Boeddha NU (Buddhism Now) - new Belgian Dharma book by Dhammaketu
On Sat, 28 April, 2012 - 05:06
Sometimes it seems that in English a new book on Buddhism is published practically every day - but elsewhere in Europe it’s still much more of a rarity. So we’re delighted to celebrate the recent publication of Boeddha NU (Buddhism Now) - a new Belgian Dharma book by Dhammaketu, long-standing member of the Triratna Buddhist Order. Here’s a review, translated from bol.com, the Dutch online booksellers:
“Buddha NU is a book of our own soil and our time. Buddhism today enjoys a growing interest and appreciation, but is still often misunderstood. It was created and grew up in cultures very different from ours, and the way it has come down to us, from those cultures, sometimes gives rise to misunderstandings. In this book the author explores the common ground of the diverse forms of Buddhism in ways that avoid cultural misunderstandings. Dhammaketu succeeds superbly in communicating the timeless character of the vision of the Buddha and its relevance for modern Western society”.
Dhammaketu was born in 1941, in a family of small farmers, near Bruges, Belgium. As a young man he was a Benedictine monk for seven years - then, deeply dissatisfied with the study of theology, he left and studied philosophy instead. Making a living as civil servant, he became one of the founders of the Belgian Green Party, and was for eight years a MP for that party. While an MP, he got deeply involved in the Triratna Buddhist Community (then known as the FWBO), and was ordained in 1995. On retiring as an MP he founded the flourishing Buddhist Centre in Ghent, and more recently Metta Vihara, Triratna’s new retreat centre in the Netherlands - also returning to university to study Sanskrit.
In the video, recorded while the book was still being written, Dhammaketu speaks about the contribution he hopes Boeddha NU will make to our understanding of Buddhism in the West.