Review: Zen Master Poems by Dick Allen

Zen Master Poems (New Wisdom Poems Book 1) by Dick Allen

*Click on the link or the image above to read the synopsis and pre-order a copy!*
(It is releasing August 23rd, 2016)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

My Review/thoughts:

A few years back, when I was on a journey to finding out who I wanted to be (or rather who I really am), I was exploring different religions since I fell off Catholicism—the religion I was born into and the religion I have practiced my whole life. During my journey, I considered the benefits of practicing Buddhism. When I learned a little bit more of Buddhism, I told myself it was something I connected more with, or wanted myself to connect with more than my current religion. Despite all of this, however, I have decided that the conversion from Catholicism to Buddhism was not going to be an easy one. I then started asking myself: is this something I really want? Or am I doing this merely because I no longer want to be tied to my current religion? In the end, I ended up abandoning the idea of fully converting to Buddhism. In the end, I decided that if I were to convert to Buddhism, it must be something I’m willing to fully convert to.

While I changed my mind about converting to Buddhism, I do still agree with some of the practices within the Buddhism religion. More or less, this is the reason why this book caught my attention. I thought perhaps reading little poems about Buddhism could help me appreciate the religion more without fully devoting myself to the religion itself. I must say, that even as a Catholic, I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated this book.

Now, had I gone into this book with more knowledge about Buddhism, I think I would have been able to enjoy this even more and probably would have ended up giving it a 5 star rating rather than a 3 star. I do not want to be one who claims I understood every poem in this book. As a matter of fact, I didn’t quite connect with more than half of the poems. Nonetheless, there were still some that spoke to me and stood out from the rest. One of my favourites was How Good It Would Be.

How good it would be
to not question,
Does the cat question its fur?
Does the window question sunlight pouring
through it?
Does a blanket question how it lies upon
the bed?

Learn how to not question
and you may yet still the mind.

I am not a Buddhist and I do not practice Buddhism. I did not understand some of the references in these poems, and I was none the wiser about most of them. I do, however, meditate. So How Good It Would Be was one that stood out the most to me. The poem is pretty self explanatory.

With all of this being said, I am still glad I picked this book up even though I could not connect with more than half of the pieces. It was refreshing to just sit and read these poems nonetheless.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


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