Walking In A Woollard Wonderland

William and JasonMy trips to Newbury are getting so frequent lately, that the car seems to know its way there instinctively by now. Although the journey is very simple, A31, M27, M3, A38, it is quite a long way and can take a long time when the traffic gets busy. So it presents the perfect opportunity to chant or to listen and learn from some of the great Buddhist authors, like William Woollard.

Today I have been listening to chapters 14 and 15 of his amazing book, Buddhism and the Science of Happiness, as recorded and published, in podcast format, by another pair of amazing Nichiren Buddhists, Jason and Karen Jarrett of abuddhistpodcast.com fame.

Chapter 14, entitled A Kind of Revolution, covers the way that Buddhism, in all its forms, is spreading westward, not though evangelists or teachers, but almost exclusively by word of mouth. Something that few, if any, other religions have done for thousands of years. It explains that as western society gets more and more bogged down in capitalism and the ills that the pursuit of money, wealth and property bring, people are searching, ever more widely, for a way to come to terms with their lives and a way to increase their happiness.

Chapter 15, entitled The Wealth Delusion, explains that although incomes and personal wealth have increased significantly in the past fifty to sixty years, people have not become proportionally happier as a result. On the contrary, with the tendency for people to measure their own self worth, as well as that of others, by what they earn or the things they possess, there has been a gradual trend to become less and less satisfied with our lot.

William’s soothing voice, and the wise and educational words flowed over me as I made my way to and from a rather high pressure work situation. Their relevance to that situation might be questioned, but their effect upon me can not be underestimated.

William has been a part of my life since his days on television, as a presenter of fantastic programs like Tomorrows World and Top Gear. Back them he wasn’t a Buddhist, but it is clear from his message, that Buddhism has had a profound and lasting effect upon him and the people around him.

If you get the chance, take a tour of Jason and Karen’s website, and download some or all of William’s readings. They are freely available and well worth listening to. In fact listening to the podcasts was really the reason I became a Nichiren Buddhist myself, so a heartfelt thank you to The Jarretts for all the hard work they put into the site, and a massive thank you to William for taking the time to write, and then record his wisdom, so that the rest of us may learn from the lessons he has learned over the years.

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