Mr. Harrison, a South African gay man with AIDS, has written a book that is a primer for Insight Meditation. Although the theme of the book is how to live with pain and suffering (whether medical or mental or social), anyone with an interest in the teaching of the Buddha and instructions on meditation would find this helpful. At the end of thr book the author goes through the "precepts" of Buddhism, such as non-harming, no stealing, no intoxicants. He lists them and then uses stories to show how they work in the everyday world. Mr Harrison's greatest gift in this book, I feel, is that he shows how those who are in the midst of suffering can turn their attention from themselves to others and open their heart to a compassion that may have otherwise gone undiscovered. He deals with the fear of death and anger as well, giving meditational insights into each problem. I gave the book 4 stars only because the writing can be a bit plodding and feels sort of dull after a bit.
on one side it is a touching and impressive story of the writer's difficult life (from child abuse to AIDS) and the way meditation helps him.
On the other side it is a meditation/Buddhism guide, starting brilliantly - comparing the Buddha's life story to every person's personal struggle for liberation but then gets repetitive/boring to the point where i simply couldn't read any longer.
Had the writer focused more on his personal struggle this could have been an excellent book as there are many gems hidden in it's pages, too bad they are too far scattered.