The Accidental Buddhist

This post was published more than a few years ago (on 2002-11-23) and may contain inaccurate technical information, outmoded thoughts, or cringe takes. Proceed at your own risk.

The Accidental Buddhist: Mindfulness, Enlightenment, and Sitting Still, American StyleI often browse through AAlgar's bookshelves, looking for something to abscond with and (hopefully) keep in a safe haven in my otherwise messy den until its eventual return. I borrowed this particular tome from AAl, who started out on this Buddhist discovery trip several years ago.

This book by Dinty Moore (how can you go wrong with a name like that?) relates his year-long search for American Buddhism. Basically the idea is? sure, a lot of Americans are turning to Buddhism, but is it just following foreign rituals and practices, or are there actually American Buddhists, taking the Buddhist ideals, and making them uniquely American?

Dinty's personable and humorous writing style deftly takes us through several weekend retreats, public events, and interviews with a number of people who may define the way Buddhism is being integrated into the American experience. Most interesting to me were an interview with a Jesuit priest who also practices Buddhist meditation and thought (additionally interesting because Dinty himself was raised Irish-Catholic), and a couple living in North Carolina who explore the dichotomy of trying to practice Buddhism while also trying to make a living at it.

Overall, this book was a swift, fun read that encouraged me to explore Buddhism more. 🙂

1999 :: auth. Dinty W. Moore :: 5 stars