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Book Review: The Wisdom of Imperfection, The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life

March 7, 2011

“The Wisdom of Imperfection: The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life”
by Rob Preece
Published by Snow Lion Publications

Like in a previously reviewed book, “The Courage To Feel”, Preece brings his psychological viewpoint, ala Carl Jung, and his immense knowledge of Tibetan Buddhist practice to the forefront once again in this book.

“The Wisdom Of Imperfection…” identifies some issues folks have when they come to Buddhist practice. Preece addresses the fact he has treated folks who were struggling, specifically newer practitioners. Some folks, when they first come to this path may have some things they have to work out, and they believe that Buddhist practice in an of itself can cure those issues. In one example, he talks of a woman who sacrifices herself over and over, the overbearing Bodhisattva we could call her.

I took a good amount away from the chapter “Individuation and Spiritual Crisis” which dealt with those of us, that hitting a certain age begin to feel a bit disjointed with the world around us and stumble on this practice. He talks about the complications we encounter as our minds have been accustomed to the way we’ve lived, not the way we hope to live. We all know how powerful the mind is, and Preece gives some practical tips to help.

My only criticism is that the book seemed a bit dry at times, and for me, the use of Jungian terms did not resonate. I can appreciate what the author was going for, but not being a fan of psycho-babble I was lost at times. If finding a delicate balance between Jungian psychotherapy and Tibetan Buddhist practice is something you are searching for, Rob Preece is the author that will satiate that urge. I did enjoy his previous book “Courage To Feel” a lot more, maybe I need to put this one down and come back to it again later.

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