A soldier came to Hakuin and asked "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.
"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.
"You, a samurai!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard?...
I recently published a novel that captures some of the basic ideas found in Buddhism. The book, Chameleon War, does not address spirituality explicitly, but the structure of the plot, in the end, creates a scenario in which, to make sense of the plot, the reader must discover that his or her only choices are to become frustrated in his or her inability to understand the reason for the plot's apparent confusion, or to accept it for what it is . . . . a challenge, nothing more, nothing less. Life, like the book, does not explicitly present itself as a vessel for spirituality. This is because spirituality does not come from life. Spirituality comes from within oneself, one's mind and the mind's relationship with life. To some people, the book may come across as just being a series of individual experiences one feels along the way. My intention was that those experiences should be looked at as being separate from the nature of the existence from which they were experienced. The nature of the existence in the book shifts at the end into a perspective that appears incompatible with one's initial understanding of his or her experiences throughout the book. This is where the confusion arises and where there is an opportunity to simply be one with those experiences without needing to understand them through any one particular perspective. You can learn more about it at chameleonwar.com.
I was wondering if anybody has read other books that provide a similar opportunity to practice Buddhism simply as a means to get beyond the challenges presented in the plot. Also, I would like to learn what non-Buddhist books you have read that has acted as a tool from which to learn new Buddhist concepts.
Hanging around in bookshops and the larger bookstores for a few hours on a regular daily basis, keeping a careful eye on your book's shelf-position is a must. Always endeavour to make certain your book is at the front of the shelf with cover facing outwards. Stand close to the shelf with a copy in hand, pretending to read while making favourable comments about it to anyone within earshot, but don't overdo it. Applied diligently, the bookshop staff will not tumble to your purpose. These simple post-natal exercises will lead to handsome rewards and pay greater dividends than would hitherto have been the case had you stayed at home.