Wisdom requires clear vision-the ability to see the things that matter, to pass over the things that don't, and the discernment to know the difference. In a fast-paced world, wisdom is also sometimes not equated with optimism. But is this pessimism about the future wise? Not according to the new book, Optimistic Wisdom: Living in Peace without Worry, by Dr. Srisuda Dhamwichukorn. The waves of wisdom that travel from East to West have a peaceful swell; the ocean of Pacific is peaceful.
The tradition of wisdom taught from the Far East has much to do with discernment. While Western traditions often examine one's place in the world by looking outside first, the Eastern traditions teach the opposite: look first inside, then prepare for whatever adventures the outside may offer. Dr. Dhamwichukorn hints at this complementary view of the two traditions, along with the places where they peacefully interact. A native of Thailand, she grew up in a land of contrasts: sprawling, urban Bangkok has its islands of peace, the havens of shelter from worry that have traditionally housed the most clear-eyed of monks and buddhas. So how do these teachings find wisdom without worry?
A fundamental tenet that often raises questions is the realization that life is suffering. If the future is a path away from worry and towards peace, then many teachers have taught what amounts to a startling starting point. As Dr. Dhamwichukorn writes in easily understandable affirmations, the first shore relieving this ocean of suffering is the knowledge that the path exists in the first place. The path, the discipline, the peaceful mind-these are the refuges of those free from worry. Therein lies the excitement of peace: freedom. Even as adventures present what may appear to be evidence of selfishness, a shortage of love and compassion, and the unforgiving failure to forget those things that don't matter, the freedom of peace persists. That is this book's discerning quality-to balance selfishness with sharing, to meet hate with love, to find peace without worry.
Written in a modern, but simple style, the beautiful book Optimistic Wisdom: Living in Peace Without Worry offers rest and reflection in a troubled ocean. This is a guide filled with optimism. The author, having flown across the Pacific from Thailand to America, refreshingly describes why that ocean between East and West is named for peace itself.
Reviewed by David Noever
Dr. David Noever serves as the executive vice-president and chief technology officer and is responsible for overall development and implementation of the Mobular Technologies' technology. Dr. Noever received his Ph.D. from Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, in theoretical physics and B.Sc. from Princeton University, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He was named 1998 Discover Magazine's "Inventor of the Year," for novel development of computational biology software and internet-search robots, culminating in co-founding the startup company cited by Nature Biotechnology[v. 15, October 1997, p. 1035] as first in its technology class. He has authored more than 80 scientific research articles and book chapters. He also received the Silver Medal of the Royal Society, London, UK and is a former Chevron Scholar, San Francisco.
OTHER READER COMMENTS
"I really like the good peaceful energy that the book spreads.
As soon as I opened the book, I felt its peaceful energy spreading
A book that spreads positive vibrations
Hope it could help to develop peace in the whole world.
My best regards," By Carlotta Segre, UN-Geneva
"Today, when many values are relative and vague,Optimistic Wisdom gives a thoughtful, universal guide to discerning good from evil.
Although I liked many things about the book, two ideas especially caught my eye.
The idea in chapter 7 that respect for any life breeds respect for all life. This says it all with regard to the controversy about abortion.
Also I liked, 'The more you give the more you get. The more you chase, the more you worry.' How true, how true."
By Robert Wenc
"I just finished the book you wrote. It is a collection of optimistic wisdoms. Everything you said is so true, yet it is difficult for a person to calm himself down to practise. However, when I read your book, I feel peace in my heart and I can have a good dream."
By Stephen Song
"I think it is great. I have been reading it at night to relax. The cartoons are great. The writing is clear and the message calming."
By Paul Ripple
"I have enjoyed it and it has helped me to re-look at all the good in life and the people around me."
By Jane Johnson
"Dear Dr. Hong
P'Noo gave The Optimistic Wisdom to me on 08/10/03, at that time I think it has very beautiful cover. I had chance to read on Monday afternoon, you know it is unbelievable, I could not close the book until I finished it.
Anyway, I would like to thanks for writing the good book like this, and I am looking forward to see your future book soon.
Finally, I would like to rejoice your merit .
"Pearls of wisdom."
By Mitchell Fait
"A handy book of encouragement that can be practically applied to everyday life."
By Michele Shaw
"Inspiring little book useful in developing the inner peace necessary to become a positive force in modern society."
By Ruthann Sudman
"This is a book that once read will spark conversation about peace."
By Michele Shaw
"Words of wisdom from a generous author who sincerely wants to make the world a better place for all."
By Jennifer Marie Osterhage
"As a Notre Dame student who plunges headfirst into the individualistic atmosphere of one of the most competitive college campuses in the country, I am admittedly goal-oriented. I know what I want and I am not afraid to take risks to achieve it. However, when this ambitious pursuit borders onto narrow-minded selfishness, I sometimes need to be reminded to slow down and make room for peace of mind-the central message of Dr. Srisuda Dhamwichukorn's new book, Optimistic Wisdom: Living In Peace Without Worry. A native of Thailand, Dr. Dhamwichukorn introduces her collection of straightforward, encouraging affirmations with two calming statements: "The more you give, the more you get" and "The more you chase, the more you worry." As a chronic go-getter and compulsive chaser, these thoughts not only offer a respite from the stresses that come with such unending pursuit, but also provide an appealing simplicity.
The optimism with which Dr. Dhamwichukorn relates her thoughts is at once soothing and welcoming. The book is inviting, inclusive; it does not condemn certain cultures or religions for being less peaceful than others. Rather, it presents a refreshingly clear picture of the goodness, purity, and responsibility that all humans possess-as well as reminders about the distractions that lure us astray from the path to peace. From avoiding pride for oneself to embracing respect for parents, spouses, teachers, and friends, Dr. Dhamwichukorn's wisdom is remarkably insightful and gently instructive. In fact, her peaceful perspective is contagious-when reading this work, worries begin to feel like a waste of time, and taking life one day at a time begins to sound pretty appealing. After a true taste of it, peace of mind becomes tempting as the false friendships, damaging drug- and alcohol-abusive activities, and artificial relationships that Dr. Dhamwichukorn cautions us against-and for a college student consumed by the chase, this dose of peace becomes twice as addictive.
By Claire Stevens Heininger