful invitation to newcomers and a cool splash of refreshment to any traveler on the road to enlightenment.
Fans of Greenblat's video game and comic book characters (such as PaRappa the Rapper and Thunder Bunny) will recognize his whimsical style in this graphic book collecting his art related to Buddhism, particularly Zen. A walking, talking "sentient bean" (aka "being") and wise guide Pandatsu (a Zen panda) help Musho (a self-inserted Greenblat) explain a variety of Buddhist concepts, including the Four Noble Truths, bodhisattvas, koans, and Jataka tales (traditionally stories of the Buddha's past lives). The book concludes with a brief introduction to Zen practice. Particularly effective are Greenblat's pages showing ways to behave like a bodhisattva in everyday life. Despite being roughly organized by topic, the content sometimes seems random; readers looking for a step-by-step introduction to this Eastern philosophy will be disoriented, and some aspects of Greenblat's visual humor (including apparent in-jokes) may puzzle them. However, the creative exuberance, wild variety of art styles, information-packed pages, and playfully wise treatment of a seemingly serious subject should invite closer investigation by a range of readers interested in Buddhism. Answering the question, "What is Dharma Delight?", Musho ably illustrates that "this very everyday world is the world of miracles and the unknown."