Review and Recipe
When you are young, you think you have all the answers.
When you are older, you are finally brave enough to ask the questions.
Otto Ringling is a a middle-aged man who has questions. But the day-to-day busy-ness of life keeps him from really listening to his own inner voice. When he's tricked into driving his sister's spiritual guide across the country, Otto is not in the mood to discuss "hokem" or spirituality for six days. All he wants to do is get to their final destination as quickly as possible with the least amount of religious proselytizing.
To his surprise, the maroon-robed guru from Russia, known as Rinpoche, isn't about conversion or pushing Otto to the "right path." But there is a stillness and resoluteness about Rinpoche that intrigues Otto, and he finds himself asking more and more questions.
As they travel across the country, Otto shows Rinpoche the "real America," like bowling and miniature golf. And Otto reluctantly tries yoga, meditation, and fasting. Despite himself, Otto realizes his cynical outlook about spirituality is really covering fear and uncertainty, and a need to know the one answer to everything. With Rinpoche's gentle discussions, Otto discovers that the problem lies more in his questions than in the answers.
I have this odd belief that sometimes books find you at just the right time. I'm not necessarily on a serious spiritual journey myself, but I am at the right age to have the same "deep thoughts" that Otto does in this book. And I can sympathize with his attempts at yoga. Just ask my poor teacher Heather who has to watch me flounder around every week.
Despite the talk of mystical or spiritual searching, the author gives his topics a light touch, instead concentrating on the search that we all find ourselves on at one time or another ― basically, why are we here? The book is written with humor and without being preachy or pushing one religion or agenda.
As I read Breakfast with Buddha, I kept thinking of my own "guru"...my mom. She has a saying that I've always remembered, and that I think really fits this book's theme: "If you concentrate too hard on the destination, you won't enjoy the journey." ( 2007 - Algonquin Books)
Yeah, I know. The name is a bit gross to American ears, but this is a delicious breakfast. I first had it years ago in a family-owned hotel in Cologne, Germany. I stayed at that hotel several times over five years and finally coerced the recipe out of the mother. I've changed it up a bit to fit my tastes and to accommodate whatever fruits I have. And, like Rinpoche in Breakfast with Buddha, it looks a little strange, but is full of surprises.
2 cups vanilla yogurt 2 cups rolled oats
1 cup milk 3 spoons sugar
1/2 lemon, squeezed 2 grated apples
2 bananas, peeled/chopped 1 orange, peeled and copped
All you have to do is combine the first five ingredients, and then add the fruit. Let it sit covered in a refrigerator overnight. Feel free to add grapes, strawberries, pineapple, dried cranberries, raisins, nuts, as desired. (Recipe my own)