BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Love for Imperfect Things: How to Be Kind and Forgiving Toward Yourself and Others by Haemin Sunim, translated by Deborah Smith and Haemin Sunim [in Booklist]

He’s been called “Twitter Monk” and “mega-Monk” for his million-plus followers. That his Berkeley/Harvard Divinity Master’s/Princeton PhD-pedigree plus seven years professor-ing at Hampshire College led him to become a world-famous Buddhist monk seems an unlikely path. Yet his success only spreads with Imperfect, his follow-up to his million-copies-sold, international debut, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down.

“Haemin,” by the way, is 혜민, pronounced Hye-min; “Sunim” is the Korean honorific for a Buddhist monk or nun (it’s not his last name). That said, given his opening quote, “True freedom is being without anxiety about imperfection,” the details probably don’t matter.

What’s important is that his gentle reassurances find a complementary cipher in fellow Korean Raymond J. Lee, whose soothing delivery is augmented with clips of incoming waves, tweeting birds, and moving water in between personal stories and relevant soundbites of observations and advice. While listeners may not hear anything uniquely wow-inducing, to hear again (and again, and often) about kindness, acceptance, and empathy is exactly the message – and method – to living a more perfectly imperfect life.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, January 3, 2020

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2018


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