Where do you get your wisdom?
In a cup of tea.
San Francisco, California-based writer Todd Walton didnâ€™t imagine heâ€™d ever be considered for his wisdom and inspiration. Yet the astounding and simple stories he tells in this new book might make you think that there is in fact an amazing guru walking the streets of our world.
Buddha in a Teacup: Tales of Enlightenment contains forty-two astounding short and memorable stories.Â Each captures the profound essence of human feeling when facing a simple paradox of personal experience. Â Walton says that while he has scant interest in Buddhist dogma, he is captivated by the wisdom and compassion of Buddha and was inspired to achieve brevity in his storytelling.
These warm, dramatic, inspiring stories will trigger emotions and move you in ways that you cannot quite imagine. Â The stories are short, and when their impact hits you fully, you are affected deeply and the lesson stays with you for a long, long time.
Case in point, the first story, â€œThe Beggar,â€ hooks you right away. Â It tells of a young woman who commutes to work, passing by a certain beggar each day, a man who wears the saffron robe of a Buddhist monk. Â She sees him day after day, always sitting with his bowl at a certain time and in a certain place. Â As the weeks go by she becomes preoccupiedâ€”even slightly obsessedâ€”with his plight and his welfare, and one day decides to learn more about this man. Â She takes the day off and watches and waits till he arrives, and then studies what happens. Â His bowl quickly fills with money, but he doesnâ€™t touch the bowl. Â A filthy beggar approaches, gets a nod from the man, empties the bowl, and leaves. Â A few minutes more and the bowl is once again overflowing with money. Â Another beggar approaches, gets a nod, empties the bowl, and leaves; then another, and another, and another. Â By the end of the evening, the process is repeated until seventy-seven beggars of every age, sex, and color have been gifted by the man in the flowing gold robes. Â Finally, he picks up his bowl and crosses the street to where the woman is watching. Â She looks up at him, speechless with love. To which he replies softly, and with the force of a hurricane, â€œHello, my dear friend.â€
This is beautiful, even exquisite, and intelligent writing. Â The stories are relaxed and entertaining and the author offers up very likable and genuine characters who share their personal experience and perceptions in entrancing ways that make you feel touched, sharply engaged, and yes, enlightened.
Buddha in a Teacup
Tales of Enlightenment
By Todd Walton
Published by Lost Coast Press
Litho Casebound Â· 192 Pages Â· 5.25 x 7.5 Â·
Available in hard cover and on an audio CD.
Inspired by the teachings of the Buddha, these forty-two contemporary short stories will uplift and inspire modern-day readers, who neednâ€™t have interest in Buddhist spiritual practice or be familiar with Buddhist jargon to derive full enjoyment from reading them. Â The tales express universal human predicaments and challenges that transcend any particular philosophical or religious orientation. Â Some of the stories are humorous, some sad, some erotic, some enigmatic; all are linked by the themes of mindfulness, nonviolence, honesty, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and loveâ€”perhaps the greatest remaining hope for our otherwise savage society. Â Humorous, serious, enigmatic, and poetic, these contemporary tales illuminate the mysteries of life and Buddhist thought by dramatizing turning points in the peopleâ€™s lives.
What People Are Saying
Buddha in a Teacup received a very favorable review in the Sacramento News and Review out of Sacramento, California. The book is also receiving glowing reviews from readers on Amazon, both for its stories and for its appearance.
â€œIt is truly wonderful to find stories such as these, with their subtlety, delicacy, and beauty, reminiscent of the best haiku poetry, each one a thought-provoking gem.â€
â€” Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of Tribe of Tiger, The Animal Wife, and The Old Way
â€œTodd Walton s quietly told tales fill me with joy. How glad I am to share the world with such an amazing spirit and gifted writer!â€
â€” James Norwood Pratt, author of The New Tea Loverâ€™s Treasury
â€œI am much taken by the beauty and abundance of these elegant, sharply-etched epiphanies. The Buddha spirit walks through these stories like a grand master passing from board to board in a hall of stalemates, resolving every one.â€
â€” William Carpenter, author of Rain and The Hours of Morning
About the Author
Todd Walton is an oft-published writer of novels and stories. He is also a professional musician and composer. He was born in San Francisco. His fiction began appearing in national magazines in 1975 with the publication of Willow in Cosmopolitan. In 1978, Todd published his critically acclaimed novel Inside Moves, which sold over 160,000 copies and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film in 1980. The New York Times chose his second novel, Forgotten Impulses (Simon and Schuster, 1980), as one of the best of that year. Louie & Women was published by Dutton in 1983, and Night Train by Mercury House in 1986. Todd s fifth novel, Ruby & Spear, was published by Bantam in 1996. In 1998, Avon published his first nonfiction work, Open Body: Creating Your Own Yoga. Red Wing Press published Of Water and Melons in 1999, and in May 2000, Ten Speed Press published The Writer s Path, Todd s book of original writing exercises, co-authored with Mindy Toomay.
Todd was the founding chair of the Creative Writing Department of the California State Summer School for the Arts from 1986 to 1991. He has taught creative writing for more than a decade, introducing his highly effective and innovative writing exercises to writers of all ages and levels of experience. Todd lives in Berkeley, California. In addition to his writing, he has been a performing musician for over thirty years. His one-person shows feature his music and songs for piano and guitar along with dramatic readings from his vast collection of short stories and novels.
â€œIt is a beautiful, rich red cover with lean gold lettering; it looks like a gift already wrapped.â€