Fiction with Buddhist influences

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MiphamFan
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Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by MiphamFan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:58 am

I don't mean in some vague way there are themes that resonate with Buddhism but more prominent features such as it being part of the world-building etc.

The Japanese science fiction novel Shinsekai Yori is a good example of what I'm talking about. It is set 1,000 years in the future; humanity has developed psychic powers but use of technology has scaled back greatly. The surviving humans in Japan base their society on conditioning using various techniques, including rituals based on esoteric Buddhism (fire ritual, mantras etc).

There is also an anime based on the novel.

Miroku
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Miroku » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:29 am

One of my most favourite books I read it at the beginning of my journey to buddhism and I still have very fond memories of it. Shame I lost my copy. :/ :)

https://www.amazon.com/Mipam-First-Tibe ... 094338933X
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

Crazywisdom
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 am

Not a book, but the sci fi movie, “Arrival,” has a very interesting theme about language that I think applies very well to build a better understanding of Buddha’s intent about mantras and mandalas. It’s very deep. One of the best sci fi movies of all time easily. Another movie I thought was really good for mistaken perceptions was “Atonement.” “Shutter Island” was recommended to me by a lama. He said, “all samsara people are this way.”
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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passel
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by passel » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:38 pm

Lincoln in the Bardo
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Rick
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Rick » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:02 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 am
Not a book, but the sci fi movie, “Arrival,” has a very interesting theme about language that I think applies very well to build a better understanding of Buddha’s intent about mantras and mandalas. It’s very deep. One of the best sci fi movies of all time easily. Another movie I thought was really good for mistaken perceptions was “Atonement.” “Shutter Island” was recommended to me by a lama. He said, “all samsara people are this way.”
Groundhog Day IS pretty much the Buddhist path.

The first season of Westworld deals with rebirth.

Just re-saw Shutter Island ... yep. ;-)
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Crazywisdom
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:09 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:02 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 am
Not a book, but the sci fi movie, “Arrival,” has a very interesting theme about language that I think applies very well to build a better understanding of Buddha’s intent about mantras and mandalas. It’s very deep. One of the best sci fi movies of all time easily. Another movie I thought was really good for mistaken perceptions was “Atonement.” “Shutter Island” was recommended to me by a lama. He said, “all samsara people are this way.”
Groundhog Day IS pretty much the Buddhist path.

The first season of Westworld deals with rebirth.

Just re-saw Shutter Island ... yep. ;-)
Good call West World. Love that show. Groundhog Day. Awesome.

A.I. Was pretty great
I got my Chili Chilaya.

Miroku
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Miroku » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:33 pm

Not sure if something you are looking for but I have always enjoyed Avatar the Last Airbender
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

Motova
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Motova » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:12 pm

Star Wars
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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passel
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by passel » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:16 pm

From about 6th-12th grade I was infatuated with Lone Wolf and Cub comic books, translated into English, and at the time not easy to come by. Lots of explicit dharma in there tho I didn’t realize it at the time. The main character’s path was ‘Meifumado- the Dark Road to Hell’! The idea was that as the shogun’s executioner and later an assassin, he had built up so much black karma that hell was a certainty, but that he could and did still act with nobility, dignity, and kindness. Even when assassinating a ‘living buddha’, for example. He did zazen sometimes. Then fought wolves with his bare hands. I loved it, though I realize now that the translation and ‘explanatory’ comments were pretty terrible
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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passel
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by passel » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:25 am

Jim Harrison. I like The Beast God Forgot to Invent, Brown Dog Chronicles, and Dalva especially. He was a student of Kobun Chino’s. They did an incense and chanting service at DH Lawrence’s grave.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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justsit
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by justsit » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:44 pm

Cloud Atlas

Kamshan
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Kamshan » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:14 am

I really liked the book "The Years of Rice and Salt" by Kim Stanley Robinson. It takes place in an alternate history where the Black Plague wipes out 99% of Europe. The book is heavily influenced by Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism. For example, characters reincarnate, have conversations in the bardo, and make explicit reference to different realms of samsara.

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Queequeg
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am

justsit wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:44 pm
Cloud Atlas
Was just trying to remember the name of this one. Didn't read the book, just saw the movie. When I walked out of that movie (which got a standing ovation) had to look up the writer and sure enough he spent time in Japan.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:27 am

Dharma Bums by Kerouac
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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The Cicada
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by The Cicada » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:39 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:27 am
Dharma Bums by Kerouac
Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond.

:jedi:

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:10 am

Zelazny's Lord of Light is a hybrid fantasy-SF novel which centres on a character who is often assumed to be a Buddha but the layers of "truth", even in the book's own terms, are complicated. The short discussion here - https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questio ... d-of-light - may help.
But it's a great book anyway, and should be easy to get because it was republished not too long ago.

All of Ursula Le Guin's work is founded on Taoist perspectives - so not quite Buddhist but close, and always good.

:reading:
Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:05 am

Googling [ buddhist fiction ] got me more results than I could read in a month. One of the most useful is this survey - https://www.uuworld.org/articles/good-buddhist-novel.

The search also reminded me of Peter Matthiessen, whose In Paradise https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/186 ... n-paradise is challenging but well worth the commitment.

:reading:
Kim

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justsit
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Re: Fiction with Buddhist influences

Post by justsit » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:14 pm

Eliot Pattison's Inspector Shan series of murder mysteries is set in Tibet and is really well done. Very enjoyable if you like the genre. http://www.eliotpattison.com/inspector.html

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