I came across an advertisement for this book in a magazine and, having enjoyed immensely various articles written by Ezra Bayda, decided to get a copy. It's a gem of a book, full of wisdom using everyday language. It's therefore accessible to Buddhists and non, and is divided into subjects such as 'fear, anger, grief, relationships' etc.Some of the written texts may appear brief and concise but they can open the door to an infinite personal array of experience to work with. This book is ideal as a gift; we all have 'hard parts' in our lives. I challenge anyone travelling through 'difficult terrain' , or simply travelling an easy, beaten path to not find something of insight and value in these pages, no matter the situation they find themselves in.
I have many books of short extracts designed to offer meaningful advice or wisdom, but this is probably the most helpful - certainly it is the one I refer to most often. This is largely because Ezra Bayda eschews New Age platitudes and instead offers enlightened yet, paradoxically, very down-to-earth observations on the human condition. One senses that one does not have to aspire to far-off gurudom to make make progress in one's struggle for a more spiritually enlightened and aware existence. Just a couple of extracts will hopefully illustrate this:
"Your difficulties are not obstacles on the path, they are the path"
"Our efforts in practice will inevitably'fail'. We will have periods of aspiration and effort, followed by periods of resistance and apathy. Ups and downs in practice are predictable and inevitable. The countermeasure is simply to persevere."
The book is paradoxically reassuring, comforting but also challenging.
Equally wise observations reflect Bayda's views on conflict, work, relationships, illusions, sex, work, anger, blame and many other topics. This book inspired me to read more Ezra Bayda books and I was not disappointed. If you like this you should enjoy and be inspired by 'At Home in the Muddy Water' - a fine book. There is a touching review of this book by Ezra Bayda's daughter on the US Amazon site.