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Saffron Days in L.A.: Tales of a Buddhist Monk in America

Piyananda, Bhante Walpola

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ISBN 10: 1570628130 / ISBN 13: 9781570628139
Published by Shambhala Pubns, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 2001
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Karl Theis (Torrance, CA, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Saffron Days in L.A.: Tales of a Buddhist ...

Publisher: Shambhala Pubns, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed & Inscribed By Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


In this delightful memoir, Bhante Walpola Piyananda, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, shares his often amusing, often poignant experiences of life in America. Whether he's reasoning with a group of confrontational punks on Venice Beach, bridging the gap between a rebellious teenager and her traditional parents, explaining to an errant Buddhist that the concept of "non-attachment" does not justify irresponsibility, or dealing with a nude sunbather at a meditation retreat, no situation-no matter how sticky-manages to affect Bhante's unflappable calm or his phenomenal ability to find the right parable for the moment. Bhante Walpola Piyananda, who is abbot of a Buddhist meditation center in L.A. has met and counseled a wide range of people-the disenfranchised of society, couples dealing with relationship issues, American Buddhists trying to reconcile their practice with their very Western lifestyles, recent immigrants struggling to assimilate but also maintain their traditional values. His stories reveal the complicated, joyous, painful, baffling, and inspiring aspects of the human condition and the power of true compassion.


There is more to being a monk than meditating and walking around in spiffy robes. Just ask Bhante Walpola Piyananda, a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk who has been serving the Los Angeles community for many years. Although one of the highest-ranking Theravadan monks in America, his spiritual generosity brings him to the aid of punks, prostitutes, and destitute immigrants. Saffron Days in L.A. is his story of these colorful encounters. Not only does he help reconcile a teenager with her strict parents, get a drunk off the bottle, and help a psychotic back to normal life, he explains how he does it. Occasionally, it's through chanting exercises or outside help, but mostly this compassionate, erudite monk picks out the perfect teaching from his own experience or from the vast corpus of Buddhist sutras that he seems to have in his head, and that does the trick. So here we get not only stories and stories within stories, but the basics of Buddhism in a form that's easy to digest. Sometimes, Piyananda's successes seem to come a bit too easily, like something from a Buddhist version of Touched by an Angel, but the teachings--about how to get along, be happy, and walk the Middle Path--still hit home. --Brian Bruya

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