Buddhaland Brooklyn by Richard C. Morais

Seido is a Buddhist priest approaching middle age whose life since age eleven has been defined by the daily rhythms of the remote monastery in Japan where he lives.  His settled existence consists of teaching acolytes and painting; a shy man, Seido cares little for the interaction of others.  Therefore, he receives a midlife shock when his superiors put him in charge of building a Buddhist temple in New York City.  With this comes the challenge of ministering to a flock of believers who interpret the tenets of Buddhism with a decidedly American slant.  Oh, and what a group!  His followers vary from rich to poor, humble to cocky and self-absorbed, and some of them are troubled to the core.  Seido endures snobbery, insanity, and some extreme trials of faith to keep his wits together and to build the temple.  Along the way, he learns something about enlightenment from all that he meets, and with this, empathy.

Buddhaland Brooklyn is a quick read.  I wouldn’t consider it high literature, but it’s an entertaining fish-out-of-water tale.  The author also wrote another called The Hundred-Foot Journey, which looks pretty interesting.  Something about food…

(William Hicks, Information Services)

2 Responses

  1. hmm love the artwork and synopsis, but you don’t seem overly enthused. could you compare the writing to any other author?

    • In his choosing of low-key yet unique situations and his writing style, the author reminds me of the two books by Thomas Fox Averill that I read several years back – “Secrets of the Tsil Cafe” and “The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson”. As for my enthusiasm with the book, I enjoyed it, and certainly got some insight from reading it, but it wasn’t mindblowing. I’d still recommend the book.

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