The Average Buddhist

I don’t know anything about buddhism but when I was offered the chance to read and review The Average Buddhist I jumped at the chance. Buddhism is a path to enlightenment, right? The world has more angles to see than a Rubik’s Cube and I’m always looking for new ways to see things.

Written by Barbara Wilson Arboleda, The Average Buddhist is a playful and witty romp thru the discipline of Buddhism. The book doesn’t try to explain the precepts of the practice as much as it shares Barbara’s experiences as “an average Buddhist” in a modern America.

Whatever spiritual path we follow, I think we all struggle with the pressures of the world coming down on our perfect worlds and her experiences are often funny and poignant at the same moment.  The witty illustrations by Teja Arboleda do well to enhance the book’s message.

Rather than preach or teach, Barbara shares her walk to enlightenment even when it goes slightly awry. The book does bring up Buddhist principles so that those interested in exploring further have a point from which to begin. I don’t think I’m exactly Buddhist material but I did find many of the ways I view life jived with what Barbara writes about. The journey starts with a single step, right? I’m inspired to try to make a visit to the Buddhist temple near where I live to see what I may have missed.

Refreshing humor and clear prose make The Average Buddhist an accessible peek into the discipline of Buddhism. Like The Tao of Pooh introduced Taoism to us non esoteric westerners, I can see The Average Buddhist becoming a missionary to introduce new ways to consider our world.

I recommend this book and Barbara’s blog by the same name for anyone interested in new ideas and finding their path to enlightenment wherever it meanders.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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