Buddha in a Teacup
by Todd Walton
Reviewed by Laura Tucker
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I’ve always been one of those people that believes everything happens for a reason. I believe when something happens that give reason to take pause, someone is giving us a message. I’ve held these beliefs for many years before I became interested in martial arts, but now, being involved in both Korean and Chinese martial arts, these beliefs are only strengthened. I don’t hold on to a certain religion, as I prefer to stick to my own beliefs of a higher power instead of being pigeonholed into a group’s beliefs.
Still, others’ religious beliefs interest me, even if I refuse to join them. Knowing that Buddhism is related in some ways to martial arts, it interests me. Until now, though, I had never gone out of my way to read anything about it. What pulled me in was the title of this book, Buddha in a Teacup. It’s not just that I like tea, but I know it has many healing aspects, as do some form of martial arts, and certainly some would view Buddha as healing as well.
This relatively short book (176 pages) contains several short stories, two to six pages long, and each story features either people involved in Buddhism or in similar ideals. Many of them also involve tea, the sharing of tea between people that unites and calms them.
Reading Buddha in a Teacup was fascinating, but not so much the Buddhism, as just the way it made me think and connect. For the most part, each of the stories are independent from each other; together, they form a larger story of life and how to live. Some of them left me feeling hopeful, and others left me upset. Still others left me confused. Some of the stories completely finish, yet with others, we’re left hanging, wondering what happened after that, causing us to think about it and not let it go.
The best thing about this book is that it can be savored any way you want to. You can read it all at once, to get one big picture of the story of life it is telling, or you can read one short story at a time, to fully take in what each vignette is telling. You can read it every morning to start your day along with a cup of oolong, or read it every night to relax with a cup of chamomile. This is where the true artistry of author, Todd Walton, comes in, as he wrote these singular stories and strung them all together in a fashion for us to choose how to enjoy it, yet still manages to send his message.
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