Yesterday I visited Namaste Bookshop. But maybe I should back up here. Why would I, someone who has not seriously considered religion in 3 years, willingly visit a store filled with Buddha statues, healing crystals, and books on meditation and yoga instruction?
Over the past year, I've been reading a lot of self-help books. I know self-help books get a bad rap, like the people who read them are miserable, pathetic souls who can't handle their own problems. I disagree with that. Self-help books are amazingly helpful, written by doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists with years of experience and research under their belts. I am also a big fan of therapy for everyone, not just "crazy people." (We are all crazy.) But that's neither here nor there.
I also began rereading the manga series by Osamu Tezuka on the life of the Buddha. I first read it in 2008 and loved it. As I was rereading it, some of the precepts of Buddhism called out to me and made sense.
Serendipitously, at this time I received an email about a new book club beginning that would focus on self-help type books that are spiritual in nature. Naturally, I joined. I'm currently reading our first book by Lama Surya Das and really enjoying it. More about that later.
So all of these things came together to spark my interest in going to Namaste bookshop. I had never been there before but always vaguely considered it to be a new offshoot of East West Books, which used to live around the corner from Namaste and sadly closed down.