Bodhi Tree Grows in LA: tales of a Buddhist monk in America
Truth is regularly stranger than fiction for the abbot of a Buddhist temple in the far-from-tranquil inner city of Los Angeles, California. Whether he is talking a dangerously unbalanced man out of buying a gun, confronting a naked woman in his meditation hall, or helping gamblers reform, Bhante Walpola Piyananda demonstrates that every experience can be an opportunity for learning and appreciating the Buddha's teachings.
Bhante Piyananda also reflects on social and political issues such as the racial tension in his neighborhood after the Rodney King trail and the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afganistan.
“Refreshing proof of the power of compassion and the wisdom of the Buddha for daily life and its vicissitudes.”
"Venerable Walpola Piyananda skillfully expresses deep messages about Buddhist philosophy, ethics, and morality in an effective and profound way."
—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, author of Mindfulness in Plain English
"Bhante Piyananda illuminates the multifaceted complexities of modern-day urban American life with a sparkling fusion of engaging personal tales an classical teachings from the Buddhist scriptures."
—Ajahn Amaro, co-abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery
"Bhante Piyananda is a pioneering Theravadin Buddhist monk in the U.S. who teaches us that Buddhism has much to offer in confronting the dilemmas and challenges of modern life."
—George D. Bond, Professor of Religion, Northwestern University