The Dharma Bums (Jack Kerouac)

Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything.

Wise words from a man cataloguing his own enlightenment. Enjoying a glorious second read of the book I first enjoyed on a solitary day in Amsterdam, I feel as if you have to read Dharma Bums in order to understand what exactly makes it stand apart as it does. Kerouac’s 1958 novel is just so —- eye-opening. Heart-opening. Consciousness-broadening. This book provides me with temporary refuge from that state of suffering we call worldly concerns – the anxiety we feel from trying to prove ourselves to others, working too hard, laughing too little – to a mind-body-balancing tadasana (yogic mountain pose), represented in the novel by the tautological  “Hozomeen, Hozomeen, the most mountiful mountain I ever seen.”

To say more would only give away a book that I want you to go out and read or, if you can, buy – I take so much pleasure in thumbing through my newest edition. Ray’s bikkhu guru Japhy would say: “words words words you made up…, man I wanta be enlightened by actions.” Any sort of glowing review I give you is only trying to prove something that need not be proven but, rather, experienced.

Read it – it’s the perfect book to enjoy in summer solitude. Enjoy.


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