Val Walton


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Smashwords book reviews by Val Walton

  • Understanding, the Simplicity of Life on May 07, 2012

    The paths to Enlightenment are many and complicated. Words are only pointers and can often mislead as concepts and ideas are not the truth either. As a result trying to understand can be very frustrating. This books lays out a path very clearly. Words used are defined with great precision and metaphors and stories help to illustrate the ideas. Colin uses stories from Zen and Sufi as well as from his own experiences as a seeker to show the practical effects of the ideas. Although the ideas are very abstract Colin is able to capture what is needed before understanding takes place. The ideas of Advaita, Taoism and Zen can seem so complicated that words slip away and there is a tendency to try to grasp them. Colin has the ability to hold the words steady so they can be thought about and discussed. When understanding comes, even only at an intellectual level, words aren’t necessary any more. Colin points out how simple it can be. We don’t have to go looking for enlightenment: for our impersonal consciousness. It’s already there- within us. We are so busy chasing down the road looking for signs that we miss the fact that it is right here. It was here when we were born and we just lost sight of it as we absorbed the conditioning of our culture.
  • Something to Ponder, reflections from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching on May 18, 2012

    This interpretation of Lao Tzu is not literal. It draws from the essence and rewrites the ideas in simple poetry. The flow of words are best appreciated when read aloud. Lao Tzu addresses leadership and government as well as personal peace. I think the quote below, although the wisdom is over 2500 years old, is as relevant today as it was then. It’s a description of the conditions which may underlie the actions of those who commit acts of terrorism which will result in their own death. When life becomes intolerable Death is welcomed And He who has embraced his death Lives without fear. A man like this makes a formidable enemy!