Breakfast With Buddha

Breakfast With Buddha

A Novel

Book - 2007
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Workman Press.
When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger—and amuse himself—he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world—and more important, his life—through someone else's eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.

In Roland Merullo's masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he's missing in the most unexpected place.

Baker & Taylor
At the behest of his sister, Otto Ringling finds himself reluctantly accompanying her guru, an enigmatic Mongolian monk, on a trip through Middle America to their childhood home, introducing his passenger to some American "fun" along the way.

Blackwell North Amer
The only thing certain about a journey is that it has a beginning and an end - for you never know what may happen along the way. And so it is with this journey into the minds and souls of two very different men - one of them in search of the truth, the other a man who may have already found it.
When Otto Ringling. husband, father, and editor, departs on a cross-country drive from his home in a New York City suburb to the North Dakota farmhouse in which he grew up, he is a man on a no-nonsense mission: to settle the estate of his recently deceased parents. However, when his flaky sister convinces him to give a ride to her guru, a crimson-robed Skovorodinian monk, Otto knows there will be a few bumps in the road.
As they venture across America, Otto and the affable, wise, irritating, and inscrutable holy man engage in a battle of wits and wisdom. Otto, a born skeptic, sees his unwanted passenger as a challenge: a man who assumes the knowledge of the ages yet walks a mortal's path. But he also sees their unexpected pairing as an opportunity to take Volya Rinpoche on a journey of cultural discovery, with visits to quintessentially American landmarks (the Hershey'S factory, Wrigley Field) and forays into some favorite American pastimes (bowling, miniature golf, dining out).
It is Otto, however, who has embarked on the real journey, that of self-discovery, led by his strange and remarkable passenger. By the time they reach North Dakota, Otto's head is reeling with the understanding that so much of what he had believed - as well as so much of what he had doubted - must be rethought before his journey can truly begin.

& Taylor

At the behest of his sister, Otto Ringling, a straightlaced publishing executive, finds himself reluctantly accompanying her guru, an enigmatic Mongolian monk, on a trip through Middle America to their childhood home, introducing his passenger to some American "fun" along the way, from a Hershey chocolate factory to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. By the author of Golfing with God.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781565125520
Characteristics: 323 p. ; 21 cm


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Mar 17, 2018

A little preachy - a journey story for a man who does not hold to these Buddhist beliefs and his passenger, who his sister has foisted on him. They are driving from New York to his family farm in South Dakota and there are many moments and "lessons" from the unusual Buddha. A fun read.

Aug 10, 2016

This is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time--the story, some of the description are absolutely radiating. I love the tenderness and spirituality. I love the way Merullo develped this story and the beauty that lies within in very much! What a sweet gift!

Apr 09, 2016

As a favor to his sister, a seemingly content man takes a "sort-of-Buddhist" monk on a trip across country but finds himself on a spiritual journey of his own. Interesting as well as amusing.

Aug 17, 2012

A nicely written story of spiritual discovery couched in the guise of a road trip.

thart Oct 19, 2011

Book Club read (1/2011). It was a fun novel; but, not earth-shattering for me I think because I already read non-fiction that I think was more powerful about the Dalai Lama that I am convinced this author tried to turn into fiction with this novel. "The Art of Happiness" with Howard C. Cutler and the Dalai Lama is your non-fiction option for this. Although, if you want spiritual journey, mid-life crisis, and road trip in fiction form than this is your book :)


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Aug 10, 2016

"...I realized that he'd probably been using the redirecting of the river as a spiritual metaphor: Why not alter your life instead of changing its direction 180 degrees?' (Otto)

Aug 10, 2016

"...If a man speaks or acts with eveil thought, pain follows him, just like the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the cart. If a person speaks or acts with pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves." (Rinpoche to Otto)


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