Who ordered this truckload of dung – Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties by Ajahn Brahm is a lovely book with 108 Buddhist teaching stories brimming with humor, humanity and good will.
The first book I read by Ajahn Brahm is Don’t worry, be grumpy and I found myself laughing right through it. It made perfect reading on a flight–I luckily had it with me. Short chapters, funny stories. Delivering life lessons with humor and often, irreverence. I think that’s the best way to learn.
When I came across “Who ordered this truckload of dung” I wanted to read it right away. I mean, the title alone pulled me in and since I had read the author’s work before, I couldn’t wait to enjoy it. And enjoy it I certainly did! I am excited to bring it to you today! What’s not to like about 108 stories full of wisdom?
Who ordered this truckload of dung?
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Wisdom Publications; 1st Edition Thus. edition (August 30, 2005)
Book blurb – Who ordered this truckload of dung?
“Laugh your way to enlightenment” with this inspirational and light-hearted collection of stories from beloved Buddhist teacher Ajahn Brahm.
The 108 pieces in the international bestseller Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? offer thoughtful commentary on everything from love and commitment to fear and pain. Drawing from his own life experience, as well as traditional Buddhist folk tales, author Ajahn Brahm uses over thirty years of spiritual growth as a monk to spin delightful tales that can be enjoyed in silence or read aloud to friends and family.
Featuring titles such as “How to Be a VIP” and “The Worm and His Lovely Pile of Dung,” these wry and witty stories provide playful, pithy takes on the basic building blocks of everyday happiness. Suitable for children, adults, and anyone in between, this eloquent volume delivers insight and inspiration in a humorous and engaging voice and wraps insight and inspiration inside of a good old yarn.
This book contains both encouraging, uplifting stories and thoughtful teachings in Ajahn Brahm’s characteristic joyful style. Ajahn Brahm helps us navigate all of life’s difficulties and beautiful moments. Who Ordered this Truckload of Dung? is certain to be an enjoyable addition to any individual or family’s most treasured collection.
My review – Who ordered this truckload of dung?
We always tend to see Buddhism as a serious thing. I mean, enlightenment is a serious thing, right? Not necessarily.The 108 inspiring stories in this entertaining and spiritually edifying book are proof.
The stories are divided into themed categories: perfection and guilt, love and commitment, fear and pain, anger and forgiveness, creating happiness, critical problems and their compassionate solutions, wisdom and inner silence, the mind and reality, values and the spiritual life, freedom and humility, suffering, and letting go. Each story is a delight to read. And I like that it is up to the reader to take away a lesson, or not. If you’d rather just enjoy the read and have a good laugh, so be it. Initially, some of the stories seemed too simplistic. But I found they stayed in my head. Probably simmering until the time came for me to find meaning in them.
Why truckload of dung? I guess it is a metaphor for all the difficult experiences we go through life. Point is, how do we respond to these experiences? We can harbor them and suffer a life of negativity, or deal with them and move on.
Many of the stories are anecdotes from Ajahn Brahm’s life, which makes them all the more fun to read.
Take this one for example:
Someone calls you an idiot. Then you start thinking, “How can they call me an idiot? They’ve got no right to call me an idiot! How rude to call me an idiot! I’ll get them back for calling me an idiot.” And you suddenly realize that you have just let them call you an idiot another four times. Every time you remember what they said, you allow them to call you an idiot yet again. Therein lies the problem. If someone calls you an idiot and you immediately let it go, then it doesn’t bother you. There is the solution. Why allow other people to control your inner happiness?
You see what he’s getting at?
Here’s one of my favorites:
The biggest thing in the world
The daughter of a friend from my college days was in her first year at primary school. Her teacher asked the large class of five-year-olds, “What is the biggest thing in the world?”
“My daddy,” said one small girl.
“An elephant,” answered a young boy who had recently been to the zoo.
“A mountain,” replied another.
My friend’s young child said, “My eye is the biggest thing in the world.”
The class went quiet as they all tried to understand the little girl’s answer. “What do you mean?” asked her teacher, equally perplexed.
“Well,” began the miniature philosopher, “My eye can see her daddy, and it can see an elephant. It can also see a mountain and many other things as well. Since all this can fit into my eye, my eye must be the biggest thing in the world!”
Wisdom is not learning, but seeing clearly what can never be taught.
With much respect to my friend’s young daughter, I would extend her insight a little further.
Then he goes on to explain the deeper meaning of this charming story.
The best part of Who ordered this truckload of dung is you can just go to any section and read–rather than in sequence from start to end. That’s what makes Ajahn Brahm’s words interesting. His sense of humor is obvious through his words. Just go buy the book and enjoy it!
Ajahn Brahm (Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera), born Peter Betts in London in 1951, is a Theravada Buddhist monk. Ajahn Brahm grew up in London and earned a degree in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University. Disillusioned with the world of academe, he trained as a monk in the jungles of Thailand under Ajahn Chah.
A monk for over thirty years, Ajahn Brahm is a revered spiritual guide and the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia—one of the largest monasteries in the southern hemisphere. He is also the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, and spiritual adviser and inspiration for Buddhist centers throughout Asia and Australia. His winning combination of wit and wisdom makes his books bestsellers in many languages, and on his teaching tours Brahm regularly draws multinational audiences of thousands.