April 9

Review: Against the Stream

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments


A good while ago a former student recommended this book to me. I logged it in the back of my mind, but have been into Brad Warner’s writing of late. (He is another Buddhist author). I thought I had finished all of Warner’s books, and purchased it. It sat on my shelf with other books I purchased and intend to read for a couple of months. Then a few clients and colleagues, in an act of interesting synchronicity, started talking about Refuge Recovery. (Refuge Recovery is a program of Buddhist based addiction recovery meetings). I went to their website, and low and behold, the founder is Noah Levine, the author of Against the Stream.

I began the book and thought some of his writing on mindfulness (in the section on the Eightfold Path) was written in a manner some clients might find helpful. In bringing the book to the office I somehow lost it (and a treasured bookmark some friends in Japan had given me). Because I was about halfway through, I bought another copy and finished it.

It’s a pretty easy read. I made myself read it faster than usual because I really wanted to share aspects of it with one of my clients. As I’ve read a good amount on Buddhism, I found it pretty rudimentary overall. The vast majority of what I read I already knew well. Despite this, there were aspects I found well written, especially for those less initiated in Buddhist thought.

My rating of the book suffers partly because I found it rudimentary. I realize this is unfair, but it is my rating. Additionally, I wasn’t fond of the repeated use of the term “revolutionary” throughout the text. (A search of the book on Amazon finds 51 uses of that word). Although I get that this approach to life is rather unorthodox, and I get his use of the word to convey that and more, I just found it a bit overemphasized. This is what kept me from bumping the rating up a notch. I am also willing to admit I’m biased because I’m much fonder of Brad Warner’s writing. Regardless of my biases, I would still recommend Against the Stream to anyone looking to find out more about Buddhism, especially if they want to make a change (and even more so if that change is the cessation of substances due to an addiction).

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 9th, 2018 at 8:04 PM and is filed under Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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