Following in the spirit of the popular What Would Jesus Do? books, this one takes the ancient wisdom of Buddha and applies it to contemporary questions of personal identity, relationships, and societal issues. Franz Metcalf works with the Forge Institute for Spirituality and Social Change and teaches college in Los Angeles.

For example, the question what would Buddha do when criticized? is answered in the Dhammapada, verse 76: "Look upon one who tells you your faults as giving you a hidden treasure, as a wise person who shows you the dangers of life." The question what would Buddha do about changing other people? is answered in the Dakini Teachings 1: "Do not examine the limitations of others. Examine how you can change your own." Sounds a lot like Jesus and that is one of the values of a volume like this one: it enables us to see the similarities in the spiritual visions of different religions.

Here is an especially good piece of advice for Americans in answer to the question, What would Buddha do to gain health, beauty, happiness, status, heaven? The answer is from Anguttara Nikaya 5.43: "It is not right for the good person who desires happiness to pray for it. . . . Instead, the good person who desires happiness should walk the path of practice leading to happiness." This bit of wisdom could save a lot of people from the suffering that comes from the idea of entitlement.

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