I enjoy reading more than one book at a time, especially when they’re sort of at odds but possibly complementary. Following a lovely afternoon at the library on Saturday, I’m reading The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas, with commentary by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, and Richard Feynman’s The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.
The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas explores the teachings of Gyelsay Togmay Sangpo, a 14th-century Tibetan Buddhist monk. Bodhisattvas, in Buddhism, are people who have attained enlightenment but postpone nirvana to help others attain enlightenment as well.
Richard Feynman was a physicist, writer, and professor, sometimes called the “Great Explainer” because of his love of creating simple explanations for complex problems. He participated in the development of the atom bomb and in the investigation into the Challenger disaster. He was also considered a free spirit, learned to play the bongos, enjoyed some success at drawing, and (this is my favorite part) had some synesthesia with the letters in equations (n, apparently was “mildly violet-bluish”). This book is a collection of his short works. It is FANTASTIC.
I like reading these two together because I find the connections between physics and philosophy (and I’d say Buddhism could be considered both religion and philosophy) fascinating.