So you think you're a Buddhist? Think again. Tibetan Buddhist master Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, one of the most creative and innovative lamas teaching today, throws down the gauntlet to the Buddhist world, challenging common misconceptions, stereotypes, and fantasies. With wit and irony, Khysentse urges readers to move beyond the superficial trappings of Buddhism—beyond the romance with beads, incense, or exotic robes—straight to the heart of what the Buddha taught.
Here at last is a crisp new voice in Tibetan Buddhism. Khyentse, a lama from an influential family and Buddhist lineage in Bhutan, is also a filmmaker, responsible for the sleeper hit The Cup, about a group of Tibetan monks obsessed with soccer. The monk brings the same multicultural fluency to his first book. He can make references to Viagra and Camilla Parker-Bowles as easily as he can tell stories of the Buddha's life. With confidence tempered by wit, he cuts to the core of Buddhism: four "seals" truths that make up a Buddhist "right view" of the world and existence. This book is not, repeat not, about meditation. Instead, it looks at everyday life through a Buddhist lens, understanding happiness and suffering from that perspective. Enlightenment ends suffering but also trumps happiness. Khyentse writes persuasively about the importance of understanding emptiness: disappointment lessens, expectations soften, and change is not a shock. There is much food for thought in this short book for Buddhist students and for anyone interested in the ongoing adaptation of traditional Eastern wisdom into postmodern Western settings. "You can change the cup," Khyentse writes, "but the tea remains pure."